Why do People Volunteer?

People of all ages are motivated to volunteer for many reasons. The desire to help others is the main reason people volunteer, and it is okay to volunteer for reasons that are beneficial to you. Some individuals are embarrassed by the notion that people who volunteer can benefit from their work, but some of the best volunteers have are motivated by other reasons than just the aspiration to serve.

Volunteering has long been thought of as something you do selflessly for others, but in recent times it has become more of an exchange. People often find themselves in need of help at one point or another in their lives. While you are capable of offering a helping hand today, you may need help down the line. Sometimes an exchange happens simultaneously. Your education may allow you to offer your services as a tutor to help other adults read, but your unemployed status may require you to reach out so you can afford to give your family a holiday meal.

The desire and reward of feeling needed, getting to know others in your community, and satisfaction of accomplishment may be underlining reasons you choose to volunteer. Just because you are motivated by something other than just wanting to change the world, does not mean you are not truly making a difference. Your reasons for volunteering are your own, and the only thing that matters is that you are out in the community making a difference.

What motivates you to volunteer in the beginning is not what makes you continue your work. Underlying motivations are beneficial to volunteer efforts and to those who are in need because they are receiving the care they need and are able to realize their own potential from the eyes of their volunteer. Helping others may not be your only motivation for volunteering, and at the end of the day it does not really matter.