Want Good Volunteers? Forget The Altruistic, Find The Self-Interested(Part 1 of 2) - A blog by Chris Jarvis

Primary tabs

Want Good Volunteers? Forget The Altruistic, Find The Self-Interested(Part 1 of 2) - A blog by Chris Jarvis

tweet me:
Want Good Volunteers? Forget The Altruistic, Find The Self-Interested(Part 1 of 2) http://3bl.me/tz68hg

Summary

The 3BL Media blog roll is a select list of the most influential, respected, and authoritative voices in corporate social responsibility. Compiled from the 3BL Media staff’s extensive contacts with longtime CSR commentators, these blogger soffer relevant news, opinions, and ideas about all things CSR in one convenient place.  

Saturday, November 14, 2009 - 12:50am

CONTENT: Blog

Many argue that volunteer rates are falling. They complain that people today (usually young people) 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’t the problem. It’s the solution.

 

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.

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.)

Click to continue reading. 

Keywords: Boston | Branding | Business | Chris Jarvis | Ethics | Podcast | Volunteers | communications | community | volunteerism

CONTENT: Blog

parse.ly