Boomer Volunteer Engagement – Cultivation and Motivation

Posted on August 30, 2010

In a recent post, I shared the research cited by Daniel Pink on what motivates people, what Pink calls, “the purpose motivation.”  This research aligns well with the work done by Jill Friedman Fixler and Sandie Eichberg, authors of the book, “Boomer Volunteer Engagement:  Collaborate Today, Thrive Tomorrow.”  Friedman-Fixler and Eichberg are Boomers themselves who, combined, have 70 years of experience in volunteer management.  One of the major themes of their work on boomer volunteers is the change of paradigm that boomer volunteers require and demand to be successfully engaged.  That paradigm reflects the purpose driven motivation and aligns with boomers’ need for roles that utilize skills,  and provide opportunities that assume some level of  responsibility.

Fixler-Friedman and Eichman advocate for a process that ultimately changes the culture of volunteer engagement within an organization and integrates volunteers into the very fabric of the organization.

Organizational culture change is accomplished by assessment of practices and attitudes held by the non-profit’s executive and board leadership towards volunteers, support of a collaborative culture, use of agreements between the organization and the volunteer, expanding the roles held by volunteers and measuring the impact of volunteers on organizational capacity.

How does your organization currently approach engaging volunteers?  What are the dreams for your organization that require more people, expertise, money or tools to accomplish?  What are you doing that you would like to increase, replicate or expand?*

*taken or modified from Boomer Volunteer Engagement, pp 39-40