National Day of Service (NDS) volunteering events have become common, yet little is known about how the design of such events affects volunteer satisfaction. This relationship is important because volunteer satisfaction ensures a strong volunteer base for special events and promotes sustained volunteerism. We explore how the design of NDS projects promotes volunteer job satisfaction. Our approach to the research question is informed by work design theory. Based on interview, participant observation, and focus-group data from an NDS in the Netherlands, the findings suggest that nonprofit organizations can elicit volunteer job satisfaction by designing NDS projects that create a sense of added value, support productivity, and make volunteers feel comfortable. Designing NDS projects that incorporate task significance, symbolic social support, feedback from others, beneficiary contact, task identity, project preparation, physically demanding work, social support, and limited autonomy help to achieve these goals.

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Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Maas, S., Meijs, L., & Brudney, J. (2020). Designing “National Day of Service” Projects to Promote Volunteer Job Satisfaction. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. doi:10.1177/0899764020982664