‘Young, Fun, and Free:’ Episodic Volunteers in Ghana, South Africa and Tanzania

Sara Compion, Ram A. Cnaan, Jeffrey L. Brudney, Bok Gyo Jeong, Chao Zhang, Debbie Haski-Leventhal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As scholarship on episodic volunteering expands, researchers question if episodic volunteering is similar to, and/or different from, long-term, membership-based volunteering. This article examines the motivations of Ghanaians, South Africans, and Tanzanians to engage in event-based, episodic volunteering. Based on surveys collected from over 1000 participants in 2018, we use logistic regression models to distinguish differences in motivations between novice, occasional, and regular episodic volunteers. The results show that age and student status are influential in distinguishing novice volunteers from regular volunteers, but more importantly that novices are motivated for primarily social reasons, while regular volunteers are motivated by more altruistic reasons. Our study reinforces established knowledge that people are motivated to volunteer for many reasons that may overlap or occur simultaneously, and that these motivations differ by stage of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-458
Number of pages16
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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


  • Africa
  • Cross-national research
  • Episodic volunteering
  • Volunteering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of '‘Young, Fun, and Free:’ Episodic Volunteers in Ghana, South Africa and Tanzania'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this