Experiences and Benefits of Volunteering in a Community AIDS Organization
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This qualitative study examines the AIDS service organization-volunteer relationship from the volunteer's point of view. Factors that led to a relationship with an AIDS service organization included personal values and individual characteristics and needs. Volunteers reported many rewards from the work itself and the responses of others. Volunteers also encountered challenges that included role demands, role-ability fit, and stress/burnout concerns as well as limited organizational resources and structural obstacles. These results suggest that care must be taken to ensure that the volunteer role meets the needs, skills, and abilities of the individual volunteering. The need to ameliorate challenges is clear for AIDS service organizations seeking to retain volunteers. Some of the preventive strategies include goal-setting and feedback, individual-sensitive role redesign, opportunity to participate in decisions, and increased communication.
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