Why Volunteer When You Can Change the World?

16 Oct 2013, Keegan Johnson

Change The World As I was talking with a few volunteers the other day and I made a comment that changed the entire conversation.  I said, “Why volunteer when you can change the world?”.  It’s a simple concept, but it has profound implications.


Imaging you are a high school student who has to sign-up for ‘mandatory’ volunteering in order to get your diploma.  You have 2 options.  The first option is to volunteer to stuff envelopes for an environmental charity.  The second options is to help stop climate change by mailing key climate advocates.  Which option are you going to pick?

Now consider you are working at an environmental charity and you have two potential volunteers and only one position.  The first person asks to volunteer to help out.  The second person says she is on a personal mission to stop climate change, believes your charity is effectively carrying out the same mission and she wants to help out.  Which one do you select?

What’s the point:

  • If you are looking to ‘volunteer’ start with how you want to change the world, and then find an opportunity to make it happen.
  • If you are looking for ‘volunteers’ start with how you want to change the world, and then find people who also want to make it happen.