Posts tagged ‘schizophrenia society of alberta’

January 17, 2012

Volunteering and Why People Do it

by Just B Socialized

Volunteering is defined as:

the act of selflessly giving your life to something you believe in, free of pay. Although if a person volunteers they may not earn money, it produces a feeling of self-worth and volunteers earn respect and Favors instead of money.

So is it really a selfless act? In the big picture of things, yes it is. But if you were to ask anyone why they volunteer most would give you an answer that uncovers a deeper reason.

If I were to take time away from my family and work to volunteer it would be for a few reasons. 1) I would hope to make contacts within the non-profit world. 2) volunteering looks great on a resume, and 3) I just want to get out and interact with adults. Why am I unafraid to admit this? Because these are the top reasons many people choose to volunteer other than the fact that people have been personally touched by a specific cause.

Back in the Spring I gave some of my free time to the Schizophrenia Society of Alberta. I made a connection over Facebook and from there noticed they needed help with their annual event, and I knew I was capable. I offered to approach some local businesses and ask for donations, send event info to different news outlets, and simply aid in promoting their fundraiser. Why? What made me want to do this when in reality I didn’t have a lot of free time? I feel sympathy towards their cause, and I was bored. Plain and simple. Selfish? Not really. But I did have motives.

Focusing in on motives like I had are exactly what non-profit organizations need to do in order to recruit volunteers. When targeting students for example, remind them how great volunteering looks on a college application or resume. Or how they can log volunteer hours with your organization for their work experience requirements. There are many different angles you can use.

Volunteering is a great way to meet girls! Hey, why not?

Whatever works.

Look at recruiting volunteers for your next event like developing a marketing plan. Put your prospective volunteers into groups : students, stay at home Moms, seniors, past volunteers and even donors. Why have specific donors donated to your cause? Because they have been personally touched by it. So approach them in that manner. Why did someone volunteer at last year’s event? Remind them why.

To sum things up, recruiting volunteers is not as hard as it looks. If you can figure out what tugs at a person’s heart or what drives them to want to do good you can use that to your advantage. Whether volunteering is selfish or not doesn’t really matter. If people are uniting within their community to help make a change the motives behind it all seize to exist.