Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Volunteering

I have long believed that the mature market is one of our countries most under-utilized resources. Here’s a few statistics that back me up:

Mature Americans age 55 and older contributed between $97.6 billion and $201 billion to society in 2002 through volunteer activities and time spent caring for family members. Our best estimate, based on moderate-cost assumptions, values unpaid activities at $161.7 billion, or $2,698 per person.

Source: Value of Unpaid Activities by Older Americans Tops $160 Billion Per Year, by R W. Johnson & S.G. Schaner, 2005

Boomers volunteer for a variety of reasons, but are less likely than the generation that preceded them into retirement to volunteer out of a sense of duty or obligation. They are more likely to volunteer as a result of social, self-development, self-esteem, or leisure-focused motivations. Appeals for volunteer commitment will need to approach boomers in this context.

Source: Enhancing Volunteerism among Aging Boomers, by Robert Prisuta, 2003

The mature market contributes $162 billion worth of volunteering and unpaid caregiving annually. Caring for family members – spouses, grandchildren and parents – absorbed more than 61 percent (or $99.6 billion) of the total value of unpaid activities, based on moderate cost assumptions, in 2002. Older Americans contributed $44.3 billion through formal volunteering with an organization and $17.8 billion by informally helping others in need.

Source: Urban Institute



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