The functional approach to volunteerism holds that outcomes from volunteering (e.g., satisfaction and intentions to remain a volunteer) are a function of the match between a volunteer's motivations and affordances to meet those motivations found in the environment (i.e., the volunteer activities, position, or organization). In this article, the authors introduce an index for calculating a volunteer's total number of matches across six motivational categories identified by past research. They demonstrate that this index predicts outcomes better than motives or affordances alone and as well as any univariate match index (i.e., in a particular motivational category). Following logic about strong and weak situational contexts, the authors demonstrate that the magnitude of the total matches effect may be greater when organizational contexts are less structured and smaller when contexts are more structured. They discuss theoretical and practical benefits of this total match index.
- Organizational structure