Posted by: COSI | July 23, 2009

So Why Do Volunteers Do It?

I had such a pleasure the other morning to present the flowers and say a few words about one of our loyal volunteers, Roberta, who had achieved the notable landmark of 5,000 hours of service on behalf of COSI and our mission. 5,000! That’s roughly 2-1/2 years of full-time work, all done on a voluntary basis.

And I know that Roberta puts in many hours for her alumni organization, which happens to be the Central High School Alumni group—those who graduated from the same high school that is now integrated into COSI’s facility. So Roberta has a lifetime of engagement within the footprint of COSI—a cool side story of her history related to COSI in some way.

I made a few remarks about how COSI was conceived and built upon both a paid staff and strong volunteer core. The telling comments came from Roberta and some of the other volunteers present who remarked how volunteering at COSI meets their needs. It’s easy as a manager to think about what our volunteers do to help us—particularly as I am trying to find the resources to operate a big operation like COSI (or smaller ones like many non-profits). I have to remember, though, that the key to keeping volunteers engaged is to allow them to have enjoyment and satisfaction at the same time. We must be doing something right to be blessed with people like Roberta who have given so much of themselves to help COSI be successful.

What motivates you to volunteer? Am I missing one of the ingredients to volunteer motivation?

Roberta receives flowers for 5,000 hours of volunteer service.

Roberta receives flowers for 5,000 hours of volunteer service.

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