Managing Volunteer Retirement among Older Adults: Perspectives of Volunteer Administrators

Authors

  • Allison R. Russell School of Social Policy & Practice University of Pennsylvania
  • Melissa A. Heinlein Storti Corporal Michael J. Crescenz Veterans Affairs Medical Center
  • Femida Handy School of Social Policy & Practice University of Pennsylvania

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.20899/jpna.5.1.95-109

Keywords:

Volunteering, Volunteer Administration, Volunteer Management, Older Adults, Volunteer Retirement

Abstract

A large body of quantitative evidence demonstrates a link between volunteering and improved well-being, especially among older adults. Yet the research evidence pointing to the purported benefits of volunteering does not adequately address the unique experiences of older volunteers, nor does it address the ways in which working with them impacts the work of volunteer administrators. As the proportion of those aged 65 and older increases, older adults are poised to play an even greater role as volunteers than ever before, representing both unparalleled opportunity and potential new challenges for volunteer administrators. One such challenge includes how to manage older adults’ decisions to withdraw or retire from volunteering, which has an impact on the succession planning of the volunteer workforce. This article presents the results of a recent survey of volunteer administrators who share current policies and perspectives about volunteer retirement. These practitioner viewpoints provide important insights for both volunteer management and future research.

Author Biographies

Allison R. Russell, School of Social Policy & Practice University of Pennsylvania

Allison R. Russell is a Ph.D. candidate in Social Welfare in the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania.

Melissa A. Heinlein Storti, Corporal Michael J. Crescenz Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Melissa A. Heinlein Storti is the Chief of Voluntary Service at the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Femida Handy, School of Social Policy & Practice University of Pennsylvania

Femida Handy is Professor and Director of the Ph.D. program in the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also senior scholar in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University in Canada.

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Published

2019-04-01

Issue

Section

Current Issues In Practice