Do You Need More Committed Volunteers for Your Nonprofit? Support their Brand Community: An Abstract

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Developments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science


The brand community literature has shown that a brand community's existence leads to greater loyalty and positive outcomes for manufacturer's brands and higher education. This study explored whether social media engagement and in-person social activities for volunteers foster a brand community leading to more committed volunteers. Nonprofit volunteers were recruited on M-Turk for the survey on Qualtrics. Respondents were asked to name the nonprofit for which they volunteered the most and to think of it while answering questions beginning with how frequently they volunteered. They were removed if the response was less than a year. The final sample was n = 301 (Female = 52.8%). All measures used a six-point scale anchored with strongly disagree to strongly agree. Algesheimer et al. (2006) developed a multi-dimensional Brand Community scale. The subscales of Brand Community Identification (BCI) (0.87), Brand Community Engagement (BCE) (0.80), and Brand Community Relationship Quality (BCRQ) (0.86) and the Wiertz and Ruyter (2006) Interaction Preference (IP) (0.90) were included as covariates. For the DVs, the Organizational Commitment (OC) (0.81) by Maltz and Kohli (1996) and one item from Membership Continuance Intentions (MCI) (Algesheimer et al. 2006) were adapted. For the 2 × 3 MANCOVA design, Hi/Low groups were formed using the single item of Community Participation Intentions (CPI), for in-person social activities, with none selecting strongly disagree (1) to somewhat disagree (3). Respondents who selected somewhat agree (4) formed the low group (n = 83) and agree (5) or strongly agree (6) formed the high group (n = 218). An index Social Media Engagement (SME) (low = 1 or less, 2 = 2, high = 3 or more) was measured by the number of social media accounts followed. Sample size and differences in group sizes are not problematic since this was not a randomized assignment (Hair et al. 2010). No covariate was significant for both dependent variables. For MCI, only BCE and IP were significant. For OC, only BCRQ and BCI were significant. The interaction (CPI x SME) was significant for OC but not MCI. The main effect of CPI was only significant for MCI, and SME was only significant for OC. The adjusted R2s were MCI (0.121) and OC (0.307). Results suggest that nonprofit organizations can benefit from supporting the growth and development of an online brand community more than in-person social activities. MTurk samples are not representative which is a limitation of the study.


Management, Marketing, and Logistics

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