April 6, 2021
Engaging Our Elders: The Power and Potential of Senior Volunteerism
by Joshua Braverman and Ryan Kaitz

In Understanding the Motivations of Baby Boomer Volunteers, the national volunteerism support organization AmeriCorps argued, based on 2004 data, that volunteer opportunities “must be expanded and diversified in order to appeal to the 35 million people who are already over 65 and the 79 million baby boomers who are transitioning from primary careers and family building.” Today, the number of Americans over the age of 65 has risen significantly, to 56 million; within 40 years, that number is projected to rise to 94.7 million.

As researchers, the question of how nonprofit organizations can proactively design volunteer programs to be attractive to, and specifically supportive of, this fast-growing segment of our society is compelling. The Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration conducted in-depth research with volunteer program leaders across the midwestern US, and we believe our findings are relevant nationally. This article contains select highlights, and the full 28-page study is available here.

Easier to recruit, deploy, and retain
The data suggest that one reason to prioritize senior volunteers is the relative ease of recruiting and deploying them. Sixty-one percent of respondents say senior volunteers are easier to recruit than younger volunteers. And, once recruited, seniors can provide a stable base of support to an organization. Regarding volunteers who are 65–74 years old, our research found:

  • 89 percent report this age group to be “very reliable”
  • 76 percent report this age group to be “willing to work on a regular schedule”
  • 75 percent report this age group to be “willing to do what’s needed”
  • 74 percent report this age group to be “willing to volunteer more hours per week than younger volunteers”

Finally, the investment in recruitment and thoughtful deployment of senior volunteers proves to be a good use of staff time: Seventy-six percent of respondents report that senior volunteers are easier to retain than their younger counterparts.

Unique advantages and challenges
Seniors bring a potent set of advantages with them into the volunteer workforce of an organization. Regarding volunteers who are 65–74 years old, our research found:

  • 83 percent report these volunteers’ “life experience” to be an advantage
  • 79 percent report these volunteers’ “useful skills” to be an advantage
  • 58 percent report these volunteers’ “in-depth knowledge of organizational background, history, or culture” to be an advantage

Correction: Due to an editor’s error, the lead feature article in our March 30, 2021 newsletter incorrectly stated that Mark Williams was “just six months into his new role as the executive director of the Indianapolis Art Center, when COVID-19 hit Indiana.” Williams was hired on July 2, 2020, replacing Patrick Flaherty in the lead role. The revised article is here. Our sincere apologies for the mistake.
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COVID-19: Can Employers Require Workers to Be Vaccinated?
by Deirdre Bird, Director of HR Consulting, PHR, SHRM, VonLehman CPA & Advisors

Vaccinations can be an emotionally fraught issue for some people, for various reasons, and the COVID-19 vaccines being administered today come with additional fears about potential side effects. Yet the risk of contracting COVID-19 — and spreading it — remains across the country. Employers may wonder whether they're legally allowed to require on-site workers to receive a COVID-19 vaccination when it's available to them.

In December of 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued guidance on this topic. Based on the guidance, employers may require most employees to provide proof they've been vaccinated. However, notable exceptions apply. First, employers must exempt employees who are unable to receive a vaccine because of a disability. And an employer must grant an exception to employees who refuse a vaccination because of a sincerely held religious belief, practice or observance.

What about Incentives?
While a vaccination mandate covering most employees might seem to be the simplest approach to protecting the health of your employees and customers, it might not be the best — or the only — option. Some employers have announced that they're providing financial incentives to employees who prove that they received a COVID-19 vaccine, rather than requiring them to receive one. These incentives may include a bonus, gift card or paid time off. However, be aware that there may be legal risks involved in offering incentives so consult with your employment attorney before starting such a program.

Historic precedents
As a country, we've been down some similar roads before with vaccine mandates. In 1905, for example, a state law in Massachusetts called for universal vaccination against smallpox. The law was challenged but was ultimately upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. More recently (in 2009), the EEOC and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) generally gave employers the green light to require workers to be vaccinated against the H1N1 "swine flu" virus. And, of course, some employers require employees to get a flu shot each year.

Glick Philanthropies has named Ryan Brady vice president. Brady has served as Glick Philanthropies’ advisor through the Central Indiana Community Foundation since 2008. 
The Damien Center has hired Dexter Etter as director of STD/HIV prevention. Etter most recently served at the Indiana State Department of Health in the HIV/STD/Viral Hepatitis division. – Inside Indiana Business
The Damien Center has promoted Tyne Parlett to director of community impact. Parlett most recently served as housing and food pantry manager. – Inside Indiana Business
The Milk Bank has hired Kristin Byrd as a milk donor specialist. Byrd has 15 years of customer service experience in the fields of healthcare, early childhood education and family case management. 
Lilly Endowment has awarded more than $93 million in grants to 28 organizations that are addressing poverty. The grants, which range from $180,000 to $8.1 million each, will be awarded to 28 Indianapolis-based organizations to fund new programs aimed at financial security or expand existing programs that address poverty-related challenges. See recipients 

Agape Therapeutic Riding has received a $21,965 grant from OrthoIndy Foundation, a fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation. The grant will be used to increase access to Agape’s programs for underserved populations in Marion County. Read

The Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership has been awarded a $35,000 grant from State Farm to support its mission to increase affordable and sustainable housing opportunities for people with low and moderate incomes and serve as a catalyst for the development and revitalization of neighborhoods. Read

