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Friends ‘LIKE’ these….

 

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According to Facebook, the average person has 338 friends, which should mean our diaries are too crammed full of parties and coffee dates to ever contemplate being lonely.

However, we aren’t quite the socialites our profile pages would have us believe.  In fact, despite the perceived connectivity that technology brings, we are actually becoming more isolated.  Around 1 million older people in the UK regularly go an entire a month without speaking to someone and almost a quarter of disabled people say they often feel lonely.  Not a pretty picture.

Our vision at Community Impact Bucks is ‘a better life for the people of Buckinghamshire’, and that means putting an end to loneliness and the physical and mental issues it creates.   But where do we even begin?

It starts with people like 25 year old Ben Carpenter from Aylesbury, who originally contacted us in the hope of helping an elderly person with their shopping. After chatting to Ben it turns out that his love of Playstation and movies made him the perfect match for Rickie, a young man affected by cerebral palsy.  Ben and Rickie get together every Friday evening and either head to the pub or go to cinema – a simple experience with life-changing potential.

‘I’m quite a shy person but the whole experience has been so positive. I really enjoy my Friday nights and love seeing just how much fun Rickie has. I would definitely consider him to be a real friend’

So, if your social network is in need of some real-life connection, click here.

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3 ways to attract more volunteers

“To help people be altruistic, we need to help them be selfish.

The selfish volunteer is not a bad person, or part of an unwelcome trend –it is at the heart of the future of volunteering.” (The 21st Century Volunteer)

Have you noticed that it’s getting harder to attract volunteers?

Gone are the days of sticking a card in the newsagent’s window and being inundated with willing workers.  Volunteer recruitment has become a full-time slog, presenting almost as much pain as the dreaded funding search.

So, what’s going on? 

Do people have less free time now? Is there too much competition for volunteers (there are 2500 registered charities in Bucks alone)?  Or is the world just getting more selfish?

In reality, the answer is probably ‘yes’ to all of these questions.

According to researchers, we are now in the age of self-interest,where altruism takes a backseat and experience-seeking is king.

We might be a Not-for-Profit and we might be changing the world, but that will only take us so far. No matter how worthy our cause, at some point we need to accept that not everybody cares as much as we do and what people actually want to know is what volunteering will do for them.

People really don’t want to be seen as do-gooders, anymore.  In fact, this is now the number 1 turn-off for those considering volunteering.

So, how DO we attract volunteers?

  • Sell your Story

You know you need somebody to spend 3 hours a week entering data in your back room, but how appealing does that sound?  Think bigger than that – what does your organisation do? How many lives are benefited as a result of the data entry and what would happen if that person wasn’t there? Volunteers want to experience the spirit and mission of an organisation and feel like part of the solution.

  • Think ‘Intrinsic’

Not all volunteers are the same. Some people volunteer for extrinsic reasons e.g. they need the experience to get into uni, or they want the time credits, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  Yet, according to motivational expert Daniel Pink, ‘people who are internally driven to succeed are significantly more effective in the long run than those who are motivated by some carrot or stick’.  So, before you post your latest volunteer role, take a moment to think how it might also benefit their life.

  • Inspire your Volunteers!

If you want to know how to put all of this into practice and set your organisation up for the next-generation of volunteers, then come along to one of our free Volunteering Advice Surgeries held every month throughout Buckinghamshire.

Here you’ll receive 45 mins of personalised, guidance on how to inject some magic into your volunteering team.

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