How Older Adults Can Help Your Organization

The global population is growing older as the baby boomer generation reaches their senior years. The number of people aged 65 and over worldwide is expected to double over the next two decades, and by 2030, over 20% of the U. S. population will be over 64 years old.

As more people retire earlier, an increasing number of older adults are available and willing to volunteer their time.

In fact, seniors are participating as volunteers for non-profit organizations in record numbers. 

Older adults are the most likely age group to volunteer for 100 hours or more a year. Studies shows that older people are more likely to participate as volunteers if they are highly educated, have higher incomes, work at least part time, are married, and have a spouse who also volunteers. Because they are living and staying healthier longer, older adults are looking for more active roles at nonprofit organizations.

There are significant benefits to recruiting older volunteers. 

They are often available during office hours, a time slot that can be difficult to fill. Older adults can apply skills from their former jobs, providing decades of experience and knowledge to their positions. And they may have developed extensive social and professional networks over the course of their lives and their careers, which could connect your organization to donors and additional volunteers. In addition, studies show that older volunteers tend to be some of the most reliable compared to other age groups.

Engaging with older volunteers can improve the experience for all of your organizations’ volunteers by bringing in diverse perspectives and promoting multigenerational cooperation. 

Consider the following roles for older adults in your organization:


Chances are, older adult volunteers will have experiences and advice they can share with younger volunteer or staff members that can make a significant contribution to your organizations’ goals. Or they may have leadership experience that can help your organization to grown and thrive.

Sharing information

Older adults may have background knowledge about a particular topic, place or community that can help inform your organization’s strategy and goals. 

Teaching skills

Many older adult volunteers will come to your organization with a lifetime worth of skills and knowledge learned in other roles throughout their lives. They may be experts in accounting, human resources, or project management, just to name a few. By understanding your volunteers’ strengths, you can utilize their knowledge to improve your organization.