The Chronicle on Philanthropy had a brief article this week about the growing practice of paying volunteers: Retired People Demand Pay for Volunteering at Charities.

Huh?

If you pay…doesn’t that make them employees? I thought the lack of pay was the primary distinction of a volunteer!

According to the article:

“People used to say, ‘Here I am, what do you need done?’” said Deborah Russell, director of work-force issues for AARP, in Washington. “Today’s retirees say, ‘Here’s what I do well, how can you use it, and what will you pay?’ “

Experts say that the payments are important in motivating people to stick with their volunteer roles.

This certainly plays into how we in the nonprofit world adjust to the silver tsunami and the Al Gore Population.

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