August 2017
Buzzing about Practical and Thoughtful Volunteer Management Resources
Look Again at Volunteer Positions for Baby Boomers
At the beginning of this century, one of the biggest topics in volunteerism was preparing for Baby Boomer volunteers as they approached retirement. Books, blogs, and programs were dedicated to engaging this special cohort. Some programs eagerly reached out to all Boomers by lowering the eligibility age for "senior volunteers" to 55, and even 50. In 2002, Energize President Susan J. Ellis wrote in her Volunteer Management Hot Topic Don't Call Me a 'Senior'! , "In my opinion, there is nothing remarkable if an organization is successful in recruiting people aged 55 to 65 as volunteers...What concerns me most is the lack of attention being paid to those 85 and older!"

Baby Boomers are now in or approaching their 70s (and more attention is being paid to Millennials and younger prospective volunteers) Perhaps it's time to take Susan's words to heart and revisit how we design volunteer positions with older volunteers in mind. Have organizational needs changed? Have Baby Boomers changed? Are we ignoring those already in their 80s and older but still capable of service? Here are some volunteer management resources to help.
PDF e-book
Positive Ageing
Think Volunteering
Published in Australia in 2013, this still-relevant e-book has just become available in the Energize Online Bookstore.
This book b ring s together a wide variety of research about the relationship between aging successfully and volunteering, as well as outlining the challenges faced by volunteer-involving organizations in engaging older people.  Leaders of volunteers will find this book useful for  c o nsidering  if the volunteer roles offered to seniors contribute positively to their lives.

Learn more about this book

PDF e-book _ paperback
What We Learned (the Hard Way) about Supervising Volunteers
An Action Guide to Making Your Job Easier
Packed with the advice, wisdom, and experience of over 85 real-life, on-the-job supervisors of volunteers, this guide offers a crystal clear analysis of what works and what doesn't in supervision. The chapter "Adjusting Your Supervisory Style to the Individual or Group" includes advice on working with older volunteers and the volunteer who is "aging in place."

Volunteer Engagement 2.0
Ideas and Insights Changing the World

This collection of thoughts and ideas from 35 volunteerism experts explores the innovative volunteer engagement approaches that are reshaping nonprofits and their communities, and shows how you can bring these approaches to your own organization. Several chapters will help you prepare for change and trends related to aging volunteers. 

PDF e-book
A People Lens
101 Ways to Move Your Organization Forward

This guidebook expands on that concept of engaging "highly-skilled" volunteers, highlighting ways real organizations have found creative and innovative volunteer projects for a wide range of volunteers, often teaming them up with agency executives. The "101 ways" refers to the unusual and intriguing titles proposed for such positions along with each case study. Read them and consider new ways to engage experienced, retired people.  

The articles below come from the   Archives of the past issues of e-Volunteerism You can subscribe to the journal for a full year or for 48-hour access. All subscribers have full access to the Archives of all 16 previous volume years.  

Research reviewer Laurie Mook looks at a study by Walden University's Tonya Renee' Howard, who interviewed five generations of volunteers (including Generation Z) and asked about their volunteer experiences with recruitment, recognition, and retention. Based on these in-depth interviews, Howard proposes generation-based volunteer management practices that all leaders of volunteers will find useful.

The Health Benefits of Volunteering Among Older Adults: Implications for Volunteer Management
Understanding the health benefits of volunteering for older adults can provide multiple opportunities for increasing the impact of nonprofit organizations, and the quality of life generally in our communities. From a volunteer management perspective, this has implications for recruitment, retention, and reporting. Laurie Mook looks at an analysis of 73 peer-reviewed articles on the benefits associated with volunteering among the growing demographic of older adults.

How to Embrace Volunteering Trends and "Newer" Volunteers
We can meet the unique needs and preferences of Baby Boomers, life-long tech users, and skilled professionals -- so-called "newer" volunteers -- with some tweaks to our traditional methods. This edition of  Along the Web  explores Web resources that describe the characteristics of evolving categories of potential volunteers, with a focus on their motivations, preferences, and needs.

In this Keyboard Roundtable, we sought the opinion of volunteering leaders in four different countries, asking them to discuss the the phenomenon of a volunteer having joined an organization years ago and, over time, has naturally grown older and is now losing some abilities.