Do we need another study on volunteer motives? Michael Callow’s work (published in the International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing) argues that we do and that there is value in looking at volunteering among retirees. Too often, says Callow, we categorise types of volunteers into broad groups, with ‘older volunteers’ put into a category that merely allows them to be contrasted with other groups. This, however, leads to assumptions that all older volunteers come with the same motives and aspirations for their involvement.
While I think that Callow may not have considered all the many and varied studies into older peoples’ participation, there is some truth in what he says. As a result, this piece of research is an interesting contribution to thinking, especially as it comes from the perspective of an assistant professor of marketing, not from someone who focuses exclusively on volunteers.