Beginning

Understanding the Potential

In recent years, the landscape of volunteering has changed, bringing with it substantial opportunities:

  • Communities Need Help. Because of the economy, communities need help now more than ever. Service organizations are short-staffed, budgets are tight and people are in need.
  • Baby Boomers Want to Share their Skills. Boomers are retiring and seeking meaningful ways to contribute to society. They offer a wealth of talent, expertise and enthusiasm.
  • Pairing the Two Can Strengthen Our Communities. The potential power of this match is impressive. Boomers are used to managing their own affairs. As volunteers, they can do assignments for themselves, reducing staff time. The next step is to help organizations prepare for this influx of volunteers, many of whom want different types of opportunities than organizations currently offer.

Steps to Get Started

Care to join the movement? Here’s how to get started:

  1. Make a Case for Volunteering
  2. Get Your Organization Ready
  3. Plan Your Program
  4. Recruit and Train Volunteers

Still not sure? To learn more about the potential of older adult volunteers, review the research and additional resources below:

Research

Next > Make a Case for Volunteering

Select Resource:

Multi-Generational and Civic Engagement Initiative Profiles

National Council on Aging, 2010

Use these case studies to generate ideas to enhance your program. Included are 18 profiles of community organizations that participated in ... Read more Read more

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Executives in Action

Visit this site to learn of a local organization using skilled volunteers and to read case studies. Executives in Action builds ... Read more Read more

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PowerUP! Tools You Can Use to Beef Up Your Services - Online Chat

On June 18, 2013, the Aging Network’s Volunteer Collaborative held an online chat on the PowerUP! initiative and using the ... Read more Read more

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Volunteer Program Management Policies & Tools

National Consumer Protection Technical Resource Center (SMP Resource Center)

Provides links to sample program policies and tools across a broad range of volunteer management activities. How These Resources Can Help: Refer ... Read more Read more

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Nonprofit Service Enterprise (NSE) Summary

Reimagining Service

A summary of Reimagining Service Principles and research findings that describe a compelling vision of volunteer involvement. How This Resource Can ... Read more Read more

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Nonprofit Service Enterprise: Research Summary

Reimagining Service

Research that identifies eight critical characteristics of a nonprofit service enterprise. How This Resource Can Help: Use the Nonprofit Service Enterprise: Research ... Read more Read more

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National Core Capacity Assessment Tool Dataset: “Positive Deviants” in Volunteerism and Service

Reimagining Service

Research that highlights how volunteer engagement positively affects a nonprofit’s overall effectiveness. How This Resource Can Help: Present information the findings from ... Read more Read more

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CCVA Body of Knowledge

CCVA

Provides a detailed list of core competencies and performance expectations for the competent administration of volunteer programs. How This Resource Can ... Read more Read more

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Professional Ethics in Volunteer Administration

CCVA

Provides details about the six core ethical values of principled volunteer leadership. How This Resource Can Help: Use the Ethical Decision Making ... Read more Read more

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CVA Fact Sheet

CCVA

Covers the requirements, costs, and deadlines for the Certified in Volunteer Administration credentialing process, the only internationally recognized credential for ... Read more Read more

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PowerUP! Positioning Statement and Infographic

PowerUP! A New Volunteer Engagement Strategy for the Aging and Disability Networks

Use this to learn about the PowerUP! initiative. This positioning statement and infographic describe the concepts and opportunities of the PowerUP! ... Read more Read more

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PowerUP! Ads - Half Page and Quarter Page

Use these ads to recruit volunteers. You may customize these ads with your own information, then place them in your publications ... Read more Read more

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Volunteer Leadership - Transcript of Online Chat with Anita Hoy of Vermont SMP Savvy Seniors

On Feb. 6, 2013, members of the Aging Network's Volunteer Collaborative's online community gathered for an online chat on volunteer ... Read more Read more

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Replication Guide: Integrating Volunteer Programs

Fairfax County AAA Fairfax, VA Use this to consolidate volunteer programs among agencies serving the community. This What’s Working Replication Guide shows how ... Read more Read more

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Replication Guides - 2012 Call for What's Working Honorees

In its 2012 Call for What's Working, The Aging Network's Volunteer Collaborative invited organizations to share their useful tips for ... Read more Read more

