Religious Orientation and Motivations in a Sample of Italian Catholic Volunteers


  • Daniela Acquadro Maran University of Turin
  • Maurizio Tirassa University of Turin



volunteers, management of volunteer organizations, motivation, religious orientation, gender difference, Catholic


The aim of the research was to study motivations to volunteer, and their relationship with religious orientation in a sample of volunteers working in a Catholic organization. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to 190 volunteers working in a Catholic organization based in a large city in northern Italy and devoted to ending poverty and situations of marginalization through the promotion of social justice. Of these, 160 (90 females, 70 males) agreed to participate. The main result was that all motivations, except Career, increased with the intrinsic religious orientation. The Social and Career functions increased with the extrinsic-social religious orientation. The Protective and Enhancement functions increased with all religious orientations. The result concerning gender differences showed that the creation of a social network through volunteering and the opportunities to create and maintain a positive relationship with others are more important to women than men. Managers could benefit from these findings to improve the recruitment and retaining of volunteers and to think strategically about the mission and the cultural/religious belief of the organization. The impact of two and a half years of Covid-19 policies, however, remains unclear.


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Author Biographies

Daniela Acquadro Maran, University of Turin

Daniela Acquadro Maran is Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology, University of Torino, Italy. Her research interests are principally focused on stress at work, violent behaviour in the workplace, and workers’ inclusion and participation in organizational processes.

Maurizio Tirassa, University of Turin

Maurizio Tirassa is a full professor of Psychology at the University of Torino, Italy. His current research interests in the cognitive sciences include human social cognition; the psychology of the construction and the participation of organizations; human communication and action.


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How to Cite

Acquadro Maran, D., & Tirassa, M. (2023). Religious Orientation and Motivations in a Sample of Italian Catholic Volunteers. Fieldwork in Religion, 18(1), 127–149.