Hoe u jonge vrijwilligers op meerdere manieren kunt inzetten

13 juni 2019, 06:00
Anton von Lampe
Anton von Lampe
Jonge vrijwilligers zien vrijwilligerswerk als een mooi avontuur. Maar hoe krijg je ze zover dat ze enthousiast blijven? Anton von Lampe komt in zijn thesis tot de conclusie dat organisaties de taken zo moeten ontwerpen, dat ze interessant blijven voor vrijwilligers, ook na hun eerste ervaring. Zijn advies: behandel ze niet als je eigen vrijwilligers, maar als onderdeel van een grotere groep, zodat ze meerdere doelen kunnen dienen.
1. You are at a birthday party and you have to explain in three sentences what your thesis is about, what do you say?
‘In my thesis, I investigated how young volunteers can be attracted to go on volunteer tourism repetitively. Instead of turning their back towards volunteering after their initial volunteering experience, volunteers should rather be kept within the broader pool of volunteers, so that more than one organization can benefit from the volunteers’ willingness to donate effort and time. In essence, in my thesis, I uncovered how organizations should design volunteering tasks so that volunteers keep volunteering over time.’ 
2. What is the most important conclusion or recommendation you make?
‘Young volunteers undergo a change in their motivation to volunteer. In the beginning, most young volunteers focus on making memorable experiences and developing their own skills and personality. Only later on, the desire to unselfishly help others becomes more dominant. To recruit volunteers repetitively, organizations must pay close attention to the impact that the tasks have on those who are being helped. I therefore highly recommend to volunteering organizations to employ volunteers in tasks that offer room for development as well as sustainably impact the respective beneficiaries.’
3. For whom is this thesis interesting to read?
‘Primarily, my thesis helps volunteering organizations to calibrate their job design as well as their treatment of volunteers. Secondly, it offers volunteers important aspects to look out for when choosing a volunteering organization. Lastly, all academics, who are interested in volunteer management and the underlying motivations of volunteers, will benefit from the thesis, as it offers a new perspective on how to employ young volunteers.’  
4. What specific recommendations for practice could you give?
‘The most important recommendation to volunteering organizations is to treat volunteers not as if they are exclusively their own, but rather as if they are part of a larger volunteering pool. The longer people are volunteering across their lifespan, the more people are able to benefit from their effort. As the initial volunteering experience is the most important factor in this matter, organizations should highly focus on making it a good one. To do so, motivations of volunteers should be assessed closely, and volunteering jobs should be tailored in such a way that expectations are met. In general, a long-term plan, including the goal of the organization and the involvement of volunteers, should be established and volunteers should only play a subordinated role within this plan. Only then, organizations can have a lasting impact and volunteers can be convinced to keep volunteering in order to realize this impact.’
Anton von Lampe
MSc in International Management / CEMS Erasmus University Rotterdam (RSM) 

Supervisor:Prof. Lucas C.P.M. Meijs, Department of Business-Society Management
Co-reader:Prof. Alexander J.J.A. Maas, Department of Organization and Personnel 
Date:March 2019 
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