A Study of Parks and Recreation Citizen Board Members in North Carolina and Their Motivations for Participation

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The purpose of this study was to examine the diversity of parks and recreation citizen boards and identify which motivators are fulfilled, including which demographic variables predict these functions, through volunteering on parks and recreation citizen boards in North Carolina. Those parks and recreation departments choosing to understand and embrace citizen board member motivations for volunteering have the opportunity to tailor recruitment and retention efforts for current and future board members. The better a department understands its volunteers, the more likely the department can meet the needs of its volunteers. This research utilized the modified Volunteer Functions Inventory (Silverberg, Ellis, Backman, & Backman, 1999). Data were collected using a mail survey to 734 currently serving citizen board members in North Carolina, of which 291 participated. Analysis was implemented utilizing statistical software SPSS version 13.0 for Windows. This research examined the diversity of citizen boards and found the boards to be homogeneous in composition. The results supported the discovery of four motivators: values, knowledge of government operations, understanding, and my community needs me. The research found age and race/ethnicity to be significant predictors with positive affects for the values motivator. The research also found that citizen board members who possessed membership with the North Carolina Recreation and Parks Association have higher motivator means and benefit from this membership.



citizen board members, volunteer motivation, volunteer recruitment, volunteer retention, parks and recreation





Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management