Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Nonprofit Administration (MNA)


This study is designed to determine whether early exposure to nonprofit organizations through a hands-on volunteer experience increases students' knowledge of and affects students' attitudes toward pursuing a nonprofit career, a lifestyle of service, or both. The results from the survey instrument were analyzed by a comparison of scores, means, standard deviations, paired t-tests, independent t-tests, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Tukey's honestly significant difference (Tukey's HSD).

The results of this research indicate that students perceive that volunteering in the nonprofit sector has a positive influence on their attitudes toward nonprofit organizations, prompting a desire for a philanthropic lifestyle. For more that 50 percent of students, the influence was positive in terms of affecting attitude toward nonprofit organizations and stimulating a desire to pursue a lifestyle of service. For the remainder, volunteering positively affected attitude toward nonprofit and public organizations but did not stimulate a desire to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector. In fact, for some students, performing community service may have a negative impact on their desire to pursue a nonprofit or public career. The primary conclusion drawn is that volunteering may have a profound impact, be it positive or negative, on whether young people pursue a career in the nonprofit sector, adopt a lifestyle of service, or both.