Something Extraordinary is Possible!

My friend Ben Rigby, co-founder of The Extraordinaries project that I am contributing some time to, wrote a great post on TechPresident last week that lays out the premise for a new approach to volunteerism. These ideas are both what inspired The Extraordinaries (“Why is it so hard to get people to volunteer?”) and also drivers for its theories (“Why don’t we have a new approach to volunteering?”).

  • Volunteerism has a problem. Most people don’t do it
  • People have a problem with volunteerism.
  • Volunteerism excludes most of us.
  • We’re trying to woo “Last Mile” volunteers.
  • Volunteerism is modeled for the Industrial Economy.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 74.6% of the U.S. population did not volunteer in 2007. Why? Because we’re too busy. We’re driving to work in bumper to bumper traffic, shuttling kids to after school sports, studying for class, and working at Starbucks to pay for college. We’re a nation with a lot to do. And when asked, we cite “lack of time” as the reason for not volunteering.

Fortunately, Ben’s got some ideas on how to improve the situation:

  • Let’s find new ways to do volunteerism.
  • Perspective shift experiment
  • Support Information Era volunteerism

“In addition, we can start thinking about how we can use these inspired models to inform the field of volunteerism. The private sector is quickly coming up with brilliant new ideas that take advantage of the amateur’s passion for participation. Threadless, Innocentive, iStockPhoto. These are companies that have dominated their niches by relying on loosely structured peer production. These models work. Let’s explore them deeply.”

Make sure to read the post and check out the main site as well for information on you can get contribute or get your organization involved in a new approach to getting people to help you get things done.