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Replication Guide: Community Breakfast

Ye Olde Breakfast Shoppe

Rochester Council on Aging Rochester, MA Use this to create a community breakfast program. This What's Working Replication Guide gives details about the ... Read more Read more

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Replication Guide: Gatekeeper Program

Multnomah Aging & Disability Services Portland, OR Use this to develop a Gatekeeper Program to get help for at-risk seniors and adults ... Read more Read more

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Replication Guide: Lifelong Learning Program

Erie County RSVP Erie County Department of Senior Services Buffalo, NY Use this to use volunteer instructors to create a lifelong learning program. This ... Read more Read more

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Replication Guide: Advisory Council for Volunteers

Generations

Knox County RSVP Program Management Vincennes, IN Use this to create an advisory council to help guide your volunteers. This What's Working Replication ... Read more Read more

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Replication Guide: Forming a Business Advisory Council

Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey Toms River, NJ Use this to form a business advisory council. This What's Working Replication Guide explains how ... Read more Read more

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Replication Guide: TimeBank for Volunteer Hours

Volunteers Win

Area Agency on Aging for Northeastern Vermont St. Johnsbury, VT Use this to create a community bank for volunteer hours. This What's Working ... Read more Read more

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Replication Guide: Letters to the Editor

Louisiana Senior Medicare Patrol eQHealth Solutions Baton Rouge, LA Use this to write letters to the editor that recruit volunteers. This What's Working Replication ... Read more Read more

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Replication Guide: Volunteer Handbook

Loudoun County AAA Loudoun County, VA Use this to create a comprehensive volunteer handbook. This What's Working Replication Guide shows how you can ... Read more Read more

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Replication Guide: Intergenerational Tutoring and Mentoring

Friends in School Helping (FISH)

Jefferson Area Board for Aging (JABA) Charlottesville, VA Use this to create an intergenerational program tutoring elementary-aged students. This What's Working Replication Guide ... Read more Read more

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Replication Guide: Skits to Prevent Fraud

COVE Savvy Seniors

Community of Vermont Elders Berlin, VT Use this to educate community members on ways to protect themselves from fraud. This What's Working Replication ... Read more Read more

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Replication Guide: Feeding the Hungry

Kids Eat - FREE

Concho Valley RSVP San Angelo, TX Use this to start a program addressing hunger in your community. This What's Working Replication Guide shows ... Read more Read more

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Replication Guide: TV Show

Livin’ the Good Life Cable Access Show

Beverly Council on Aging and Senior Community Center (BCOA) Beverly, MA Use this to create a TV show for area seniors. This What's ... Read more Read more

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The Boomer Solution: Skilled Talent to Meet Non-Profit Needs – Final Report

RespectAbility Initiative, National Council on Aging, April 2010

Use this to build a case for older adult volunteers. This report can help you build a strong case for utilizing ... Read more Read more

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The Boomer Solution: Skilled Talent to Meet Non-Profit Needs – Executive Summary

RespectAbility Initiative, National Council on Aging, April 2010

Use this to build a case for older adult volunteers. This executive summary can help you build a strong case for ... Read more Read more

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Engaged As We Age

By Jacquelyn B. James, Elyssa Besen, Christina Matz-Costa and Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes.

Read this research to see how older adults are more highly engaged in paid work, volunteering and education—with enhanced well-being—than ... Read more Read more

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National Partnership with First Advantage (formerly LexisNexis)

Background Screening Services for Your Volunteers

n4a is excited to announce our **partnership with *First Advantage, a world-leading provider of comprehensive background screening services, to provide ... Read more Read more

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Successful Strategies for Recruiting, Training, and Utilizing Volunteers

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Faith-Based and Community Initiative

A Guide for Faith- and Community-Based Service Providers Use this to plan your volunteer program. This guidance handbook is designed for community ... Read more Read more

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Programming Principles for Older Adult Civic Engagement - Summary

RespectAbility Initiative, 2010

Use this to help build your volunteer program. This document shares 11 guiding principles that have emerged from prior research, plus ... Read more Read more

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Business Planning for Enduring Social Impact

Andrew Wolk and Kelley Kreitz, Root Cause, 2008

A Social-Entrepreneurial Approach to Solving Social Problems Use this to plan your program. A business planning guide for nonprofits, foundations, government agencies, ... Read more Read more

