Sunday, July 27, 2008

“Giving something back” post work – mixed messages

I would like to thank Tom Troland for sending me this item from the New York Times. Tom has also sent me some fascinating research from McKinsey that I will be covering in the next couple of weeks.

The NYT article is titled: “Geezers Doing Good “and relates to how some people, from the examples in the article, mainly the wealthy and highly educated, are doing a “Bill Gates” and starting a new full-time career of doing “good works".

Things seem to be different in Europe. I have already written about the difficulty in getting boomer aged people to volunteer/give and now Martijn de Haas has sent me a translated item from some Dutch research – thanks Martijn.

This research was done by Movisie, an organisation for social development.
In their factsheet 'Social commitment from the elderly' it shows that the time spent volunteering by 65-plussers has decreased from an average of 2.2 hour per week to 1.8 hour.

Older people have always been the biggest suppliers of unpaid work. One out of three people aged between 55 and the 74 years deliver a voluntary contribution of an average of six hours per week on social and society work. The research concludes that seniors have increasingly become busier with paid work, watching grandchildren, caring for family members, social activities, and hobbies and watching television.

It is to be expected that the baby boomers will spend less and less time on volunteering in the future.
I am not sure if this is a European/US difference or is a difference between the very rich/not so rich. I suspect that later.

Looks like organisations reliant on the contributions (both cash and time) from older people are going to have to come up with some innovative ideas. Maybe one idea is to pursue a wealthy boomer benefactor? Dick Stroud

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