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Why Do Baby Boomers Volunteer?

Research indicates four main reasons why baby boomers volunteer. They want to:

  1. Support a cause that they believe in.
  2. Make a contribution to society.
  3. Share their skills.
  4. Do something meaningful with their friends and colleagues.

More importantly, baby boomers want to volunteer on their own terms. Consider some of the challenges that baby boomers face:

They don’t have enough time.

  • Theirs is known as a sandwich generation – caring for children and aging parents simultaneously leaves less free time.

They don’t have time during traditional work hours.

  • Many baby boomers work full-time and many work past the traditional retirement age of 65. Unless their employers have a corporate volunteering program, these volunteers can’t always be available when you need them.

They don’t identify with traditional images of volunteers.

  • The clichéd image of a kindly white-haired volunteer clashes with the way baby boomers see themselves – more youthful and dynamic than their parents.

They don’t want to do routine or menial volunteer tasks.

  • With less free time, many of today’s volunteers expect challenging and meaningful work that reflects their skills and experience.

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