You Thought That This Would Be Easy? Seeking an Understanding of Episodic Volunteering

Ram A. Cnaan, Lucas Meijs, Jeffrey L. Brudney, Sophie Hersberger-Langloh, Aya Okada, Samir Abu-Rumman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article is intended as the leading article in a Special Issue of Voluntas devoted to episodic volunteering from a cross-cultural perspective. This article focuses on summarizing and distilling knowledge about episodic volunteering. Based on a thorough literature review, the authors present state-of-the-art knowledge about episodic volunteering divided into key subsections that include: (1) is episodic volunteering a new area or a new era in volunteering? (2) Defining the concept of episodic volunteering, (3) the singularity of episodic volunteering, (4) assessment of the domains where episodic volunteering is most prevalent, (5) the impact of episodic volunteering on the participating individuals, (6) new parties in volunteer organizations, and (7) managing episodic volunteers. Finally, we present current gaps in our knowledge of episodic volunteers, some of which will be covered in this Special Issue, especially understanding episodic volunteering in non-English-speaking countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-427
Number of pages13
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, International Society for Third-Sector Research.


  • Episodic volunteers
  • Third-party organizations
  • Volunteerism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Strategy and Management


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