It’s hard to ask people to work for free.
Everyone likes money right?
Why should any of us do a job without being compensated for it?
Those thoughts would pop in to my head when the moment came to ask people to give of their time and talent for absolutely nothing in return. It would stop me dead-cold from asking the professional laywer who attended volunteer training to actually volunteer.
Over time however, I developed a method to renegotiate with my negative-self when doubt trumped my nerve.
When it felt like I was trolling for hand-outs or taking advantage of people’s expertise, I convinced myself that my “ask” was . . . assertively seeking kindness.
It is easier to both ask for and give kindness.
We cannot know what motivates every person to volunteer. But there is no doubt that people can be motivated and moved by kindness and yes, even volunteer because of it. It takes both bravery and grit to ask people to give of anything and sometimes it even takes getting the occational slightly appalled “Um no . . . not for free.”
Overwelmingly though, I’ve discovered that people really do want to help. Especially people who have skills that fit the needs of your organization. So really, the most difficult part will be to take the leap from casual conversation about your fantastic cause, to assertively seek kindness.
Here are a few ASK sentence starters that have helped me: