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New Research on Volunteer Trends for the Baby Boom Generation

Submitted by: Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship

Categories: Human Resources & Diversity1

Posted: Nov 14, 2005 – 11:00 PM EST


Volunteers of America and The Center for Corporate Citizenship Look at Retirees as Volunteers

Nov. 14 /CSRwire/ - Volunteers of America and The Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College have released a new publication, "Expanding the Boundaries of Corporate Volunteerism," that focuses on the aging Baby Boom generation and identifies trends in volunteerism pertaining to employee volunteer programs.

Published with grant support from Atlantic Philanthropies, the publication provides new research about the aging of the nation's labor force, and suggests ways the private and public sectors can tap into the talent and energy of the Baby Boom generation in their volunteer programs while preparing their own employees for a lifetime of volunteering.

"With nearly one-fifth of the workforce projected to be age 55 or older by 2015, older workers will be essential to the success of both private and public sector organizations," said Jimmie Paschall, executive vice president of external affairs at Volunteers of America. "The findings of this research have important social implications for both for and non-profits, and provide rich insights into the rapidly changing environment with regard to the civic engagement of America's growing senior population."

During the past several decades, employee volunteer programs have emerged as an important component of the American workplace, offering benefits to companies, employees, nonprofit organizations, and local communities. Volunteers of America and The Center for Corporate Citizenship believe employee volunteer programs are likely to expand as organizations move to integrate and align employee volunteer programs into the larger corporate citizenship strategies of their organizations.

The research involved examining the attitudes of 1,000 workers--both retired and active--through focus groups and survey research. Twenty-two companies located throughout the United States and representing a variety of industry sectors participated. Executives within the companies were also interviewed to gain an understanding of the scope of corporate practices and attitudes regarding volunteerism and the role of employees and retirees.

"This research is a clarion call for companies to realize that the value of retired employees must be recognized and nurtured before they stop reporting to work on a daily basis," said Bradley K. Googins, Ph.D., executive director of the Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College. "It also reaffirms the benefits a company receives from the civic engagement of its employees and the importance of maintaining good will with retirees and making them a strategic part of a corporate volunteer program."

Key findings from the research include:

  • For most companies, retirees are not seen as a strategic part of volunteer programs.
  • More corporate leadership is needed in addressing issues of the aging workforce, including how to best integrate older employees and retirees into volunteer programs.
  • There is a business case for maintaining good will with retirees and including retirees and alumni in volunteer programs.
  • It is important to develop volunteer DNA before retirement.
  • Employees and retirees express a solid interest in volunteering through the workplace; and volunteer programs must capitalize on the interest by understanding and addressing the changing needs and expectations of employees and retirees.
  • Businesses have an important role to play in helping employees and retirees navigate transitions in and between work and civic engagement.

    The Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College is a membership-based research organization committed to helping business leverage its social, economic and human assets to ensure both its success and a more just and sustainable world. As a leading resource on corporate citizenship, The Center works with global corporations to help them define, plan and operationalize their corporate citizenship. Through the power of research, executive education and the insights of its 350 corporate partners, The Center creates knowledge, value and demand for corporate citizenship. For more information about The Center for Corporate Citizenship, please visit

    Volunteers of America is a national, nonprofit, spiritually based organization providing local human service programs and opportunities for individual and community involvement. It is one of the largest nonprofit providers of quality affordable housing and last year served nearly 2 million people in need. Volunteers of America nurtures, supports and uplifts the human spirit--working with children and youth, the elderly, homeless individuals and families, and others to empower them in reaching their full potential. For more information about Volunteers of America, please visit

    The publication Expanding the Boundaries of Corporate Volunteerism is available online at or

  • For more information, please contact:

    Peggy Connolly The Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College
    Phone: 617-522-0722
    Julie Anderson Volunteers of America
    Phone: 703-341-5031


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