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Volunteerism: What You Give You Get

June 20, 2013

definition volunteer

By Becky Lunders, teamWorks

In the midst of signing up for Snack Shack shifts at the ballpark, making time to volunteer on school field trips and determining what leadership role I want to take with a fast-rising organization, I had a realization. While I give a lot of time and energy to organizations I support, I get more than I give. What I get from volunteering goes way back.

When I was a kid, I learned to count money in the Snack Shack (that’s a volunteer gig when your dad is a coach!). As a teenager, I learned to do calligraphy so I could fill in the wrestling brackets (another volunteer job!). As a young adult, I served as Chairperson for Relay For Life which not only healed the pain of losing my mother to cancer, but also gave me new leadership skills that motivated a career change. As a parent, I volunteer for everything my kids are involved in. From that, I’ve gained friendships, connections and a social circle that is priceless. What I give I get… in heaps!

Don’t forget that when working with volunteers. If your organization is fueled by volunteer power, it often feels like you’re always hounding people to step up to the plate and volunteer. We constantly ask people to do, and do more. In the chaos of filling volunteer shifts and managing your people power, take a step back and reflect. While the organization needs volunteers to deliver programs, raise money and put on events, volunteers need you just as much. Don’t forget the volunteer acquires a social network, friends, new skills, leadership opportunities and much more.

So when you’re recruiting volunteers to fill roles, make sure you highlight what they will get out of it. Share a testimonial from a volunteer about how their life is richer from their volunteer experience. Chances are it will propel them to do more, and motivate others to do their part. What you give you get… in heaps!

For more about how teamWorks can help your organization go from surviving to thriving, go to http://totalteamworks.com

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