Helping other people in need is important. In fact, scholars like Mark Snyder, Gild Cary, and some of their colleagues found that the most important factor for volunteerism is an altruistic interest in other people. However, there’s no clear explanation for the psychological aspects that make a volunteer. If there’s clarity about those aspects, it will be easier for charities to attract people to help their cause.

What Motivates People to Volunteer

Volunteering your time, resources, and skills to help other people is altruism. It doesn’t matter whether you do it with a group of people who share your passion and beliefs, or in a casual ad hoc way. But did it cross your mind to wonder what motivates you to volunteer yourself? The following are some volunteering motivators that inspire people to share their time with others.

* Psychological pay off. This means you expect to get something from volunteering your time or resources. For instance, you expect to obtain career advantage, meet new people, or develop skills.

* Sociologic motivation. This inspires individuals with strong beliefs and values to share their resources and time to help others.

* Functional-Psychological motivation. This relates to the psychological needs of a person that are fulfilled by volunteering.

Main Functions of Volunteering

According to Cary and Snyder, there are 6 functions that are served by volunteerism. These functions are values, enhancement, understanding, social, career, and protective. You may decide to volunteer because you feel it’s important to assist others or participate in your community.

Some volunteers are motivated to learn from hands-on experience or understand their community even more. Others want to volunteer because they feel it will help them enhance their well-being. You may also want to be a volunteer to obtain career opportunities, like a promotion. There are social reasons as well – you can meet new friends by volunteering.

Benefits of Volunteering

When you volunteer, you feel better about yourself, you increase your self-confidence, and you feel happier and content. Volunteering also enhances psychological health while meeting like-minded people through charity works. The person’s desire to give is the main reason they volunteer. Volunteering can make you “wealthy in spirit”. However, receiving becomes a great motivator to attract people to volunteer.

Volunteerism and altruism is about making worthwhile and meaningful opportunities for individuals where it’s possible to make a change. Volunteers can help co-construct and co-produce experiences they involve themselves in. The more you help, the greater experiences you will get from volunteering your time, skills, and resources.

Bottom Line

Volunteer work provides growth and opportunity for you to learn something new and find your purpose. It also encourages socialization with like-minded people, other volunteers, beneficiaries, and the staff. There are so many reasons to volunteer like a true altruist.