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Volunteer Management Capacity in America’s Charities and Congregations

The Urban Institute, February 2004

Use this to build a case for volunteers and to build your volunteer program. Results from the first national study of ... Read more Read more

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The Changing Paradigm of Civic Engagement

Temple University’s Center for Intergenerational Learning, Training Division

Use this to build a case for your volunteer program. From "Developing Compelling Opportunities for Baby Boomers," this chart shows the ... Read more Read more

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Older Americans and Civic Engagement in the 21st Century: A Review

National Council on Aging, September 2006

Use this to understand research surrounding older adult volunteers. This review of literature provides findings from the pool of research and ... Read more Read more

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The Health Benefits of Volunteering for Older Americans: A Review of Recent Research

Corporation for National & Community Service, May 2012

Use this document to make a case for older adult volunteering. A growing body of research shows an association between volunteering ... Read more Read more

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Making Sure Volunteers and Staff Get Along

Leading By Example blog, National Council on Aging, Dec. 18, 2009

Use these to encourage buy-in at your organization. This blog post shares several myths and realities surrounding perceptions staff members may ... Read more Read more

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Making It Work: Best Practices for Your Volunteer Program

Leading By Example blog, National Council on Aging, Feb. 24, 2010

Use this for a quick guide to program planning. This blog post offers tips for starting a volunteer program, from helping ... Read more Read more

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How to Find and Keep Leadership Level Volunteers

Leading By Example blog, National Council on Aging, Jan. 14, 2010

Use this for recruitment tips. This blog post shares ideas for recruiting the best volunteers for the job. It addresses using ... Read more Read more

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How to Create Effective Partnerships

Use this post in planning for partners. This blog post gives tips on picking a partner and lists ingredients for a ... Read more Read more

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High Level Tasks that Volunteers Can Ace

Leading By Example blog, National Council on Aging, Dec. 8, 2009

Use this post to brainstorm tasks volunteers could handle for your organization. This blog post outlines general areas in which volunteers ... Read more Read more

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The Use of Volunteers in State Agencies on Aging and Disabilities – SMP Findings

National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities, May 2011

Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Use this for ideas on how to structure a volunteer program. This report shares findings specific to the ... Read more Read more

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The Use of Volunteers in State Agencies on Aging and Disabilities – LTC Ombudsman Findings

National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities, May 2011

State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Use this for ideas on how to structure a volunteer program. This report shares findings specific to ... Read more Read more

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The Use of Volunteers in State Agencies on Aging and Disabilities – SHIP Findings

National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities, May 2011

State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) Use this for ideas on how to structure a volunteer program. This report shares findings specific ... Read more Read more

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The Use of Volunteers in State Agencies on Aging and Disabilities - Overview

National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities, May 2011

Use this for ideas on how to structure a volunteer program. This report shares results of quantitative and qualitative assessments of ... Read more Read more

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Expanding Roles for Older Adults in an Aging Society

By Dr. Linda P. Fried, Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health, 2011

Opportunity and Implications of Civic Engagement Use this to make a case for older adult volunteers. This presentation given at the 2011 ... Read more Read more

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Replication Guide, RSVP Capacity Corps Project

Southern Maine Agency on Aging, August 31, 2009

NCOA/RespectAbility Initiative, Models of Significant Service Grant By Ken Murray, Director of Volunteer Services and Paddy Clark, RSVP Capacity Corps Coordinator Use this ... Read more Read more

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Generations and Autism Connect and Grandparents and Autism Connect Training Materials

Easter Seals

Educational materials to enhance the training of older adults who volunteer with children with autism or have grandchildren with autism. How ... Read more Read more

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PowerUP! Postcard Template

Use this postcard to recruit volunteers. You may customize it with your own information, print it, and mail it to potential ... Read more Read more

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PowerUP! Web Banner

Use this web banner to recruit volunteers. You may use this web banner to promote your program to potential volunteers by ... Read more Read more

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PowerUP! A New Volunteer Engagement Strategy for the Aging and Disability Networks

Read this to learn about the PowerUP! initiative and the vast potential in older adult volunteers to power up agencies. The ... Read more Read more

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PowerUP! Volunteer Recruitment Flyer Template

