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Title: Motives behind volunteerism: A study of Hong Kong university students and influence of gender
Author(s): Lo, Tit Wing 
Author(s): Wu, J. K. F.
Liu, E. S. C.
Rochelle, T. L.
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Nova Science Publishers
Related Publication(s): Advances in sociology research (Volume 9)
Start page: 199
End page: 209
In Hong Kong, volunteers play a central role in delivering services across a diverse range of settings. Without them, many activities and services offered by non-government organizations would simply fail to operate. Recruiting people into this workforce seems to be an uneasy task and motivating busy professionals to volunteer their time is particularly difficult. Studies on university students (as emerging professionals) could provide invaluable information on why educated people are willing to engage themselves in those non-monetary returned activities.

A sample of N=238 university students enrolled in various academic progammes and affiliated with different departments and faculties was surveyed using a Chinese version of the Volunteer Functions Inventory (VFI), an instrument anchored on a functional approach to volunteerism tapping six specific motives behind volunteerism: values, understanding, enhancement, career, social and protective.

Similar to previous studies, the altruistic and humanitarian concern for others (the Values function) was ranked the highest by respondents in this study. Further, two selfrelated motives (Understanding and Enhancement) were also reported as important by the respondents. To examine possible genders effects, the full sample was broken down into two sub-groups by gender (for Male, n=92, for Female, n=146).

Both genders displayed similar profiles in the relative ranking of the importance of the motives. Females rated higher than did males on those three top-ranked motives (Values, Understanding and Enhancement), while the reverse was observed on the other three motives (Career, Social and Protective). However, most of these differences were not large enough to reach a conventional level of statistical significance (i.e. p < .05). Implications for volunteer recruitment and retention are discussed.
CIHE Affiliated Publication: No
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