Why People Volunteer

Why do people volunteer at all?

There are untold reasons why people volunteer, here are a few:

  • They have a desire to help.
  • They want to use existing skills or develop new ones
  • They want to feel a part of something bigger
  • They desire to meet others
  • They feel obligated to help.

Of course, we all might hope for the volunteers with the more altruistic reason, but feeling obliged to help does not necessarily mean the person won't be good to have on the group. It all depends on their personality and how they approach the topic. Possibly they could be excellent.

People often continue to volunteer on a particular team because they...

  • ... like being on a productive team that continues to move forward and make a difference.
  • ... respect the group leader.
  • ... feel respected, appreciated and recognized for their contributions.
  • ... have the opportunity to volunteer alongside a spouse or friend.
  • ... have the chance to do something completely different from what they normally do all day long.
  • ... have the chance to share their expertise in a particular profession, skill or talent.
  • ... are engaging their passion.
  • ... enjoy the group fellowship.
  • ... like the challenge.
  • ... can develop new skills.

Pay attention to what appears to motivate people so you will know how to reward them. Sometimes individuals are more guarded and you won't be able to decipher their true motivations until you have a deeper conversation with them or watch them in action.

© 2016 Diane M. Dresback