weston-sustainabilityofa-2008.pdf (126.81 kB)
Sustainability of a long-term volunteer-based bird monitoring program : recruitment, retention and attrition
journal contributionposted on 2008-01-01, 00:00 authored by I Wolcott, D Ingwersen, Mike WestonMike Weston, C Tzaros
With an increasing demand and reliance on volunteers in a host of different sectors, the need for organisations to understand motivating factors behind volunteering, and how to retain volunteer services, is crucial. This paper examines the recruitment, retention and attrition among a group of volunteers participating in a long-term monitoring program for the critically endangered orange-bellied parrot Neophema chrysogaster. This project is one of the longest running of its type in Australia with more than 20 years of survey activities. Volunteers were most often recruited via other environmental agencies. Almost three-quarters of respondents had been involved in birdwatching or other bird monitoring activities usually in connection with conservation organisations. The modal response was an involvement of 10-20 years, with most other responses in the range 0-5 years. The majority intend to continue volunteering, but cited perceived health and time commitments as the main factors behind possible future decisions to cease volunteering. Respondents suggested improvements in the volunteer management of the program, and in particular, thought a personal 'thank you', would maintain motivation and participation.