Experiencing community involvement through enjoyable volunteering and cultural attractions – Characteristics and motivations of the volunteer group called "Shinies" of the Veszprém-Balaton 2023 European Capital of Culture
Anna Mária Bartal
The almost 40-year history of the European Capitals of Culture programmes proves that culture as a value of European integration and volunteerism as the practical component of this link together fortify such programs. In Hungary, the Veszprém-Balaton 2023 European Capital of Culture event took place in 2023, and it was supported by the 83 active volunteers of the "Ragyogók – Shinies" Volunteer Programme during the programme year. Our survey, which was conducted in the summer of 2023 and reached 73 percent of active volunteers, had three main objectives: to explore the socio-demographic characteristics of the volunteers, to analyse their motivations for volunteering, and to describe their volunteering experiences and their satisfaction with the volunteer-management during the processes. Our results showed that the demographic characteristics of the volunteers who responded differed significantly from other national volunteer surveys, as women and youth aged 18-25 constituted the majority; on the other hand, the dominant status model thesis in terms of the volunteers' main socio-demographic characteristics was supported. The volunteers' reasons for volunteering and the ranking of their motivations to volunteer, although different across age groups, were preceded by the need and motivation for socialization, both in terms of value and value-related motivations and egoistic motivations. This suggests that Veszprém-Balaton 2023 European Capital of Culture volunteering has accomplished a major role in the preservation of social interaction in a community-deprived local society. From a volunteer management perspective, the responding volunteers were a heterogeneous group according to their previous volunteering experience, length of time volunteering during the programme, and frequency of volunteering, which posed significant challenges for volunteer coordination. Their satisfaction with volunteer coordination varied by age group, with the 26-45 year olds being the most satisfied.
Keywords: European Capital of Culture Veszprém-Balaton 2023, volunteering, volunteer motivation, volunteer coordination, volunteer management,