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Why Do People Volunteer?. A Discussion With Volunteer Ombudsmen Presented at: NYS Long Term Care Ombudsman Conference 9/25/08 Jody Signoracci

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Why do people volunteer

Why Do People Volunteer?

A Discussion With Volunteer Ombudsmen

Presented at:

NYS Long Term Care Ombudsman Conference


Jody Signoracci

Director of Constituency Services


Why are we talking about this
Why Are We Talking About This?

  • US Census Data shows volunteers age 65 and older will increase to 13 million by 2020 (an increase of 50% over the next 12 years)

  • Recognition that tapping into this pool plays vital role in fostering communities and addressing social problems

    -expertise, education, knowledge

Volunteer impact on communities
Volunteer Impact on Communities

Volunteers positively impact communities by:

1.being involved in solving key challenges facing


2.contributing to a stronger local economy*?

3.experiencing lower incidences of illness*?

4.creating a more healthy and vibrant place to live and work*?

Volunteers are “Social Capital”

*Retrieved from National and Community Service, 2007 City Trends and Rankings

New york taking action
New York Taking Action

  • Governor Paterson has announced that increasing volunteerism is among top priorities of his administration

  • New York has been selected for the NGA Center for Best Practices “Policy Academy on Civic Engagement of Older Adults” (see handout)

  • Under leadership of NYSOFA- several state and local agencies will work together to increase civic engagement and volunteerism throughout NYS

Why nysofa supports efforts to increase volunteerism
Why NYSOFA supports efforts to increase volunteerism?

  • Benefits are two-fold:

    1. NYSOFA meets the needs of an aging

    population by exploring ways to keep

    them actively engaged in meaningful

    activities in their communities

    2. NYSOFA enhances its ability to provide

    advocacy and supportive services

    to vulnerable seniors by increasing their pool

    of volunteers who are over the age

    of 60

Benefits to staying actively engaged
Benefits to Staying Actively Engaged

Did you know that volunteers benefit from:

1.greater longevity*?

- living longer healthier lives

2.higher functional ability*?

-less physical and mental decline

3.lower rates of depression*?

-less isolation and more connection with


4.less incidence of heart disease*?

- increased activity and helping others makes the heart


* Retrieved from National & Community Services, Volunteering Produces Health Benefits2007

What ombudsman volunteers are contributing
What Ombudsman Volunteers are Contributing

  • In 2007, more than 1,000 Ombudsmen visited LTC facilities providing advocacy, education and problem resolution

  • In 2007, volunteers donated approximately 98,929 hours of time to Ombudsman work

  • In 2007, volunteers addressed approximately 18,428 complaint related issues

    -taken from Annual LTCOP Report 2007

Topics for discussion today
Topics for Discussion Today

  • What motivates someone to volunteer? And conversely, what are major obstacles to getting someone to volunteer?

  • What type of education and outreach efforts are most successful in reaching potential volunteers? What caught your attention?

  • What type of supports must be in place to retain volunteers?

  • What do Ombudsmen volunteers like most about being Ombudsman?

Topics for discussion continued
Topics for Discussion (Continued)

  • What is most challenging about being an Ombudsman volunteer?

  • What types of incentives could be offered to volunteers to make volunteering more rewarding (monetary and otherwise)?

  • How much does the current economy effect your commitment to your volunteer role?

  • How long of a commitment did you expect to make to volunteering, and have you exceeded that commitment (or will you?) Why or why not?

  • Other?

Why do you volunteer
Why Do You Volunteer?

I can make a difference:

  • Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.   Margaret Mead

    It is my civil duty:

  • Never before has man had such a great capacity to control his own environment, to end hunger, poverty and disease, to banish illiteracy and human misery. We have the power to make the best generation of mankind in the history of the world.President John F. Kennedy

Why do you volunteer1
Why Do You Volunteer?

For Personal Growth:

  • Without community service, we would not have a strong quality of life. It's important to the person who serves as well as the recipient. It's the way in which we ourselves grow and develop.Dr. Dorothy I. Height, president and CEO of the NCNW

    It is my spiritual duty:

  • Service to others is the payment you make for your space here on earth.Mohammed Ali

Why do you volunteer2
Why Do You Volunteer?

It’s the right thing to do:

  • Volunteers are the only human beings on the face

    of the earth who reflect this nation's compassion,

    unselfish caring, patience, and just plain love for

    one another.    Erma Bombeck

    It gives me purpose:

  • When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.    Eleanor Roosevelt

Regardless of your reason
Regardless of your reason:

Thanks to you for all you do!