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Volunteer Forum

TCU Retirees Helping Nonprofit and Public Organizations Better Serve the Fort Worth Community

Download the concept paper by Larry Adams describing the proposed program for the TCU Retirees Association.

Volunteering and Service: Member Survey Results

By Judy Groulx

Many of us can probably either quote or closely paraphrase parts of TCU’s mission statement: To educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community. Recently we polled our membership to find that many of us are, indeed, acting as responsible citizens in our community.

The purpose of the survey was to ascertain what role, if any, the TCURA might play in supporting or facilitating retirees’ service activities. We gathered information from 114 survey participants, representing about 20% of all members who receive email correspondence from the Association, along with several who filled out paper-pencil surveys.

Respondents named agencies and nonprofits where they volunteer and provided descriptions of a wide variety of service activities. We are engaged in over 80 different areas, including churches, courts and prisons, libraries, gardens, museums, schools, political organizations, environmental agencies, neighborhoods, health agencies and hospices. We are serving the homeless and hungry, veterans, school children and youth, victims, refugees, animals, and the elderly. Most frequently mentioned were church-associated activities or responsibilities, Meals on Wheels, and serving as a board member for non-profits.

Given how dedicated this group of retirees are, already, it is notable that quite a few people (25%) report that they have time to learn about new volunteering opportunities, while nearly 50% indicated that they would participate in one-time service event. A smaller number (12%) would appreciate TCURA support for seeking volunteer and service opportunities.

Interest in seeking professionally- related longer-term service commitments appears to be low, but that may be because the concept was not explained in any detail within the survey. To learn more about what that kind of service entails, you may wish to read Larry’s Adams’ concept paper, which you can download here.

At the end of the survey, over a dozen people provided their names to show interest in following up on survey results. Overall, it appears that this sample of TCU retirees collectively donate considerable time and effort to service.

Given these findings, members of the task force on volunteering and service are taking the following steps:

1. Coordinating with Dr. Roseangela Boyd’s work as Director of Community Engagement. As she assists student groups to match them with volunteering opportunities, she can include TCU retirees by notifying us of upcoming events and helping us connect with agencies in need and their leaders;

2. Publishing Dr. Boyd’s suggestions and opportunities as part of our newsletter and/or website;

3. Creating a forum where retirees can share descriptions of their service activities and invite colleagues to join them;

4. Explaining in more detail ways that corporations and other universities match volunteers’ professional skills with non-profit agency needs, to initiate consulting projects that may entail pro-bono work, or part time employment in some cases (see TCURA website);

5. Seeking individuals interested in coordinating further with Dr. Boyd’s office, and/or helping mobilize retirees for one-time events.