Religion and episodic volunteering

Henrietta Grönlund, Ram A. Cnaan, Chulhee Kang, Naoto Yamauchi, Sara Compion, Jacqueline Butcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Connections between religion and volunteering have been widely documented. Religion is a key motivating factor for volunteering in religious settings and elsewhere. Episodic volunteering is one of the fastest-growing forms of volunteering, but literature on episodic volunteering and religion is scarce. In this article, we analyse connections between religion and religiosity, and episodic volunteering. First, we identify types of episodic volunteers at religious events. Second, we use a set of three independent variables (declared religious denomination, importance of religion and spiritual motivation) to understand episodic volunteering participation. Third, we examine whether those who volunteer both episodically and regularly are more religious. Finally, we identify differences across religious affiliations. Using data from a cross-national survey, we apply different data segments in each area of our study. Our findings suggest that episodic volunteers are influenced by religion and religiosity, with especially strong connections among Protestants. We conclude with suggestions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-83
Number of pages22
JournalVoluntary Sector Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Policy Press 2023.


  • episodic volunteering
  • motivation
  • religion
  • religiosity
  • volunteering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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