Title: A SWOT model of the challenges and benefits of volunteer involvement in US non-profit organisations during times of fiscal stress

Authors: Helisse Levine; Maria J. D'Agostino

Addresses: Department of Business, Public Administration and Information Sciences, Long Island University, One University Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA. ' John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY, 445 West 59th Street, New York, NY 10019, USA

Abstract: As a result of the current fiscal crisis, the US Federal Government is calling on non-profit organisations and communities across the country to contribute their service through volunteering. This study uses qualitative data retrieved from a purposive sample of New York City non-profit administrators to determine the challenges and benefits of volunteer involvement in US non-profit organisations during the economic downturn that began in 2008. Findings conclude that although US Federal Government initiatives, including $50 million of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allocated to the strengthening communities fund provided non-profits the opportunity to draw on an influx of a highly skilled pool of volunteers, many non-profits remain underfunded, understaffed and unequipped to make the most of those who are looking to serve.

Keywords: non-profit organisations; volunteerism; volunteers; fiscal stress; qualitative method; non-profit management; SWOT analysis; strengths weaknesses opportunities threats; non-profit communities; benefits; volunteer involvement; USA; United States; federal government; New York; administrators; economic downturns; government initiatives; American Recovery and Reinvestment Act; legislation; strengthening communities fund; non-profits; underfunding; understaffing; society; systems science; economic recovery; economics; challenges.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSS.2012.045374

International Journal of Society Systems Science, 2012 Vol.4 No.1, pp.76 - 91

Available online: 06 Feb 2012 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article