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Over the next 10 years my cohort is retiring and they’re looking for something meaningful to do. After a few rounds of golf, those special projects and time with grandkids, they’ll get restless and start looking for something to do. In fact, many of them are starting to think about that as they ramp up their departure from the corporate towers.

Get ready for the next generation of volunteers. You nonprofits out there should be drooling over the opportunity that’s coming your way.

This group is huge in number, well skilled, well connected, healthy, driven and a powerful raw material for the non profit that recognizes that value.

Right now as a volunteer I can “stuff envelopes” or sit on a board. Most non profits haven’t a clue what to do with a strategic volunteer. I don’t want a traditional role. I want to add maximum value and leverage my skills and ecosystem.  Courtesy of some open minded non profits I’m beginning to define this new type of volunteerism and it’s giving my friends some hope that when they’re ready for a change of lifestyle and to incorporate volunteerism as part of it, I will have paved the way.

That’s not to say that the generations of volunteers that have come before me haven’t done some of the work. But what will make the next 10 years so different lies in the numbers – 1/3 of our population. Imagine what even a fraction of those people can do when they focus on making a difference.

Non profits – start thinking different!

Seems to me the hardest part of this is finding the right opportunity. So in an age of LavaLife and Workopolis and the like, there should be some matching websites out there.

Sure enough there are, although many more for just the US than global or Canadian. But I did find a good one and am sure to find more. Take a look at www.idealist.org.

What’s wonderful about this site is that is works. And the organization behind seems genuine. The problem is that I’m not sure enough folks know about it. Surely there are more than 29 organizations with 65 volunteer positions to fill.

So I guess it’s not just us volunteers that need to know where to go to find the opportunities. I guess the nonprofits (and others) need to know where to put the message so it casts the biggest net. Just like the dating sites or job posting sites, we need a couple of these volunteer matching sites to rise to the top.

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