If you ask a random selection of people why they volunteer they will give a huge variety of reasons. Each of us has our own personal motivation for getting involved. Volunteers want to support or have an impact on:
· a cause they are interested in and/or something that has affected them or a loved one;
· their community; and/or
· the world around them.
A common theme is that people want to feel they are making a difference and that the time they give is both valuable and valued.
So, when organisations, charities and community groups are looking for volunteers, we should talk to them about why they do what they do; tell them what difference your organisation makes and how the volunteer can be part of a change for the better.
Of course, people will still want to volunteer for other good reasons, including:
- learning new skills and knowledge;
- making friends;
- having fun;
- increasing job opportunities;
- doing something challenging/new.
As was highlighted through our recent survey that had over 1200 people responding, some of things they told us included –
“Supporting other people is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life”
“I meet a lot of people and it keeps me active!”
“It works both ways; I get to make a lot of friends too!”
“Volunteering puts things into perspective when I feel sorry for myself”
“Everyone should give something back … you only have to do something small to have a positive impact”
So, let's remember to tell people all the brilliant and wonderful things that volunteering can do for both themselves and the people/causes they are helping!
Emma Snell, Go Volunteer Glos Manager
With help from our friends at Spark a Change Somerset