“We baby boomers feel responsible for making a difference, for giving something back.”
As a volunteer, you want to feel good about what you contribute, and you want the organization for which you volunteer to appreciate you and treat you with respect. You also want to respect the work that the organization performs and believe in its worth and effectiveness.
The structure that supports most volunteering in our society was designed for the generation that fought World War II. It may not fit the needs and interests of baby boomers and those who follow them. Many do not want to make the substantial commitment that federally funded programs such as Senior Companions and Foster Grandparents require (15 to 40 hours a week).
As a volunteer you are likely looking for creative, stimulating, primarily short-term activities that demonstrate clear benefits and match your interests and schedules.
Governmental and social service agencies are working to accommodate these changing needs and interests. Congress has charged the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees the Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America, to engage more Americans as volunteers.
The rapid aging of our population creates both a need and an opportunity for service as a volunteer. In rural communities, where the overall population is both declining and aging, sharing your strengths and mutually caring for each other is paramount. In urban communities, opportunities to volunteer are considerable and varied.
This section includes the following pages:
- Removing Barriers to Engaging 50+ Volunteers -
- The Status of Volunteer Programs in a Shifting Environment - When the economy was sinking into recession in early 2009, the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration (MAVA) started receiving reports from members of dramatic and surprising changes in volunteer availability and of complex stresses for volunteer program managers.
- Four Stages to Engaging Volunteers of the Future - A paradigm shift is occurring in the world of volunteering. Organizations are moving away from dictating what type of impact you will have on your community to allowing you to choose how you want to make an impact.
- Making Children's Eyes Light Up through Experience Corps - Experience Corps, an award winning national program in 23 cities across the country, engages people 50+ in addressing the need for greater literacy.
- Finding Volunteer Opportunities - Volunteering can offer you the chance to make a difference. If you look around you, you will find many occasions to serve.
- Reshaping Volunteer Opportunities - The face of volunteerism continues to change as baby boomers reach retirement. An emerging generation of volunteers will be seeking opportunities that offer unique experiences, challenging positions, and additional flexibility.
- Reinventing Volunteerism: A Fresh Approach to Changing the World - The role of traditional volunteering is changing.
- How to Create a Higher-Impact Volunteer Experience - Tips to get the most out of your volunteer experience.
- Seven Tips to Capitalize on Volunteer Resources During Tight Financial Times -
Check our Additional Resources for more information