by TransACT | Dec 11, 2018 |
Even as early as 1993, the rise of dual-income households was correlated with the decline of volunteerism in local school districts. The initial studies focused primarily on the lack of working-aged women volunteering due to increased employment rates and changes in parental roles. As volunteering continues to decline, more recent articles and studies are indicating the decline is attributed to financial stress in general. As a result, parents are less and less available to chaperone field trips or assist with school programs and activities.
School districts have heavily relied on volunteers to support the programs and activities intended to enrich the student’s education. However, with so many parents in the workforce, many school districts find it difficult to locate volunteers and with smaller operational budgets, enrichment programs are dwindling with the disappearance of volunteers.
However, there are several demographics and groups where you are more likely to find available volunteers. Of course, stay-at-home moms are one resource, but we are offering you a few more to explore.
Baby Boomers and Grandparents. Baby Boomers include those born between 1946 and 1965 and the first wave to reach retirement age (presumed to be 65) crossed the retirement line in 2011. There are an estimated 35 million people over the age of 65, as of 2004, and an estimated 79 million transitioning from their primary careers to family building roles. Accounting for approximately 114 million people, Baby Boomers offer school districts a wonderful resource pool for finding volunteers.
However, according to the Corporation of National and Community Service, the best way to attract Baby Boomers as volunteers is to appeal to their specific interests. In the same article, organizations seeking volunteers are encouraged to determine whether the Baby Boomer volunteers are looking for volunteer roles as an Activist, Consumer, or Worker and based on this interest, to tailor the volunteer experience to maximize participation and retention.
While volunteers seem to be in short supply, it is also feasible volunteers are simply not aware of available opportunities. Creative marketing tactics can grab the attention of this untapped resource pools and encourage them to participate in local school activities and programs.