VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism


  • Leisure Time is the Coming Era
  • Singleness is a Hit
  • Competition and Collaboration
  • Award Nominations for Innovation on the Web due July 17
  • Send "Volunteer Today" Your Recommendations

Leisure Time is the Coming Era

The three great economic eras of the past were agricultural (crop production and animal husbandry (up to 1888); industrial (textiles, machinery, cars, chemicals) (up to 1920's), and service (retails, specialty, menial) (up to 1956). We are currently in the information era (since 1976). What will be the coming eras? Graham T.T. Molitor, a noted futurist, predicts five new eras, one with the potential for significant influence on volunteer programs.

 Leisure Era

 hospitality, recreation (dominant by 2015)
 Life Sciences Era

 Biotechnology, genetics (dominant by 2100)
 Megamaterials Era

 quantum physics, nanotechnology (dominant 2200-2300)
 New Atomic Age Era

 fusion, lasers (dominant by 2100- 2500)
 New Space Age Era

 spacecraft, exploration, travel (dominant before 3000)

The age of interest in those in the "volunteer" business is the first one, Leisure. The amount of leisure time is steadily increasing. Between 6000 BCE (Before Common Era) and 1500 CE (Common Era) the average person had about 17% of leisure time during their lifetime. By the 1770s it had increased to 23%. In the 1990s leisure time accounted for 41% of the time available to an individual. Molitor predicts that will increase to over 50% in the next fifteen years. Workweeks continue to decline, the number of holidays has increased, vacations grow longer, and people are retiring at an early age.

Ask yourself if your organization is reaching out to those with leisure time to volunteer when it is convenient? Are you preparing for the baby boom retirees? No time to waste!

Singleness is a Hit

 Throughout the developed country being single is on the rise. Women make up 60% of the single population in the US, although the number of men living alone is growing at a faster rate. In Japan, singles make up about 20% of all households; in Australia it is 25%. Forty percent of British women live without a partner.
This increase in singles has an impact on volunteer programs. Certain type of volunteer events, positions, and activities can be designed to bring in singles. This market is large and could be a potential bonanza of volunteers, with attention marketing directly to them.

Competition and Collaboration

The 1999 Independent Sector Spring Research Forum focused on collaboration. The following are some findings from scores of papers and panels at that conference.

There is competition and collaboration among nonprofits, business, and government as never before. The lines between the sectors are blurring. New research shows that some partnerships and contracts have pushed nonprofits into areas of work not necessarily relevant to their mission. In some cases this is done to obtain regular income.

Nonprofits are facing changes in their financial and operating environments. This is due to competition between nonprofit organizations and business to win contracts to deliver services.

Success among collaborators requires the following:

For more detailed information contact Independent Sector, in Washington, D.C, at 202-467-6100 or http://www.independentsector.org.

Award Nominations for Innovation on the Web Due July 17

The Ericsson Internet Community Awards are presented to organizations for innovative nonprofit Internet ideas. Five awards of $100,000 for Web development will be presented. This award is open to any NGO in the world. For more information go to http://www.ericsson.com/erica

Send "Volunteer Today" Your Recommendations

Volunteer Today is interested in your input. Are there Web sites you find indispensable? Are there sites you would like us to review for you and others? Do you have volunteer opportunities available on line that we could list on our "Volunteer Opportunities" page? Send your ideas and recommendations to Nancy Macduff at mba@bmi.net. Be sure to give us your name and e-mail address so we can give you credit.


The Foundation Center (You can link to their site through the Volunteer Today portal page, Internet Sites You'll Love) has added a new page to their Web site. On it you can find abridged versions of some of their books on nonprofit management and foundations. There are also quizzes to test your understanding.

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Copyright by Nancy Macduff.

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