Managing Volunteer Retirement among Older Adults: Perspectives of Volunteer Administrators

Allison R. Russell, Melissa A. Heinlein Storti, Femida Handy


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.


Volunteering; Volunteer Administration; Volunteer Management; Older Adults; Volunteer Retirement

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