Table of Contents
ISRN Public Health
Volume 2012, Article ID 698756, 6 pages
Clinical Study

Supporting Family Volunteers to Increase Retention and Recruitment

School of Nursing, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide SA 5005, Australia

Received 4 October 2011; Accepted 1 November 2011

Academic Editors: E. C. Alexopoulos and B. J. Polivka

Copyright © 2012 Anne Wilson. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study explored South Australian volunteers' motivations for volunteering, their satisfaction with volunteering, and their need for supportive structures. Primary data were collected from volunteers working for a self-funded charitable organisation. A self-enumerated questionnaire was distributed by mail; 214 were completed and returned (66.9% response rate). Of the responding volunteers, 82% ( 𝑛 = 1 7 4 ) were female. All were aged over 60 years (range: 63–76 years; mean: 68 years). Numerical data were entered into SPSS and analysed descriptively. Content analysis was applied to narrative data. Volunteers reported that they volunteered most often to help others, because they had spare time and because of what they received in return. Difficulties experienced included accessing continuing education and training. Organisations engaging volunteers have a responsibility to ensure that volunteers are adequately supported both in their day to day work and in training or education. Volunteers are able to become valued partners in service delivery.