The Nature Of Volunteerism

Deep inside all of us is an innate longing to help others. We see it daily, but if you blink, you may miss it. Kind acts are not always sexy, and therefore are not always front page headlines. But there is no denying the power of volunteerism.

But why is volunteering so important?

The answer is simple: volunteering is in our nature. Psychologists recently identified six different motives that underlie volunteerism: prosocial, belonging, self enhancement, self-protective, developmental, and career. Like a good cup of coffee that gets you out of bed in the morning, these motives get volunteers working.

One writer likened prosocial attributes to angel wings. These traits inhabit kind, caring, positive people feel for others. They simply want to help.

Belonging is a popular motivator. On Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs a sense of belonging ranked second only behind basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing. Volunteering helps people achieve this a sense of belonging.

Self enhancement is the feeling of improving oneself. And how can you not feel good about yourself after volunteer work. To survive we all need to help each other. It’s as if Mother Nature programmed us to get an internal reward, a feeling of positive self enhancement, as an internal incentive to help mankind survive during its toughest times.

Self-protection is simple. Sometimes we simply need an outlet from our troubles. Spending a day helping others distracts us from our own problems.

Developmental traits are also a no-brainer. Through volunteerism work we learn quite a lot of skills, whether thats learning to hang drywall, or building an A-frame for a house.

Finally, the last motivator is a career-based one. Resume’s look better with volunteer work. It speaks of your character and gives prospective employers a look at who you really are inside.

It’s no doubt that when employers see these traits they want to employ your skills and heart. So do we. Join us and find your inner motivator. You won’t be disappointed.