Group processes and volunteering: Using groups to enhance volunteerism

Debbie Haski-Leventhal, Ram A. Cnaan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the past three decades, volunteers became the backbone of many human service organizations (HSOs). We propose that the role of groups in volunteer management is often neglected. We first review the theoretical and empirical literature on group dynamics relevant to fostering volunteering, followed by a literature review on the nexus between groups and volunteering. We then develop a model of four volunteer group types and their unique utility as it pertains to volunteering in HSOs: habitual volunteering group, dual-identity group, training-induced group, and provisional group. We conclude with a summary, discussion, and implications regarding the role of groups in volunteer recruitment, socialization, motivation, and retention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-80
Number of pages20
JournalAdministration in Social Work
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Commitment
  • Enhancement
  • Group processes
  • Motivation
  • Volunteer management
  • Volunteers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Administration


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