I’ve written about this topic elsewhere.
Getting them to volunteer will not be easy, but if one could get them to volunteer, it would be of immense importance given the size of the Boomer population. An increase in Boomer volunteering could dramatically expand the ranks of volunteers, dramatically increase the health and happiness of Boomers.
VolunterMatch reports on recent survey data indicating that Boomers (even among non-volunteers) may be interested in volunteering. The devil may well be in the details, because unless the survey was very thorough in trying to get the opinions of less civic minded Boomers, the people who are easiest to get on the phone are also probably most civicly minded and therefore most likely to volunteer.
Moreover, the definition of *non-volunteers* is a little suspect. They seem to define non-volunteers as those who didn’t volunteer in the last year. When data gathered by the Corporation for National Service seems to show that 33% of all volunteers don’t volunteer in consecutive years. If Boomers are typical, then many of these *non-volunteer* Boomers may be Boomers who are volunteers but simply didn’t volunteer in the past year.
The question that was asked by Peter Hart and Associated in their phone interview of 300 adults (ages 55 and older) was “how interested are you in volunteering, either now or at some point in the future? Among older adults 55+ years of age who have not volunteered in the past year, 14% are very interested, 20% fairly interested, and 29% somewhat interested. And of the 34% who say they are “very” or “fairly” interested in volunteering:
• 45% are college graduates
• 42% are professionals/managers
• 41% are women age 55-64
• 39% are churchgoers
As of yet, I have not been able to get an answer to what % of Boomers who haven’t been volunteers in the last 10-15 years really are interested in volunteering, as opposed to the inflated number that VolunterMatch used that presumably includes a lot of semi-regular Boomer volunteers that might volunteer one year but not the next.