Recruitment and retention in not-for-profit organisations: tailored strategies for younger and older volunteers

Benjamin Hopkins, David Dowell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)
    86 Downloads (Pure)


    Purpose: A substantial amount of previous literature has investigated recruitment and retention of workers in paid jobs in the for-profit sector. Additionally, some of this work has developed differentiated recruitment and retention strategies for different groups of workers based upon their age. However, in the voluntary sector, potential for this type of tailoring remains an under-researched area.

    Design/methodology/approach: The authors analyse data from a national survey from the United Kingdom (UK) (= 16,966) using Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and chi-square to investigate motivations to volunteer amongst younger and older volunteers and compare these to a core age group.

    Findings: The authors find differences across different age cohorts in both motivations to volunteer and also in rewards sought from volunteering. By analysing these differences, the authors then develop a framework of tailored recruitment and retention strategies to maximise the potential pool of volunteers for organisations in the not-for-profit sector, whilst also optimising rewards for those who volunteer.

    Originality/value: Although recruitment and retention are both core research themes in Employee Relations, a recent special issue on the not-for-profit sector noted that these processes were under-researched outside of a for-profit setting. Literature from the fields of human resource management (HRM) and not-for-profit management is synthesised and integrated.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)259-273
    Number of pages15
    JournalEmployee Relations
    Issue number1
    Early online date9 Sept 2021
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


    • Age
    • Non-profit organisations
    • Older workers
    • Recruitment
    • Retention
    • Younger workers


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