Investigating the Construct of Heart-Head Propensity and its Relationship to Empathy in Volunteer Burnout

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CONFERENCE: Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

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Mueller, Stephanie
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The purpose of this study was to begin to understand the causes of burnout among volunteers in non-profit organizations. Nonprofit organizations are highly reliant on volunteers, and volunteer retention is critical to their success. This study explored the relationship between two volunteer dispositions on burnout: volunteer empathy and volunteer heart-head propensity. As predicted, heart-head propensity moderated the effect of empathy on burnout, with heart propensity volunteers experiencing high levels of burnout regardless of empathy. Head propensity volunteers were more likely to experience burnout at lower rather than higher empathy levels.