Although volunteering is the most organized and formal manner of altruism, the two subjects are rarely connected in literature. In this article reviewed is the egocentric approach that is found in four social disciplines: psychology, sociology, economics and socio-biology (evolutionism), and the way that studies on altruism are based on Utilitarian philosophy and on the homo economicus perception of man. All of the above have influenced the study of volunteerism: the research questions, the study areas, and the conclusions on the essence of volunteering. We then review a different approach based on Deontological philosophy: the alter-centric approach, already influencing the study of altruism. New directions of approaching and studying volunteerism are suggested.