The Role of Work Status on European Older Volunteers' Motivation

Andrea Principi, Jeni Warburton, Joop Schippers, Mirko Di Rosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article aims to identify differences in motivation between working and nonworking older volunteers, in order to contribute to knowledge on the relationship between work status and volunteering in later life. The study also contributes a cross-European view, given that most literature emanates from the United States. It was conducted utilizing a database of 955 working and nonworking older volunteers in three European countries: the Netherlands, Germany, and Italy. Results showed that work status has a significant impact on the motivation to volunteer, suggesting that voluntary organizations need to consider responding to different motivations between older volunteers still in paid employment and those who are retired. Specifically, those in paid work may be more driven by the desire to improve their career or knowledge, whereas older retired volunteers and those employed part time may consider volunteering as a response to challenges associated with retirement and later life or an unsatisfactory working situation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)710-735
Number of pages26
JournalResearch on Aging
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • active aging
  • older volunteers
  • Volunteer Functions Inventory
  • volunteer motivation
  • work status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)


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