Last year, 29% of people in the UK volunteered at least once a month through an organisation or group. At some point, they all made the personal decision who to support with their time. However, despite its importance in the future sustainability of charities to deliver welfare, this phenomenon has not been closely examined from an academic perspective. This working paper brings together decision making theory with brand theory for charity volunteering for the first time. Through the combination of explicit and implicit influences, the brand enables the potential volunteer to differentiate between organisations. The brand drives preference but in a way that is not salient to the volunteer, hence the underreporting of brand in the decision making process even for strong non-profit brands. The purpose of the paper is idea development – to conceptualise the phenomenon from the perspective of the individual through their personal and social context.
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