With RSVP volunteers logging millions of hours in free volunteer service, it is natural to question whether the individual RSVP volunteer is giving too much. The long and short answer is probably not. First of all, RSVP volunteers can get reimbursed for job-related costs. Second of all, job satisfaction is very high which is why so many seniors jump at the chance to be a RSVP volunteer. Their recruitment level is currently running about 500,000 volunteers: an impressive showing for a program that cannot pay its participants.
No Stipend Yet
While Foster Grandparents and Homebound Companions can qualify for a tax-free stipend, RSVP does not offer stipends at this time.
RSVP Volunteer Reimbursement Categories
The main reimbursement categories are transportation costs and the cost of meals taken during assignments. This is similar to the way paid staffers get their costs reimbursed. It helps take the financial burden off of retirees.
RSVP Volunteer Job Satisfaction
RSVP volunteers report a high level of job satisfaction. They love being part of the workforce again and feel a renewed sense of self-worth. They also make new friends and discover new interests. Studies show that RSVP volunteers also feel healthier than they did before the volunteering. RSVP volunteers often receive the admiration of the public that they serve. This is an especially up-lifting part of the job.
Surprising Side Benefits
Each volunteer receives training from the agency where they are placed. This and the on-the-job training are valuable and sometimes lead to the retiree re-entering the workforce or taking a second job related to their new knowledge base. Where applicable, RSVP retirees are given on-the-job accident, personal liability and excess automobile insurance.