Post-Christmas Resolution, Day 69 – Ways To Combat Volunteer Fear

Ten fourth graders got their first taste of power point presentations during the engineering class I’m volunteer teaching. Also working with two Destination Imagination teams today for an extra meeting as the tournament fast approaches.

boy with big scared eyesOne of the fears people have about volunteering is that they are afraid they might be continually asked to help.

Signing up with your local PTC, family shelter, church does mean you might get called and asked to volunteer.

But why fear that? Are you afraid you won’t be able to say ‘no’?

Here’s some ways to combat that fear:

  1. Know your schedule. If you’re asked to volunteer on Saturday evening, April 24th, check your calendar. If you’re busy, you’re busy. People respect that.
  2. Plan to volunteer a certain number of times a month. If you volunteer plan to volunteer three times a month, and you are asked to volunteer a fourth time, simply explain what you’ve already done that month.
  3. Set boundaries for ongoing opportunities. If someone invites you to to participate in a monthly event, don’t feel like you need to get roped in every month. You can tell them that you’re willing to give it a try this month, but may not after that. This helps the volunteer coordinator plan and keeps your options open.
  4. Ask if you don’t understand. If you’re not clear what the volunteer job entails, don’t dismiss it immediately. Instead, ask questions up front. If the caller can’t answer them, ask for the project coordinator to call you back. They will.
  5. Respond to emails quickly. Even if its just to say I’ll think about it. It puts you in control.
  6. Remember, when you’re volunteering, you’re less likely to be asked for money. People respect a person’s time, and are less likely to ask you for something else – ie money. Nice money saver, eh?

Don’t get me wrong. Please don’t back out of your scheduled volunteering unless you absolutely must.

But it’s far better to signup with an organization than to avoid it for fear of being called.

About Eric Winger

Our perception of time is key to how we use our time. The most fundamental way to change that perception is to give our time. This opens us up to new opportunities and ideas from which we can build to really make a difference. ... Yes, we *do* have time to make a difference!
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