Volunteers Are Essential

Volunteers are essential to non-profit organizations.


“Why volunteer”?  The answer to that question invokes a variety of responses.   A recent study of  volunteers revealed the following:

  • Supporting a cause that is important to me
  • Enjoying the activity
  • Giving something back to society
  • Socializing and meeting new people
  • Helping those less fortunate
  • Taking mind off personal problems
  • Helping family or friends who are involved
  • Feeling of being valued
  • Learning new skills or improving old ones

Source found below.

Most non-profit organizations find themselves in a constant struggle to survive.  They must continually search for sources of funding.  Their first priority is to underwrite the activities of the group’s mission.   A shortage of paid staff is a problem for many of these organizations.  This issue is why volunteers are so important.  The definition of volunteer is ‘giving unpaid help to an organization or group.’  This area of day-to-day help is most in need of volunteers.  Helping at a special event is easier because it is a short term commitment and tends to be more social in nature.

Unfortunately, the number of volunteers have been in decline for some years.  One problem is that they are aging out.  Volunteering was once an important part of a community’s society.  Today women, who traditionally form the largest volunteer base, are working full time. Retirees frequently volunteer to have something to do or somewhere to go.  Students can also be a good group of volunteers.  Often they are in need of credits for achievement or to fill out their resume for college application.

Regardless of the organization or whether volunteers are working a single event or have an ongoing commitment, they feel good about helping.  The “feel good factor” is determined by a sense of advancing the cause of the organization and a sense of making a real contribution to its success.  Volunteers do not keep coming back if they do not have a sense of being valued or if they do not enjoy the experience. Providing valuable work is something that non-profits work at trying to provide for their volunteers.

Non-profits are always in need of volunteers.  A volunteer is of help regardless of their ability or time commitment; whether they can give an hour or a week; whether they can schedule a regular time or are just available from time to time.

If you think you would be interested in volunteering, you will find a heartfelt welcome at any organization you choose.  Where does your interest lie?  If you are interested in animals, you could walk the dogs at the shelter or help with the pet adoption group.   If you believe in public education, join the school foundation.  If you love to read and believe that libraries are important to communities, give them a call.  These groups and others would love to hear from you.

Written by library volunteer Pat Cacy

Randle, Melanie, and Dolnicar, Sara. “Attracting Volunteers in Highly Multicultural Societies: A Marketing Challenge.” Journal of Nonprofit &Public Sector Marketing, 24:351-369, 2012.

Below is a link to the library’s database EBSCOhost the article can be viewed through this database.


This source can be viewed through the library’s database EBSCOhost, If you have trouble accessing this source please call the library at 405-222-6075.