Dynamics in motivations and reasons to quit in a Care Bank: a qualitative study in Belgium

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The aim of this study was to contribute to the understanding of why volunteers in a time bank known as “NeighborhoodPen- sion,” which involves community-based care, are motivated to start, continue, and quit volunteering. The time bank started in 2013 and is the first time bank in Brussels, Belgium. A planned prospective longitudinal study involving qualitative focus group interviews was used to study a group of volunteers at four time points over 1 year. There were two main themes, the first of which pertains to older adults’ motives for volunteering with the time bank. These motives are largely attributable to the volunteer organization’s contextual factors. The second theme focuses on reasons for quitting volunteering. Factors for retaining volunteers relate strongly to the purpose of the volunteer organization. Co-production (i.e., engaging the volun- teers in the design of the project) and having an attention officer (i.e., a confidant who listens to the volunteers’ worries) are examples of retention strategies. Moreover, earning time credits did not appear to be a motive for continued volunteering. These theoretical perspectives could help to improve organizational support of volunteers and increase the participation of older citizens in community-based volunteering. The complexity associated with retaining volunteers stems from the fact that although initial motives for volunteering are generally clearly defined, other contextual factors (such as relationships with other volunteers and organizational structure) change the initial motives and can result in volunteer turnover.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-416
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Ageing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • Aging in place
  • Community care
  • Reasons to quit
  • Retention of volunteers
  • Volunteer turnover


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