Title page for ETD etd-71798-145547

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Martinez, Teresa Ana
Author's Email Address tmartinez@atconf.org
URN etd-71798-145547
Title Motivations and Characteristics of Active and Nonactive Members Belonging to Natural Resource Nongovernmental Organizations
Degree Master of Science
Department Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Hull, Robert Bruce IV
Parkhurst, James A.
McMullin, Steve L. Committee Chair
  • Nongovernmental Organizations
  • Retention
  • Recruitment
  • Volunteerism
  • Burn Out
  • Survey
Date of Defense 1998-05-14
Availability unrestricted
Motivations and Characteristics of Active and Nonactive Members Belonging to Natural Resource Nongovernmental Organizations

Teresa Ana Martinez

I surveyed members of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) and the Appalachian Trail Conference (ATC) to assess the motivations of active and nonactive memebrs in these nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). I investigated the effects of social networks, competing commitments, requests for participation and the belief of the efficacy of their actions on decisions to become and remain active members. I found that requests are important tools for recruiting new members but not the determining factor in the decision to participate. Rather, in both NGOs, active members indicated that the efficacy of their actions was most important in their decisions, while nonactive members cited the importance of competing commitments.

I also investigated what leads to burn out and attrition of active members. Burn out and attrition in active members often resulted from a lack of personal satisfaction and growth from contributions. Active members who had experienced burn out donated more hours, had been members and active longer, and in the RMEF needed more recognition than those members who had not experienced burn out. Volunteers who discontinued participation also cited age, health, and personal reasons, Recruitment and retention of volunteers may be aided by increasing the awareness of volunteer programs, ensuring the programs provide results that individuals are proud of, requesting the participation of individuals on both local and higher organizational levels, and recognizing volunteers for their contributions.

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