Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Communication Studies

Department or School/College

Department of Communication Studies

Committee Chair

Betsy Bach

Commitee Members

Joel Iverson, Andrea Vernon


volunteers, volunteer managers, socialization, turning point analysis, training program


University of Montana


The purpose of this project was to construct a training program for volunteer managers in nonprofit organizations that will aim to increase the retention of volunteers through better socialization practices. The training was developed using Beebe, Mottet, and Roach’s (2013) Needs-Centered Training Model, and volunteer manager and volunteer focus groups served as the needs assessment. The main topics that arose from the needs assessment included fostering a positive and supportive volunteer relational environment, helping volunteers see that they are needed, useful, and making an impact, and clearly communicating volunteer expectations. The need for better volunteer socialization can be seen from the retention rates of volunteers, which nationally, range from half to three quarters after the first year, although this project does not address all of the elements that contribute to volunteers intention to remain, such as satisfaction, motivation and expectations, it encourages improving the socialization practices of nonprofit organizations. Providing better socialization approaches for nonprofit organizations can better equip volunteer managers to increase their volunteer retention rates.



© Copyright 2015 Allison M. Sullivan