Overcoming ‘Volunteer’s Block’: Remembering Why We Volunteer

Overcoming obstacles to start volunteeringMy name is Laura Ellis and I am the Senior Associate of Client Relations here at VolunteerMatch. I spend most of my time training and supporting our corporate partners, and making sure their volunteer programs run with ease.

When I started at VolunteerMatch back in the beginning of 2012, I was ecstatic about our generous Volunteer Time Off Policy. I was thrilled at the opportunity to work for an organization that let their employees live out the mission of connecting good people with good causes.

I told myself that as soon as the rush of adapting to a new work environment settled, I would pick an organization and start volunteering. But as all of us know, life never seems to slow down. Month after month passed and I found myself being too overwhelmed with other projects to pick a volunteer opportunity.

I have one of the best assets, the VolunteerMatch Network, at my finger tips, but all of the options seemed overwhelming. I wasn’t sure how to narrow down the thousands of organizations presented to me. Does this seem like a challenge you and/or your employees face?

I decided to seek out my fellow colleagues for advice, hoping they could steer me in the right direction. What I found is that everyone has a different story about why or where they volunteer. I found it inspiring that although all of them are do-gooders, they all have their own motivations.

I found their advice so helpful that I decided to share their stories with all of you, in hopes that it will motivate you to find your perfect volunteer opportunity, or maybe remind you of why you volunteer in the first place.

Every few months, I will be sharing a unique story from a VolunteerMatch employee about how they battled some sort of volunteering obstacle. I encourage you to use these stories to get the creative juices flowing for how you can inspire your own employees to find their volunteer calling.

I am excited for you to follow along, but I also want you to join the conversation! If you have a story about your volunteer program and some of the obstacles you face, as well as how you try to overcome them, I want to hear about it.

Leave your comment below or feel free to email me at lellis@volunteermatch.org for more questions or to submit a story.

(Photo by Drew Coffman on Flickr.)

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