Keeping Baby Boomers Volunteering: A Research Brief on Volunteer Retention and Turnover

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Use this report to see volunteer habits of boomers.

This research was intended to help nonprofits and others gain greater insight into the volunteer preferences of baby boomers to keep turnover to a minimum and to keep the greatest number of boomers engaged in their communities in their later years.

This data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics trace the volunteer habits of boomers from 2002-2006 over two consecutive years, as well as a similar sample of pre-boomers.

  • Baby boomers in their late 40s to mid-50s have higher volunteer rates than past generations had at the same ages.
  • Holding age constant, Baby Boomers appear to have different volunteer interests than past generations.
  • Each year, approximately three out of every 10 baby boomer volunteers dropped out of volunteering.
  • Volunteers with the highest attachment to volunteering also have the highest retention rates.
  • Volunteer retention is related to the type and nature of volunteer activity.
  • Volunteer retention rates are related to the ways boomers become volunteers.
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