Experience at Work: Volunteering and Giving Among Americans 50 and Over

The American Baby Boom generation represents the largest untapped pool of potential volunteers for the nonprofit community in recent history. As Baby Boomers approach retirement age, nonprofit organizations will be faced with unprecedented opportunities and challenges to engage this population.

Experience at Work: Volunteering and Giving Among Americans 50 and Over, by Independent Sector and AARP, analyzed the over-50 population in the United States by examining the current giving and volunteering patterns of this age group and comparing the philanthropic habits of Americans still in their working years, aged 50 to 64, and those who are retired, aged 65 and over.

Key findings

  • The over-50 population is expected to grow by 18.3 million people over the next ten years;
  • Those in the 50 to 64 age group will show the largest increase of 13.9 million people. These 50- to 64- year-olds will still be employed, earn the most and become the most generous givers;
  • Nonprofits can expect an increase in the number of high givers from this age group; and
  • More of this population will be available to volunteer more often.

Experience at Work was based on analysis from Independent Sector's Giving and Volunteering in the United States, 2001 national telephone survey of more than 4,000 adults.

This report was developed in partnership with


Experience at Work
was made possible by generous support from 

The research for Giving and Volunteering in the United States was sponsored by The Atlantic Philanthropies, The Ford Foundation, Lilly Endowment, and the members of Independent Sector.

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