Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Deeb P. Kitchen

Committee Member

Derrick Pledger


civic engagement, millennials, motivation, nonprofit organizations, volunteerism, work engagement


This applied dissertation focused on capturing the lived experiences of Millennials and explore their motivation and engagement for volunteering in a nonprofit organization. This study illustrates the importance of civic and social engagement in our society. The Millennials have been labeled as “Genme or the me generation” (Twenge, Campbell, Hoffman, & Lance, 2010, p. 1117; Twenge, 2006, p. 1), as they have been criticized for focusing on their own self-interest. While millennials have been considered as being technologically savvy, since they grew up with the internet. The millennials, have a social interest in offering support to a cause versus an organization (Achieve Research Team, 2013). This study should offer nonprofit organizations with the tools and resources needed to recruit and retain Millennial volunteers.

There are four theoretical frameworks which supported this research study and they were: functionalist theory, self-determination theory, social identity theory, and role identity theory. The basis of the instrument tool was an adapted version of the Volunteer Function Inventory developed by Clary, Snyder, Ridge, Copeland, Stukas, Haugen, and Miene (1998). The researcher presented a series of open-ended questions to the sample population of 10 participants, aged between 22-years old to 37-years old. The qualitative research study resulted in identifying eight themes which includes: 1) cultivating relationships, 2) gaining volunteer satisfaction from role, 3) following the call to serve, 4) advocating for moral responsibility with others, 5) helping others, 6) needing to belong, 7) developing character traits, and 8) seeking influence through social engagement. The two outliers identified as a result of the study included training and retention. The recommendation of practice presents a robust volunteer management program.