Communicating our way to engaged volunteers: A mediated process model of volunteer communication, engagement, and commitment

Sheridan B. Trent, Joseph A. Allen, Kelly A. Prange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Retaining productive volunteers is an essential issue nonprofit organizations face, as volunteers help extend nonprofits' services to their target populations. The current study examined two facets of communication, perception of voice (i.e., upward communication) and satisfaction with communication (i.e., downward communication), as well as training, as important volunteer management practices with respect to facilitating volunteer engagement and commitment using both psychological contract and social exchange theories as the framework. One-hundred and seventy-one volunteers from two nonprofit organizations were surveyed to assess their satisfaction with the communication processes at their respective agencies, as well as their level of engagement, commitment, and perception of the training they received for their volunteer roles. Volunteer perceptions of both upward and downward communication were found to be indirectly related to organizational commitment through engagement. In addition, results indicated that volunteer training practices moderated the effects of upward and downward communication on engagement and commitment. Findings suggested that upward and downward communication are important predictors of volunteer engagement and commitment. Furthermore, providing training may help to strengthen these indirect effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2174-2190
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Volume48
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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