VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism


Visit this page for ideas, suggestions and hints to build recruitment capacity.
~November 2001~
  • Get Ready for Those Seniors
  • Family Volunteering-Fad or Fact??
  • Using Intensity of Service as a Recruiting Tool

Get Ready for Those Seniors

In 1980 the world wide population of elderly (those over 60) was 8.5% of the total. In 2001 it is 11%. In 2020 people over 60 will number 1 billion or 13.3% of the population. Almost 75% of the elderly population will live in developing countries such as India, China, Brazil, Mexico, and Pakistan. The elderly are susceptible to such things as undernourished, chronic diseases, and infections, dementia, and other costly needs. Imagine the strain on public funds and the opportunity for voluntary and NGO groups to develop services to meet this coming need.

Family Volunteering-Fad or Fact??

Five years ago it seemed that family volunteering was a fad. Some facts from Independent Sector might convince you that starting an official family volunteering initiative is an idea whose time has come.

Source: America's Family Volunteers: Civic particiaption is a Family Matter, Independent Sector, 2001

Using Intensity of Service as a Recruiting Tool

The September 1, 2001 issue of Nonprofit Times carried a column by Susan Ellis of Energize, Inc ( http://www.energizeinc.com/ ) that outlined a "scale of service intensity" for volunteers. She begins by eliminating certain voluntary activities that are necessary for a civil society to function; joining a group and merely paying dues, writing a check for a donation, voting, attending a religious service, and such things as the "volunteer" Army. Having eliminated these things she lists levels of intensity or risk for the person who gives service without being on the payroll.


Level 1
 Helping a relative or friend, chaperoning a dance, sitting at a registration table for a group

Level 2
 A single day project of volunteering, "Make a Difference Day," neighborhood clean up

Level 3
 Short term project like a political campaign, building a school play ground

Level 4
 Seasonal service, Salvation Army bell ringer, holiday party, summer beach clean up

Level 5
 On-call service; rape victim advocate, emergency service or disaster aid service

Level 6
 On going scheduled service at the volunteers convenience, translating material into a different language, quilt making for use in a hospital nursery, making gifts for fund raising

Level 7
 Regularly scheduled, on-going participation, clerical support, serving on a committee, doing legislative advocacy.

Level 8
 Regularly schedule, on-going service; governance, being on a board

Level 9
 Regularly scheduled, direct service to a client or member or patron

Level 10
 Full time volunteering, internships, Peace Corps or missionary work, disaster relief.

Here are some of Ellis's suggestions and additional ones from VT on ways to apply the scale.


The Points of Light Foundation has forms available to nominate volunteers and volunteer organizations for the Daily Points of Light Award. It is designed recognize individuals and groups that demonstrate unique and innovative approaches to community volunteering and citizen action, with a strong emphasis on service focused on the goals for children and young people set by the Presidents Summit for American's Future.

The award is given five days a week, excluding holidays. If you would like nomination forms, contact Crystal Hill at 202-729-8000.


By calling 1-800-VOLUNTEER in the U.S., individuals can be connected to their local volunteer center.

This is a national interactive call routing system designed to get volunteers connected to people who can help them volunteer.

Copyright 2001 by Nancy Macduff.

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