In recent years there has been an increased recognition that philanthropic engagement needs to be understood longitudinally, rather than as a snapshot in time. Much of this work is quantitative, utilising panel data to track groups of individuals over a number of years. In contrast,
this article takes a qualitative approach to the study of volunteering over the course of individuals’ and their families’ lives. In doing so, it explores how engagement changes over the lifecourse, and how this impacts volunteer engagement in older age. Understanding this is crucial: volunteering
is not an activity that takes place in isolation but rather one that must be situated over time and within a range of other activities. This article uses data from 26 life history interviews conducted in England to develop a heuristic put forward by Davis Smith and Gay (2005), which proposes
three categories of older volunteer: constant, serial and trigger volunteers.
- ingentaconnect article page [Link]