Seniors Share Time and Experience With Charitable Groups

Oceans2003 - Charities Seniors today view the golden years as the “third act” and are filling retirement with activity and impact, rather than mere leisure. Each year, millions of older adults provide billions of hours of service to charitable organizations across the U.S. in an effort to give back to the communities that have given them so much. In a time when the majority of nonprofit organizations are struggling financially, senior volunteers are essential.

One of the ways in which seniors help charitable organizations is by providing specialized skills and services for free. This type of volunteering, typically referred to as “skilled volunteering,” allows seniors to utilize professional skills they have honed over decades of experience. Oftentimes, skilled volunteering offers the greatest impact for both parties; the nonprofit receives a critical service that doesn’t impact the budget, and older adults feel great satisfaction knowing their skills have really made a difference. And former CPAs are not the only seniors in demand. Nonprofit organizations

need help establishing hiring practices, locating new buildings, developing contracts, strategizing marketing plans, building websites, setting up office systems, remodeling housing, and more.

Seniors today view the golden years as the “third act” and are filling retirement with activity and impact, rather than mere leisure. Each year, millions of older adults provide billions of hours of service to charitable organizations across the U.S. in an effort to give back to the communities that have given them so much. In a time when the majority of nonprofit organizations are struggling financially, senior volunteers are essential.

One of the ways in which seniors help charitable organizations is by providing specialized skills and services for free. This type of volunteering, typically referred to as “skilled volunteering,” allows seniors to utilize professional skills they have honed over decades of experience. Oftentimes, skilled volunteering offers the greatest impact for both parties; the nonprofit receives a critical service that doesn’t impact the budget, and older adults feel great satisfaction knowing their skills have really made a difference. And former CPAs are not the only seniors in demand. Nonprofit organizations need help establishing hiring practices, locating new buildings, developing contracts, strategizing marketing plans, building websites, setting up office systems, remodeling housing, and more.

Seniors are essential for setting the direction, advising and overseeing many charitable organizations. By serving on a board of directors, membership committee, or advisory panel, seniors can strengthen the management of nonprofit organizations and, thereby, help them do more good in the world. Seniors have a wealth of knowledge to pass on that only comes from years of professional and real-world experience.

For those who are not interested in carrying their professional skills into charitable organizations, there are myriad opportunities to simply provide direct service, such as serving meals to the homeless, providing companionship to hospitalized children, or walking dogs at the humane society. There are never enough bodies or hours to make all of the change most people would like to see in the world, so this type of volunteer service will always be in demand.

To find senior volunteer opportunities, visit handsonnetwork.org, volunteermatch.org, and nationalservice.gov/programs/senior-corps/rsvp.

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