The motivations to volunteer: Theoretical and practical considerations

E. Gil Clary, Mark Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

478 Scopus citations


Why do significant numbers of people engage in the unpaid helping activities known as volunteerism? Drawing on functional theorizing about the reasons, purposes, and motivations underlying human bepersonal and social functions potential and social functions potentially served by volunteering. In addition to developing an inventory to assess these motivational functions, our program of research has explored the role of motivation in the processes of volunteerism, especially decisions about becoming a volunteer in the first place and decisions about continuing to volunteer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-159
Number of pages4
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1999


  • Motivations
  • Psychological functions
  • Volunteerism


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