Baby boomers in demand as community volunteers

Local not-for-profit organizations are struggling these days to attract volunteers. Volunteering is down. Local charities and nonprofits are looking for a few good baby boomers — well, lots of them, actually — to roll up their sleeves to help local schools, shelters and others in need.

Boomers are attractive volunteers, and it’s not just the sheer strength of their numbers — 77 million. They are living longer. They are more educated than previous generations. And, especially appealing: They bring well-honed skills and years of real-world work and life experience.

“What we have with the transition of the boomers across the traditional age of retirement is a great opportunity,” said Dr. Erwin Tan, who heads the Senior Corps program at the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency in Washington. Senior Corps helps connect older Americans to service jobs.

“The question for us is: How can we as a country not afford to mobilize this huge source of human capital to meet the vital needs of our communities?” said Tan, a geriatrician. He says nonprofits are retooling to attract more boomers by offering a variety of skills-based opportunities as well as more flexibility, such as nontraditional hours or projects that don’t require a trip to the office and can be completed at home.

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  1. I have been a very active retiree ,volunteering for several organizations – I noticed my car insurance went up due to increase mileage- I called my insurance company and they said since I drive to the places my status had changed- I was very upset- I pay for the gas -now I have to pay more for insyurance. I called AARP and they took care of it -my insurance went back to what it should have been .

  2. I worked for the Council on Aging, Orange County for 6 years–a non profit that provides free services to older adults relating to investigating elder abuse claims and helping with Medicare programs. Most of our volunteers were boomers and they were a joy to work with. But, since they were boomers, they volunteered on their terms. As long as we accommodated them, they were wonderful and brought a lot of skills and compassion to our efforts.

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