05 Jul
  • By Camilla Marsh
  • Cause in

4 Reasons Why You’re Not Volunteering and How to Overcome This

So you’re all set and ready to be a do-gooder, go-getter volunteer but there’s something stopping you from streaming across the sky, fist outstretched, cape trailing behind. Maybe you don’t know which direction to fly, or the thought of the unknown sends shivers down to your boots, or possibly a secret self-doubt of your own superhero power keeps you rooted to the ground.

Below we discuss the top 4 reasons you’re not volunteering and how to kick these fears in the butt.



Let go of these 4 fears – be a volunteer

1. Fear of Safety

So let’s be honest, fighting crime and saving the world from its self-created evils is all good and well for the TV screen, but when it comes to real-life, the majority of us are scared to step outside our picket fence. South Africa doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to public safety statistics and this may be a major factor why many of us are not volunteering. Head into Khayelitsha and tutor children? Walk dogs in Grassy Park? Um… no.

But this fear is completely unfounded. No volunteering opportunity would ever jeopardize the safety of its participants. All programs are run by equipped professionals with a deep understanding and knowledge of the communities they operate in. Volunteer centres are placed in safe locations and in many cases have come to be highly respected in their local communities.


The Superhero Solution

Stop watching TV and go see for yourself. Yes we know South Africa can be scary at times, but the media does a lot to hype up the crime and create fear and suspicion between people from different social strata. Rather than watch clips about crime, go on an organised township tour. If you’re still not feeling the vibe, then choose an opportunity in an area which suits you, there are plenty to pick from.


2. Fear of The Unknown

There’s no place more boring to be than within the confinement of our comfort zone. Yes hanging out playing PS3 or going to our best bud’s house for yet another round of action cricket may seem the simplest weekend plan to have, but this certainly won’t stir up the inner Superman in you. Sometimes you need to break free, surround yourself with new and diverse people, and do something that challenges you, to feel truly alive.


The Superhero Solution

Set yourself goals. This could be to do something every second day that scares you, to meet one new person a day, to explore a new part of the city every weekend or to learn a new language this year. Whatever your goal is, make sure it stretches you beyond the borders of your comfort zone. Make yourself comfortable with diversity, with difference, with trying new things and experiencing a variety of ways of living life.

Being a volunteer is an excellent opportunity to embrace the unknown and in so doing, discovering parts of you (and powers!) you never knew existed.


3. Lack of Time

Not having enough time is the scapegoat for almost all excuses and regrets in life. We didn’t do what we promised we’d do today – well there’s always tomorrow. We were going to go to gym… but didn’t; there’s just not enough hours in the day. And volunteering? When would we possibly have time for that? STOP. MAKING. EXCUSES. There is enough time for everything. Because – we create our time. We create time by the way we think about it and the way we manage it.

The Superhero Solution

Each moment of every day you are gifted the golden opportunity to make something positive. You get 86400 seconds a day to live inspired, to make a difference, to do anything you choose with your time on this planet. So spend it wisely. Use your time to do good, to help others, to volunteer, to leave a legacy in this life. The more of our time we gift to others, the more time we have to spend.  


4. Lack of Resources

And then there are those of us with our bright spandex suits at the ready and are raring to go, but we just don’t know how to help out or where to get started. We may feel we lack sufficient guidance, direction or the know-how to get ourselves set-up in the volunteer arena. We don’t feel fully equipped without keys to our own Batmobile or without a sidekick by our side.

We hear your cry for help and in return we shoot your our emblem shining up into the cloudy night sky (let’s think Batman here people). We send you:

Brownie Points!



The Superhero Solution

Sign up for Brownie Points and you will receive all the resources you need to start your epic quest as a volunteer superhero. Connect with a network of like-minded volunteers to share transport, search for trusty sidekicks and get involved with a project of your preference from one of our member NPOs.

And of course, no superhero goes unsung. Through Brownie Points you’ll receive awesome rewards for doing good. What more could you want?

So let go of everything and anything that might be holding you back and sign up to Brownie Points today to choose your own adventure and start saving the world!

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Camilla Marsh
Camilla is a curator of good cause content, nomadic writer and connoisseur of life, on a journey to help others live the best life they can. She specialises in self-development and all things happiness.

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