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At a recent Volunteer Nelson workshop, Kerri Tilby-Price of premier not-for-profit training provider, Exult, spoke on the subject of growing great volunteer teams. One of the questions she addresses in her workshops is ‘Why do people volunteer? What’s in it for them?’
The other side of the coin of that question is when people who are looking into volunteering wonder if they ought to be volunteering if they want to get something out of it. The answer is YES. And here are some valid reasons people volunteer.
- To meet new people and gain companionship
- To gain work experience in a particular field or ‘keep a hand in’ while taking a break from paid employment
- To get a reference for future work opportunities
- To contribute in a position of responsibility
- An opportunity to practice their hobby or interest on a regular basis or a chance to use their hobby for the greater good
- An opportunity to travel nationally or internationally
- To learn new skills or gain confidence in using recently developed skills
- To pass on skills, knowledge and experience to others
- To create a tradition that their whole family can be involved in
- To feel useful and ‘still needed’ in society
- An opportunity to be a part of something bigger than themselves
- To gain qualifications or participate in recognised training
- To help shape the future of an organisation or community
- To keep their mind busy and active
- An opportunity to practice English in a real-life setting
- To re-create the feelings they got from paid employment before retirement.
So, as you can see there are many and varied reasons why people choose to volunteer and as much as there is a give element, there is also the element of personal gain. Anyone can volunteer, and no matter what it gives you, it ALWAYS benefits others.