AARP volunteers give back to communities large and small across the United States through a range of programs for older Americans. They serve as issue advocates, driving safety instructors, tax preparers, reading tutors, and even as members of the AARP Board of Directors. On average, AARP volunteers gave 150 hours of service to their preferred programs last year. Tax Aide volunteers gave even more time.
Reasons for volunteering vary, but most say they enjoy making a difference in people’s lives and in their communities. They also volunteer to stay connected socially, meet new people, and develop new skills. They value the opportunity to support AARP’s mission in their communities across the nation.
Men and women volunteer with AARP in roughly equal numbers. The average AARP volunteer is 71 years old, and 79 percent of volunteers are either retired or not working, giving them more time to devote to causes they care about.
Though most volunteers identify as white, all programs have become more racially diverse over the past 20 years. Today, 14 percent of volunteers identify as African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, or Asian American. Though diversity varies significantly across programs, state volunteers, who assist local offices with advocacy and other state-related work, are the most diverse group.
These data are from the 2018 AARP Volunteer Opinion Survey, which surveyed 13,314 AARP volunteers via email and mail between July and October 2018. It focuses on volunteers from the three largest AARP volunteer programs: Driver Safety, AARP Foundation’s Tax-Aide, and State volunteers.
Anderson, G. Oscar, and Annette Luyegu. The Power of AARP's 60,000+ Volunteers. Washington, DC: AARP Research, August 2019. https://doi.org/10.26419/res.00322.001.