Use this flyer to recruit volunteers. You may customize this recruiting flyer with your own information and share it with potential ... Read more Read more

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Radio Ad Template

Use this sample as a guide to create a 30-second radio ad that promotes your volunteer program. This sample script for ... Read more Read more

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TV Ad Script

Use this script as a guide to create a 30-second TV ad or video to recruit for your volunteer project. Below ... Read more Read more

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PowerUP! Templates

Welcome to a key part of the PowerUP! initiative—volunteer recruitment templates that you can customize for your agency! Each template ... Read more Read more

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Article Template for Local Newspaper or Other Community Publication

Use this sample article to prepare an article for your local newspaper or another community publication when you'd like to ... Read more Read more

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Volunteer Recruitment Websites Template

Use this sample text to guide your entries on volunteer recruitment websites. Here are some elements that are good to include ... Read more Read more

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Press Release Template

Use this template to create a press release to send to local journalists. You may use this sample press release to ... Read more Read more

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Website Announcement Template

Use this text on your website when you'd like to recruit volunteers. You may use this sample text to promote your ... Read more Read more

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Social Media Posts

Use these sample posts in your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels to recruit volunteers. You may use these posts ... Read more Read more

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Newsletter Article

Use this article in your newsletter when you'd like to recruit volunteers. You may use this article as a model for ... Read more Read more

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Volunteer Driver Programs

The National Center on Senior Transportation and The Aging Network's Volunteer Collaborative

The National Center on Senior Transportation, in partnership with The Aging Network's Volunteer Collaborative, presents a three (3) part series ... Read more Read more

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Tips for Successful Recruitment (webinar resources)

National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center

Four state and local Long-Term Care Ombudsmen share their successful volunteer recruitment strategies How These Resources Can Help: Screen the webinar ... Read more Read more

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Modernizing Your Program to Attract and Retain Today’s Volunteer (webinar resources)

National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center

Covers information about generational differences in volunteers as well as general shifts in volunteer preferences and needs. In addition, three ... Read more Read more

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"What's Working" Webinar Series

Full list of awardees with webinar dates and registration.

In 2012, The Aging Network's Volunteer Collaborative invited organizations to submit their useful tips for building strong volunteer programs. From ... Read more Read more

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Senior Corps 2013 RSVP Competition Webinar

Funding Opportunity for the Aging Network

This free webinar, led by Dr. Erwin Tan, Director, Senior Corps and Tom Endres, Aging Volunteer Collaborative, will discuss how ... Read more Read more

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WEBINAR: Are You Ready?

Readiness Assessment Guide for Your Agency’s Volunteer Engagement

This webinar is a presentation of readiness assessment tools and strategies for agencies looking to determine how ready they are ... Read more Read more

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Starting a Volunteer Program – Online Chat with Tom Endres

Adapted from online chat July 25, 2012

On July 25, 2012, the Aging Network’s Volunteer Collaborative held an online chat on starting a volunteer program. Thomas E. Endres, ... Read more Read more

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Using Volunteers - Online Chat with Tobi Johnson

Adapted from online chat held May 30, 2012

On May 30, 2012, the Aging Network's Volunteer Collaborative presented its first online chat, featuring Tobi Johnson, who presented our ... Read more Read more

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Webinar: Meet Volunteers Where They’re At: Designing an Onboarding Process that Catalyzes Commitment

Part 1 - The New Human Capital: Mobilizing the Power and Potential of Today’s Skilled Volunteers - 3-Part Webinar Series for Volunteer Program Leaders

Presented on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 In today’s world of shrinking resources and expanding community and diversity, today’s nonprofit organizations cannot ... Read more Read more

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Webinar: Using Brain Science to Make Your Volunteer Recruitment Appeals More Effective

Part 2 - The New Human Capital: Mobilizing the Power and Potential of Today’s Skilled Volunteers - 3-Part Webinar Series for Volunteer Program Leaders

Presented on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 In today’s world of shrinking resources and expanding community and diversity, today’s nonprofit organizations cannot ... Read more Read more

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Webinar: Making the Case for Volunteers: Convincing Leadership They’re More Than Worth the Effort

Part 1 - The New Human Capital: Mobilizing the Power and Potential of Today’s Skilled Volunteers - 3-Part Webinar Series for Volunteer Program Leaders

