Graduate Research Papers


Graduate Research Paper (UNI Access Only)


older adult volunteers, virtual volunteering, micro-volunteering, volunteer engagement, COVID-19, pandemic


The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has caused many challenges for nonprofit organizations and their volunteer programs. Social distancing and other health regulations required most volunteer services to cease or to consider virtual or remote opportunities, particularly for their more vulnerable older adult volunteers. Volunteer roles and engagement have changed, adding virtual options, safety precautions, and new protocols (Sandage, 2020), which has challenged the comfort level of older volunteers. Volunteer managers have been tasked with the challenges of recruitment, engagement, and retention of virtual volunteers (Lachance, 2020). The purpose of this study is to explore the benefits and barriers to engaging older adults in virtual volunteering opportunities in order to adapt and implement sustainable virtual volunteer programming in nonprofit organizations. Implementing older adult virtual volunteerism can be done through clear planning, direct recruitment utilizing current volunteer networks, proper training, effective communication, continuous evaluation, and meaningful recognition (Dhebar & Stokes, 2008; Sandage, 2020; Theis, 2020). With further research regarding technology training for older adult volunteers, older adults’ use of virtual communication platforms, and remote volunteer opportunities, nonprofit organizations will continue to evolve and provide innovative virtual volunteer opportunities for older adults.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Health, Recreation, and Community Services

First Advisor

Julianne Gassman

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (46 pages)



File Format


Off-Campus Download