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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Boomers Are Ready for Nonprofits But Are Nonprofits Ready for Them?

Report by Jill Casner-Lotto

Jill Casner-Lotto reports on the challenges and promises that lie ahead for human resource management in the nonprofit sector. The aging baby-boomer generation is set to retire, en-mass, by the end of the decade, leaving positions in the public and private sectors. In the author’s view, the retirement of ‘boomers’ in the public and private sectors comes at a time when the nonprofit sector is experiencing substantial growth and the need for nonprofit work is greater than ever. The alignment of these two facts leads Casner-Lotto to conclude that recruiting recent retirees to the nonprofit sector can alleviate shortages of senior managers and executives in the nonprofit sector caused by weak professional development or “back strength,” that is, the strength on managers just below senior or executive positions.

The author notes that the boomer generation is healthier, better educated and wealthier than any previous generation. According to recent research, many boomers plan to work and earn well past the traditional retirement age. The nonprofit sector has developed along with the boomer generation; baby boomers have been large benefactors to its various causes. The nonprofit sector can benefit greatly from the boomers by recruiting them to fill empty or much needed management and executive positions; these new recruits would bring professional and management skills developed in the public and private sectors.

To succeed in recruiting boomers to the nonprofit sector, organizations will have to address certain issues, contends Casner-Lotto. In particular, she suggests the nonprofit sector must develop a more professional executive development and recruitment model. She also posits that the nonprofit sector must develop flexible work models to meet the needs and aspirations of an aging workforce. Lastly, it must expand recruitment pathways by building bridges with corporations, the public sector, educational institutions and volunteers. She concludes that the challenges faced by the nonprofit sector can be overcome by taking advantage of the opportunities that present themselves with the retirement of the baby-boomer generation.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Jill Casner-Lotto;
Publisher: Conference Board of Canada [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2007; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: National;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Labour & Markets / Retirement & Pensions
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral / Non-profit sector
Policy Articles / Welfare & Social Issues / Aging Population
Policy Articles / Labour & Markets
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral
Policy Articles / Welfare & Social Issues
Policy Articles / Labour & Markets / Retirement & Pensions / 2007
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral / Non-profit sector / 2007
Policy Articles / Welfare & Social Issues / Aging Population / 2007


Keywords / Tags:

non-profit; retirement; skilled workers; recruitment; baby-boomer; executive; management; professional development; private sector; public sector;