Bethany Codding

Publication Date

Spring 2014


This study concentrates on the motivation for volunteers to serve overseas. This study was conducted in Carrefour, Haiti, where about thirty college students volunteered for a one-week period. The research project sought to answer three research questions: 1) What drives a volunteer to become involved in a nonprofit? 2) How do volunteers in nonprofit organizations identify themselves? 3) How do volunteers’ perceptions of themselves change over the course of volunteering overseas? The articles reviewed focused on the emotions of the volunteers and how they identify themselves and others that they encounter. The globalization theory and the social-identity theory were utilized during this study. The themes that emerged were nostalgia and communication, both verbal and nonverbal between volunteers’ interactions with one another and with Haitians. These themes helped to understand what motivates a volunteer to serve overseas and what happens during these volunteer experiences to compel the individual to return multiple times. Although the research led to understanding the volunteer’s identity of themselves, the observations and results concluded that it is how the volunteer identifies with other’s that attract the volunteer to return.

Author Supplied Keywords

globalization theory, social-identity theory, nonprofit organizations, volunteer, relationships

Publication Information

Copyright for this work is retained by the author.

Document Type

Student Project

Included in

Communication Commons