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

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

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Want Good Volunteers? Dump The Altruistic, Find The Self-Interested (Part 2 of 2) http://3bl.me/4w9e8x

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.  

Monday, November 16, 2009 - 10:06am

CONTENT: Blog

Selflessness and altruism make for bad volunteers. Without self-interest, volunteers easily opt out of commitments and objectify those they are trying to help.

Good: just not good enough

When people show up to volunteer for the first time there are multiple reasons behind that decision. Almost certainly, those reasons are extrinsic. A motivation is extrinsic when it exists outside of the person - like an athlete who feels compelled to run harder when he hears the crowd cheer him on. On the other hand, intrinsic motivation exists within us - like when that athlete runs harder because of the pleasure the sport brings. (For more on extrinsic versus intrinsic motivation read Part 1 of this series). When it comes to volunteering, it’s not that extrinsic motivation isn’t good - it’s just not good enough.

Extrinsic motivations aren’t good enough because they don’t last. On the other hand, when our motivation is intrinsic, personal, and tied to our identity, it becomes a priority. If we want people to volunteer with us over the long haul, then we must leave behind the glorified altruistic, for genuine self-interest.

But wait, isn’t volunteering is about giving back? Isn’t it about appreciating how much we have, and helping someone who doesn’t have so much? Volunteering is selfless, isn’t it? Doing good, solving problems, making the world a better place?

It’s Us. Helping Them.

Right?

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Keywords: Branding | Business | CSR | Chris Jarvis | Ethics | Volunteers | communications | community | philanthropy | volunteerism

CONTENT: Blog