Current and former Missouri Master Gardeners were asked to respond to each of 30 reasons (an adaptation of the Volunteer Functions Inventory [VFI]) for doing volunteer work. Principal factor analysis confirmed the presence of six principal components of volunteer motivation. Master Gardener functions related to new learning experiences (understanding) were equally as important as functions related to altruism (values). Satisfactions related to self-esteem (enhancement) ranked next in motivational importance. Motivations concerning relationships with others (social), protecting the ego (protective) and functions related to preparation for a new career (career), concluded the list. In addition, respondents were asked to indicate whether they were presently volunteering as a Master Gardener, how many years they had been active in the program, and level of volunteer time commitment to the program in the past year. In most cases, no correlations or statistical differences were found among respondents belonging to different demographic categories, making demographic information a poor predictor of motivation for volunteering. However, those who volunteered more time during the past year were more likely to highly rate certain motivational factors.
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