Desire to Gain Positive Emotions and Positive Emotional Motivations in Volunteer Attraction

In a recent qualitative study of the volunteering behaviors of people involved in urban landscape restoration and conservation initiatives, Asah, Lenentine, and Blahna (2014) found that positive emotions were among the most frequently expressed motivational factors and social-psychological benefits associated with engaging in pro-environmental volunteerism. Results from the study highlight that women more frequently than men, expressed the desire to gain positive emotions and social-psychological benefits from socializing and sharing knowledge and skills as their motivation to volunteer (Asah et al., 2014). This research reveals that involvement with volunteering activities can provide individuals with positive emotional experiences that enhance personal wellbeing.

Similarly, DiEnno and Thompson (2013) analyzed the emotional expressions of ecological restoration volunteers with the aim of better understanding how emotions, values, and goal motivations affect the desire to participate in a community-based urban ecological restoration project based in the United States. Qualitative data gathered from interviews, focus groups, and observations elicited strong evidence for the significance of emotions in motivating volunteerism. Additionally, this research highlights the dual role that emotions play in outcomes of event appraisal, and as a motivator for goal achievement in volunteer activities. Both pleasure-related and responsibility-related emotional motivations to protect nature were identified, with the most frequently mentioned emotionally charged values being scientific interest and human obligation. Understanding the emotional bonds people develop toward nature provides insight to factors driving motivational forces and shared goals that individuals have for protecting the environment. Outcomes of the study emphasize the necessity for considering the emotional motivations of volunteers along with values, goals, and cognitive processes. This is important for volunteer organizations to consider when running volunteer drives and securing ongoing volunteer engagement in community-based ecological restoration initiatives.

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