Race and Inclusion in Volunteerism: Using Communication Theory to Improve Volunteer Retention

Denise Sevick Bortree, Richard D. Waters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Maintaining relationships with racially diverse audiences can challenge nonprofit organizations. Through a survey of 634 volunteers, this study examined the role of inclusion in predicting relationship quality and future volunteerism for participants of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, including African Americans, Asians, Caucasians, and Hispanic/Latinos. Results suggest a positive relationship between level of inclusion, relationship quality, and future volunteer intention. However, inclusion was varied among groups indicating that communication and inclusive behaviors are experienced differently for diverse audiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-234
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Public Relations Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration

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