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Morning Keynote: Marc Freedman

Yes, I'm liveblogging the conference. Some people are really into American Idol or football or local music.

I'm into nonprofits.

Marc Freedman is the co-founder of the Experience Corps. They're sort of like Americorps for the AARP. He's discussing how to engage retiring Boomers in nonprofit employment. It's kind of the opposite of my specialty (getting young people involved in volunteerism), but this should be valuable nonetheless.

Every 8 seconds, someone turns 60.

There will soon be more people over 60 than under 20, and this is a worldwide (at least with Western developed countries) trend.

This guy is telling a lot of stories. We're now getting Del Webb's life story. I don't know why.

Okay, he's spent more than half his time on the 'what.' From looking around the room, we know what the deal is. There are lots of old people. Get to the 'how,' please. Tell us how to engage seniors. Tell us how to find them, involve them, and learn from them. You've got 15 minutes.

Nonprofits would be wise to take a page from corporations already recruiting retirees. For example, Home Depot is actively trying to fill part-time spots with aging boomers who want to turn a hobby into an income. Perhaps charities can find great talent (paid or volunteer) with a similar message.

Freedman recommends a GI Bill kind of idea for retirees to involve them post-retirement in civic activities. For example, if someone agrees to have an 'encore' career in something that is at the intersection of philanthropy and business, you'll be rewarded. You can have a break (sabbatical, education, etc.) and be compensated and receive satisfaction. This will create value for society and the individual.

In sum, there are people who want to keep working and have a valuable set of talents and a lot to offer. A great place for them to offer these assets and plug in is the nonprofit sector. We all need to get creative to make the two meet up.

And that's a wrap! I'm really looking forward to the lunch keynote, Darfur advocate John Prendergast.