Presented on Monday, April 9, 2012 In today’s world of shrinking resources and expanding community and diversity, today’s nonprofit organizations cannot ... Read more Read more

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Webinar: Developing Your Volunteer Engagement Plan: Steps to Get Started

Part 3 - Volunteers: A Theory of Organizational Abundance – 3 Part Webinar Series for Aging-Network Leaders

Presented on Wednesday, May 9, 2012 This free webinar series shows organizations how to sustain and even expand capacity in a ... Read more Read more

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Webinar: Getting Your Organization Ready for Skilled Volunteers

Part 2 - Volunteers: A Theory of Organizational Abundance – 3 Part Webinar Series for Aging-Network Leaders

Presented on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 This free webinar series shows organizations how to sustain and even expand capacity in a ... Read more Read more

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Webinar: Understanding the Business Case for Increasing Investment in Skilled Volunteers

Part 1 - Volunteers: A Theory of Organizational Abundance – 3 Part Webinar Series for Aging-Network Leaders

Presented on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 This free webinar series shows organizations how to sustain and even expand capacity in a ... Read more Read more

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Webinar: Volunteer Program Leader Series

The New Human Capital: Mobilizing the Power and Potential of Today’s Skilled Volunteers (3-Part Series)

In today’s world of shrinking resources and expanding community and diversity, today’s nonprofit organizations cannot afford to pass up the ... Read more Read more

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Webinar: Aging-Network Leaders Series

Volunteers: A Theory of Organizational Abundance – 3 Part Series

This free webinar series will show organizations how to sustain and even expand capacity in a time of economic scarcity ... Read more Read more

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Transportation Solutions for Caregivers

Easter Seals

A variety of resources, compiled by the National Center on Transportation in collaboration with Easter Seals, that present options and ... Read more Read more

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s.a.f.e.t.y. First Collection

Easter Seals

Provides links to sample program policies and tools across a broad range of volunteer management activities. How These Resources Can Help: Working ... Read more Read more

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SMP Volunteer Training Materials

National Consumer Protection Technical Resource Center (SMP Resource Center)

Links to modules and materials used to train SMP volunteers, including Orientation materials and a sample Volunteer Handbook. How These Resources ... Read more Read more

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Volunteer Risk and Program Management (VRPM) Materials

National Consumer Protection Technical Resource Center (SMP Resource Center)

A comprehensive risk identification, prevention, and mitigation strategy for SMP programs that could be tailored for use in other volunteer ... Read more Read more

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Volunteer Administration: Professional Practice Textbook

CCVA

Offers a comprehensive reference source for all aspects of volunteer engagement and program management and is the official reference source ... Read more Read more

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National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center’s Volunteer Management Resources Pages

National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center

A compendium of sample volunteer recruitment, management, training and recognition materials from a variety of operating Ombudsman programs across the ... Read more Read more

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Corporation for National and Community Service

Use this to plan your program. The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than ... Read more Read more

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Boomers Are Ready for Nonprofits, But Are Nonprofits Ready for Them?

By Jill Casner-Lotto, The Conference Board, May 2007

Use this to learn about coming changes in the nonprofit workforce that may prompt a need for volunteers. This report consists ... Read more Read more

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Community and Lifelong Learning Training and Articles

American Society on Aging

Visit this site to see news and trainings. See articles and trainings related to community and lifelong learning, which covers areas ... Read more Read more

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Community Experience Partnership

Visit this site for research on community programs using older adult volunteers, case studies and more. The Community Experience Partnership involves ... Read more Read more

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A Time to Serve

The Case For National Service, By Richard Stengel, TIME, Aug. 30, 2007

Read this article to see reasons for universal national service and ideas for putting it into action. This article, which gives ... Read more Read more

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Resource Center for National Service and Volunteering

Corporation for National & Community Service

View resources on volunteering, with participants of all ages. The Resource Center is a clearinghouse of more than 5,000 materials designed ... Read more Read more

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Value of Volunteer Time

Independent Sector

Use this tool to configure the dollar value of your volunteers’ time. See the dollar value of volunteer time, the national ... Read more Read more

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Accessibility

Share Your Story

How have volunteers made an impact in your organization or community? Tell us! Submit your story!

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