Have you ever wondered why so many successful folks that are always crazy busy want to volunteer their time with civic groups or non-profit agencies ? I have participated in a civic group for a number of years and have always had my own reasons for doing so, but I also often wondered why the other folks volunteered. Of course, you can’t always determine the exact reason because everyone is motivated by different factors or a combination of factors.
Just like with any group, our organization always has had its share of dropouts. In order to keep our group healthy and able to carry out its mission, we always need replacements. Volunteers are essential for any organizations’ survival. The key for us and for any organization is not simply to get more warm bodies but to get replacements that truly want to be there.The trick is to figure out why folks joined in the first place so that we will have a better chance of recruiting folks that will make a difference.
While volunteers are represented by every demographic, they are more than likely to be a mover and shaker in the business community. It never hurts to rub elbows with these folks. This an incredible opportunity for you to build up your reputation and your resume. So when you are trying to decide where you can best serve the community it’s OK to ask “what’s in it for me”. When you feel that it’s a win-win situation for both you and for the organization or the community, you are more likely to be a team player, be more passionate and be more dedicated. That’s the kind of volunteer all organizations need!
Below are some of the reasons that frequently come up in conversations with non-profits and civic groups regarding volunteers:
• Volunteers want to socialize, meet others who share their interests and have fun. It’s a lot easier to accomplish your mission when everyone is having fun
• Volunteers want to give back. A lot of folks have received a few breaks in life and they feel it is their civic duty to repay a debt to the community
• Volunteers want to meet new people, make new friends and feel like they belong
• Volunteers want to try new things, to be exposed to different situations than they normally would be in their job or everyday life.
• Volunteers want to develop new skills. A volunteer job often allows people an opportunity to do just that
• Volunteers want recognition and feedback. They want to feel needed. Many folks do it just for the applause
• Volunteers want to have an impact, be an agent of change and to feel proud of what they have been able to accomplish.
If you can find an environment where you and other volunteers can bring your friends, hang out with them and others who share the same interests, you will find that volunteering will be one of the most fulfilling things you have ever done. Now, go on, get out there, your community needs you!
Sr. Account Manager, FSIoffice