Senior Corps Senior Corps Corporation for National and Community Service
Research: Core Elements

Core Elements of Senior Service Intensive Service
An appropriate number of volunteers engaged in 15 or more hours of service a week — provides stability to the volunteer stations and increases their capacity to utilize the volunteers effectively.

Critical Mass
Volunteers are placed at each station in high enough numbers to ensure that senior volunteers are viewed as an essential resource in meeting critical community needs.

Teams
The majority of volunteers serve in teams of 4 or more — building affiliation and mutual support to help sustain volunteer participation, engage in joint problem-solving and draws on the complementary skills of the team members.

Options
Service options are increased as a way to achieve full potential & value, and include: part-time, full-time, episodic, stipended and unstipended. Seniors can move in and out of options as their life circumstances & interests change; and as the community agencies’ needs for volunteers change.

Leadership
Volunteer assignments develop and make full use of volunteer skills — managerial, organizational, entrepreneurial and leadership.

Incentives
Creative incentives help ensure consistent performance and facilitate intensive service of 15 hours or more a week…and include non-taxable stipends and others related to the costs of service.

Service-learning
Principles of service-learning allow volunteers to reflect on their volunteer experiences and apply their insights. Volunteers are active participants in reflection processes as facilitators and discussion leaders.

Diversity
Recruiting should attract a diverse range of participants in terms of income, age, gender and ethnical and racial backgrounds; disabled seniors and those that live in neighborhoods where service occurs.

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