Motivating Your Employees To Volunteer Requires An Appeal To Self Interest, Not Altruism

Primary tabs

Motivating Your Employees To Volunteer Requires An Appeal To Self Interest, Not Altruism

Many argue that volunteer rates are falling. They complain that people today (usually Millenials) won’t make commitments to a cause. The problem, people tell me, is that volunteers want to know what’s in it for them. Yep, it’s true. But self-interest isn’
tweet me:
Do you know why you volunteer? Maybe you should be more self-interested? http://3bl.me/a3x9ha

Summary

In the rapidly growing field of Corporate Social Responsibility, the singular focus of Realized Worth is corporate volunteering. Without exception, we believe the employee engagement is essential to every successful CSR program.

From design and implementation, to the basic first steps in the right direction, Realized Worth boasts an unrivaled expertise in how to create excellent Employee Volunteer Programs. Our approach is sustainable and clearly demonstrates its own value – value for the business, the non-profit partner, and the community.

WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT MOTIVATION? REGISTER HERE FOR THE SEMINAR IN PORTLAND. OREGON ON OCTOBER 5TH, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010 - 1:32pm

CONTENT: Blog

Why we do what we do

People volunteer for every imaginable reason.

“I have so much, I just want to give back.” or, “We wanted to be part of the solution.” or, “There are people out there who need our help.” Or so on. And so forth.

Some are prompted by an advertisement on the subway. Others are invited to volunteer by friends or family. It may be that they were urged to get more active in the community by our religious leaders. Or possibly, someone took President Obama’s message of activism to heart.

All good reasons. Just not good enough.

The best reason for volunteering is always self-interest.

I know, I know. You think I am drunk-blogging. Hold on, I’ll explain.

“Self-interested volunteering” seems generally at odds with everything we’ve come to believe about volunteering. Right? “Self-interested volunteers.” Isn’t that an oxy-moron? What about altruism and the greater good?

In Realized Worth training sessions we raise this controversial point and discuss two reasons why self-interest is an essential aspect of an outstanding volunteer experience. Both reasons have to do with motivation. (We'll be exploring these reasons in our upcoming seminar in Portland, Oregon)

First, as my partner Angela Parker will tell you with great conviction, “We all do what we want.” Meaning, there is always some kind of motivation and pay-off for the choices we make. When it comes to motivation, the discussion can get pretty complicated. Very rarely (if at all) will someone make a choice with singular motivation. Usually there are multiple motivators, each compelling the other. (Test this by evaluating why you chose the particulars of your lunch yesterday.)

The Ins and Outs of Motivation

For simplicity’s sake, I would suggest that we experience two kinds of motivation: one; extrinsic and two; intrinsic. When people volunteer for the first time, they are usually motivated extrinsically. (Such as a desire to “give back.”) Extrinsic motivators exist outside of an individual. They are not intimate. And while extrinsic motivations are important, they are not deeply rooted in our personality. More precisely, they are not essential factors in our journey to become who we are.

In nearly two decades now of managing volunteers, extrinsic motivators are almost always the reason volunteers offer for showing up. And honestly, that’s great. There’s nothing wrong with extrinsic motivation. But as time went on, and my volunteers came back, we would invariably have the following conversation:

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE BLOG:

WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT MOTIVATION?

REGISTER HERE FOR THE SEMINAR IN PORTLAND. OREGON ON OCTOBER 5TH, 2010

Chris Jarvis
Senior Consultant, Realized Worth, Toronto, Canada 317-371-4435
Email me; chrisjarvis@realizedworth.com
Join our Facebook Page
Follow me on Twitter @RealizedWorth
Check out My LinkedIn Profile

 

Keywords: EVP | Employee Volunteer Programs | Oregon | PORTLAND | mission corporate volunteering | volunteer | volunteer managment

CONTENT: Blog

parse.ly