Part 1: The PowerUp! Volunteer Engagement Strategy

The Aging Network’s Volunteer Collaborative ( is a national resource center that helps leaders in the Aging and Disability Networks engage older adult volunteers to meet growing needs for services. Our PowerUP! Volunteer Engagement Strategy is designed to provide easily accessible and ready-to-use resources to organizations within the Aging and Disability Networks to support effective engagement of volunteers. As part of this strategy, the PowerUP! Institute provides hands-on training based on a research-based framework for forming self-directed teams of volunteers. In turn, these volunteers can carry out projects that extend the organizations’ capacity to serve older adults.

The Barriers

Our research has found that some of the key traits that create a barrier to engaging volunteers are as follows:

  • Lack of alignment of organization and volunteer interests
  • Lack of resources for paid staff
  • Staff burden of volunteer management and administration

The Solution

We believe that adopting the PowerUP! volunteer engagement strategy will provide solutions to these barriers. The PowerUP! strategy promotes the following:

  • Changing organization and paid staff role
    i.e. management to stewardship
  • Changing volunteer roles
    i.e. line workers to leaders
  • Engaging volunteers’ experience
    Broad array of volunteer service options
  • Empowering volunteers
    Considered as staff counterparts


There are two main components of our PowerUP! volunteer engagement strategy:

  1. The PowerUP! Institute, which provides information, enrollment, training and implementation support for self-directed volunteer teams.
    In addition, the institute provides accreditation within the Network for volunteers to continue to provide ongoing training and facilitation of additional teams for the Network.
    Learn More
  2. A virtual resource center and nationally branded marketing campaign to help agencies create awareness and support volunteer recruitment.
    Learn more

In Conclusion

PowerUP! gives leaders in the Aging and Disability Networks the strategies and tools they need to power up their agencies’ services by tapping the skills and passion of older adult volunteers. This engagement also supports older adult volunteers in powering up their own skills, health and lifelong learning.

OUR GOAL: To have recruited 1 million volunteers by 2015!

Tutorial Completion Progress

Now that you’ve learned about the Volunteer Engagement Strategy, let’s learn about self directed volunteer teams™ and the role of the SDV Network.