New Hope of Indiana has been recognized for excellence as a leading workplace in the category of woman-led culture. The inaugural group of award-winning organizations led by women was announced by Energage to coincide with Women’s History Month. New Hope of Indiana provides community-based residential services and a variety of therapy, day, vocational and transition services for Hoosiers with developmental disabilities. Read

The Grant County Community Foundation has partnered with a credit union to offer the “Bridge the Gap” loan program to replace predatory emergency payday loans. Under the program, loan recipients will receive small loans from $500 to $2,500 with interest rates as low as 4.25%, compared to payday loans with average interest rates of $400. The program also is designed to enhance financial literacy. Read

One of Cathedral High School's Innovation Center’s engineering labs will be named the Shelton Family Engineering Lab in recognition of a generous donation from the family of Nick Shelton, the president and co-owner of Shelton Machinery of Fishers. Read

Tangram, a local non-profit serving individuals with disabilities, is seeking proposals for employee coaching through a competitive RFP process. Deadline to submit is April 30, 2021.To read the RFP, please visit www.thetangramway.org/publications
Do you have what it takes to start a podcast? webinar. This four-week series runs on Wednesdays starting April 14. Learn about recording, editing and equipment, marketing and legal. Hosted by Nexus Impact Center. Cost: $29 for Nexus members; $59 nonmembers. Register

Holding yourself and others accountable workshop on April 16 from 8-11:30 a.m. at the Hendricks County 4H Fairgrounds & Conference Complex, 1900 E. Main Street, Danville. Learn practical ways to stop finger-pointing and blame shifting while holding yourself and others accountable. Presented by Leadership Hendricks County. Cost: $99. Register

Engaging across cultures workshop on April 16 at 9 a.m. Learn the essential steps needed to succeed in engaging across cultures, whether you're a seasoned global professional or new to intercultural interactions. Presented by the International Center. Cost: $125. Register

Power up your facilitation: In-person and virtual tools for group learning session on April 16 at 1 p.m. This session includes a demonstration of leading in-person and virtual facilitation tools for group learning, including successful online meetings. Presented by Indiana Evaluation Association (IEA). Cost: Free for IEA members; $20 for nonmembers. Register

Racial equity – White accompliceship workshop on April 20 from 10-11:15 a.m. Facilitators will engage all participants in dynamic conversations involving the stakes we all have in transforming our community. Presented by United Way of Central Indiana. Cost: $15. Register
Felege Hiywot Center is looking for volunteers on April 10 to help prime and prep its gardens at two parks in the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood. Tasks include weeding, planting, and getting your hands dirty. Learn more
An informal survey among five fundraisers across nonprofit sectors inquires what worked well and what fundraising efforts they plan to use in a post-pandemic world.
A recent survey asked that question and the results were pretty much all over the board, not only across organizations but also about the sector as a whole.
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Office/art space available in the heart of Fountain Square

Office rental space available on Indianapolis’ Southeast side. Up to 1,970 square feet of office space, including five rooms for office/studio and a kitchenette. The rental also includes paid utilities, installed security system, parking and more. Contact Bradley Keen at (317) 634-5079, ext. 101.
To view all jobs, visit the Not-for-profit News jobs' board.

President - Guerin Catholic High School

Chief Executive Officer – YWCA Greater Lafayette


Planned Giving Representative - The Salvation Army

Director of Stewardship and Endowment - Second Presbyterian Church

Annual Fund Gift Officer – Newfields

Community Leadership Officer – Central Indiana Community Foundation

Corporate Partnerships Manager - Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana


Front Office Coordinator (Part-time) - Tabernacle Presbyterian Church

Museum Director - Monroe County History Center

Office Coordinator (Part-time) - Delaware Township

Operations Manager - GiGi's Playhouse Inc.


Volunteer & Event Coordinator - Children’s Bureau

Communications Manager - Indiana Humanities


Controller - Indiana Association for the Education of Young Children (IAEYC)

Bookkeeper and Program Assistant - Indiana Humanities

Accounts Payable Assistant (part-time) - The Indianapolis Public Library

Township Clerk (part-time) - Delaware Township


Research Associate – Center on Community Living and Careers, Indiana Institute on Disability Community, Indiana University


Workforce Success Coach – Project Azul

Coach, Employment Enrichment Services - Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center

Licensed Clinical Social Worker - Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center

House Manager; Hospital Family Room(s) - Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Indiana

Director of Primary Prevention - Beacon of Hope Crisis Center

Victim Advocate - Data Assistant/CJ Program - Beacon of Hope Crisis Center

Satellite Victim Advocate - Beacon of Hope Crisis Center

Social Worker - Indianapolis Public Library

Program Associate - Indiana Humanities

Senior Director Social Innovation - United Way of Central Indiana

Manager, Job Development - Best Buddies

Program Manager - Pathway to Recovery, Inc.

Senior Service Coordinator - Fay Biccard Glick Neighborhood Center

Health Coordinator – Fay Biccard Glick Neighborhood Center

Missions Coordinator - Indiana Conference of United Methodist Churches

Forensic Interviewer - Susie's Place Child Advocacy Center (Avon)

Child and Family Advocate (Part Time) - Susie's Place Child Advocacy Center (Bloomington)

Program Manager - NAMI Indiana

College Program Specialist - Indiana Latino Institute