Publication Details

Randle, M. & Dolnicar, S. (2015). The characteristics of potential environmental volunteers: implications for marketing communications.Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, 22 (3), 329-339.


Many environmental organisations rely on volunteers to provide important services that would otherwise not be provided by government. However, with the substantial growth in Australia's non-profit sector, the competition for volunteers has increased significantly. Non-profit organisations are implementing marketing strategies to convince potential volunteers that their particular cause is more worthy of an individual's valuable time than other leisure activities. Most studies of volunteers focus on individuals who are already involved; however, equally important is understanding those who have not previously volunteered but who stated their intention to do so in future. This study investigates this notion in the context of environmental volunteering. Through a survey of 1318 Australians, we identify that potential environmental volunteers differ from non-environmental volunteers in terms of having: (1) stronger pro-environmental attitudes; (2) different motivations for volunteering; and (3) differing personal values. Practically, findings can inform volunteer recruitment strategies to target individuals who already have a predisposition towards environmental volunteering, resulting in more efficient spend of limited marketing dollars. Promotions that align with the motivations and values of this group are more likely to resonate with them and prompt action, and have the potential to increase the overall number of volunteers for environmental causes.

Grant Number


Included in

Business Commons