Communication Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Steimel, S. (2013). Connecting with Volunteers: Memorable Messages and Volunteer Identification. Communication Research Reports, 30(1), 12-21. doi: 10.1080/08824096.2012.746220


Copyright © 2013 Eastern Communication Association; published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group. Used by permission.


Many of the 1.8 million registered nonprofit organizations in the United States rely on the services of volunteers to be able to connect with and meaningfully serve their communities. However, volunteers are less likely to receive formal socialization and training than paid employees. Thus, this study employs the concept of memorable messages as a way for exploring the ways in which messages received by volunteers from a variety of organizational sources may affect their volunteer identification with the nonprofit organization they serve. Three results emerged from the data, including: (a) sources of memorable messages in volunteer organizations; (b) types of memorable messages in volunteer organizations; and (c) a significant relationship between memorable message type and level of volunteer identification. Implications for connecting with volunteers and for future research are explored.