Volunteering Forum

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  • 1.  How to Overcome Your Fear of Volunteering

    Posted 02-19-2021 16:05
    If I am being totally honest, volunteering is something that takes A LOT of effort for me to actually do, even though I'm very interested in it. We all know it's good to volunteer and that most of us feel better after we give back to our communities, but it can be challenging. While looking for some motivation and inspiration, I stumbled upon this article from the Stanford Center on Longevity that outlines "Three Reasons Why People Don't Volunteer, And What Can Be Done About It". 

    The article states that, "over 90% of us want to volunteer but only 1 in 4 Americans actually do." They mention three specific barriers to volunteering:
    1. "I don't have enough time and volunteer schedules are too inflexible"
    2. "I don't have enough information and most volunteer roles aren't interesting"
    3. "No one asked me to"

    I found these reasons to be interesting, but they don't particularly apply to me. My primary barrier to volunteering is that I don't want to do it alone. I find comfort in approaching a new situation in a pair or a group. I like to share the experience with another person even if I've just recently met them. So if you feel the same way, please reach out to me and know that we can be #volunteerbuddies

    Another compelling point in the article is that there is a "sweet spot" for establishing a habit of volunteering. The time is now! Let's get out there and start volunteering. If you are someone like me who needs that extra push, please share what is preventing you from volunteering. Perhaps other people are feeling the same way and we can help each other provide suggestions to overcome those barriers!  ​

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    Alison Randall
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  • 2.  RE: How to Overcome Your Fear of Volunteering

    Posted 02-22-2021 09:55
    Edited by Arnie Grahl 02-22-2021 09:56
    @Allison thanks for sharing that article. I think their findings are right on.
    I know for me, anyway, feeling that I don't have time, and feeling that I don't know where to plug in are the two biggest obstacles.

    I am going to read the article through again to absorb what their solutions are. I think it would be beautiful if this forum could fill up with some of the "What Can Be Done About It" part, as I suspect a lot of people are in that same boat. Helping people fit volunteering into their finite schedule is a noble task!​

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    Arnold Grahl
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  • 3.  RE: How to Overcome Your Fear of Volunteering

    Posted 02-24-2021 20:49

    Finding time to volunteer can be challenging - for me, it's hard to find time between work, deadlines, family time, homework, cooking, cleaning and any other of life's challenges.

    Additionally, much like finding time to volunteer, it's also hard to find time to connect with friends, or meet people outside my bubble.

    I ❤️ the idea of a buddy system for volunteering because if I could carve out some time consistently, I'd be able to give back to my community while spending time with a friend and I'd get to meet new people too. 



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    Amanda Gose
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  • 4.  RE: How to Overcome Your Fear of Volunteering

    Posted 03-03-2021 10:44
    @Allison, I finally read this entire article, "Three Reasons Why People Don't Volunteer, And What Can Be Done About It,"
    and there are great insights in there. 
    Another one that struck me is what they say about volunteering before retirement as a predictor of volunteering post-retirement. As one approaching retirement (not soon enough, let me tell you), I like to fancy that I will volunteer a lot after retirement. It's sobering to think "only about a third of retirees who did not volunteer while working begin to volunteer in retirement. This suggests there is a "sweet spot" for volunteer recruitment in the years prior to retirement."

    The second barrier, finding information about meaningful volunteer opportunities, totally jives with other research I've done on the topic of skills based volunteering, and on how to volunteer during the pandemic  in general. "A solution would be for organizations who utilize volunteers to make sure they are matching the skills and experience of their volunteers to the roles they have available. Making copies and coffee are certainly not meaningful to most. Some organizations have a short interview process where they discuss the background of the potential volunteer to closely match it to the needs they have."


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    Arnold Grahl
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