Opportunities wanted

What possible initiatives could increase volunteerism among retiring citizens? Who is volunteering today and who is most likely to volunteer in the future? During the coming two decades, when the growing number of retirees "offers an unprecedented chance to tap into a large base of potential volunteers," understanding the nature of current volunteers could help shape policies and programs to increase volunteerism among older adults.

The Urban Institute in its series, Perspectives on Productive Aging, released in May a brief suggesting, "Policymakers should gauge the value and potential growing demand for more volunteer opportunities as society ages. Initiatives that target older adults with low rates of volunteering could yield some big payoffs." The authors feel that government, by examing the religious, economic, health, and educational factors of current volunteers, could better provide the volunteer opportunites that "enhance the health and wellbeing of older adults and create societal value."
...recent funding for these programs generally has declined in real terms as they compete with other government priorities. Instead of cutting funding, Congress should consider the value of expanding these and other volunteer opportunities as boomers approach their retirement years.
Older Adults Engaged as Volunteers (May 2006, pdf, 8 pages/92 kB)


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