Saturday, March 25, 2006

Replacing Current Nonprofit and Government Leadership

Massive turnover of leadership in nonprofit organizations and in government constitutes another aspect of the current demographics of aging - as the baby boom makes its way "through the python."

Very soon, Baby Boomers will begin to retire in large numbers. These are the people who now serve in leadership positions and other critical positions within important institutions of our communities. These people possess knowledge and wisdom important for the effectiveness of these institutions. In addition, with respect to nonprofits, a recent article in The Chronicle of Philanthropy identifies some research that suggests that the length of time that nonprofit CEOs remain in their positions may become shorter on average due to stress and burnout.

Adding all that together seems to point to a crucial need to identify how we will develop the future talent necessary to keep nonprofit organizations successful, along with developing a means for recruiting and sustaining capable leaders in nonprofit organizations and government.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Staying Engaged Keeps You Healthy

Consumer Reports on Health had an article related to my last blog's topic. CR pointed out that retirement has greatly changed, because so many people live longer lives.

CR cites research that good health and meaningful lives go hand in hand. The most satisfied retirees in one study were 1.5 times more likely than others to be doing things like volunteering and working. This engagement seems to improve emotional and physical health, according to another study. It even keeps the mind sharper - improving cognitive functioning.

Many opportunities exist for productive use of time in the "retirement years," including including continuing education, paid work, and community service. CR lists 18 web sites as sources of information, such as Civic Ventures, Retired Brains, Habitat for Humanity, National Retiree Volunteer Coalition, and Senior Corps. And, don't forget that the Peace Corps is not just for people in their twenties. Older volunteers make up a sizeable proportion of that important organization!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Aging Issues & "More of Everything"

Sorry. It's been almost two months since my last posting. Too much work, plus too much travel.

I'll try to return to a schedule of a few times a week, even if some entries are short!

Census Bureau issued a report of importance for us - concerning aging. I've frequently mentioned in talks during the past few years that, as the Baby Boomers age, we can expect "more of everything".

That is, we can expect more people who are healthy and active, in reasonable financial shape, participating in their communities, well into their seventies, eighties, and even nineties. On the other hand, we can expect more centenarians who will experience the usual problems of old age. In addition, there will simply be more people who are isolated and of poor financial means.

The Census Bureau picked up on the positive side of this. A recent report noted that current older Americans are showing much less disability than older Americans of 20 years ago. Persons over 65 are better educated, healthier, and generally in much better shape than during the last century; and this trend will continue as the Boomers begin retiring.

So, as we think about all that we need to do in our communities, one source of vital talent (knowledge, plus the ability to get things done) will be our older residents.

(You can find the Census Bureau's report at: