Volunteer branding: Et casestudie om employer branding i en frivillig kontekst

Louise Fibiger Ravnkilde & Katrine Bonde Wodschow

Student thesis: Master thesis


The thesis investigates the challenges of retaining and recruiting young volunteers in a post-modern society. Faced by a new and complex generation of young people the needs and expectations of this generation must be addressed by non-profit organisations in order to be successful in their work with young volunteers, as volunteers are vital to the organisations’ existence. Based on this perspective, the main focus of the thesis is to identify the most effective way to retain and recruit young volunteers by means of strategic employer branding. Ideally this approach will enable the organisation to deal with the communicative and strategic challenges experienced when working with the new generation of young volunteers. The thesis is designed as a case-study of two non-profit social welfare organisations including MS ActionAid Denmark and Danish Red Cross Youth which primarily work with a young target group. Accordingly, the thesis is limited to a focus on young volunteers across social welfare organisations. The thesis employs two theoretical frameworks. Firstly, sociological theories on postmodernism and the social and individual characteristics of the post-modern society are applied to achieve an understanding of the new generation of young people – also known as Generation Y – and their commitment to voluntary work. Secondly, employer branding theories are used to gain insight into how organisations may engage in strategic employer branding in order to improve employee retention and recruitment. Based on these perspectives the analysis is structured along three different stages with the new generation of young volunteers forming the first stage, and an understanding of employer branding forming the second stage followed by an integration of these two perspectives, which in effect constitutes the third stage. This approach allows us to evaluate whether it is possible to apply the concept of employer branding in a non-profit organisation. In the analysis, we have, in accordance with the three stages, investigated MS ActionAid Denmark and Danish Red Cross Youth with the purpose of identifying demands and behaviour among existing and potential young volunteers, and, based on this, examined the possibilities and limitations of the two organisations in terms of retaining and recruiting volunteers through employer branding. This has led to a number of recommendations of how MS Action Aid Denmark and Danish Red Cross Youth can strengthen their effort towards young volunteers by creating an attractive and effective employer brand. On the basis of this we argue that a thorough understanding of young volunteers will help create a more effective and integrated employer brand. This approach focuses on the characteristics of the volunteer rather than those of the organisation which results in the introduction of the term volunteer branding. By this perspective the process of volunteer branding contrasts with the process of employer branding as it centres around the expectations of the volunteer rather than the specific needs of the organisation. Based on these findings the thesis concludes that it is possible and beneficial for non-profit social welfare organisations to integrate an employer branding approach based on the perspective of volunteer branding.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2009
Number of pages313