People who run charities or other volunteer organizations have a big advantage over those of us in the for-profit sector: They know they have to tap peoples’ energy in a different way.
Because, of course, they can’t pay those volunteers. Well, maybe with a bit of beer and pizza, but that’s about it.
Over the course of my life, I’ve volunteered my time and energy in many places. And I’ve led teams of volunteers myself. Am I crazy?
I’d like to think not, because we all need reasons to live besides just pulling down a paycheck.
People contribute huge amounts of time and passion into volunteer opportunities. Millions of hours. They’re actually paying for the chance to do work for someone else.
The reason? Because they have some passion for the purpose behind the organization. To help friends and neighbors. To improve quality of life for the community. To save a life halfway across the world.
In the for-profit world, we think about pay and benefits, and we think that’s sufficient. It can be, in that you’ll probably get someone to show up for work and be reasonably competent.
But you’re not tapping their creativity, passion, and extra energy. You’re just getting the minimum.
This is what non-profits have learned: Those things matter. In fact, they often matter much more than just showing up for work.
You want the world to be better for your kids than for you, right? There are some things you care so deeply about that you’ll put amazing amounts of time into them, right?
How can you help your people to be that passionate about the work they’re doing for you?
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