The Senior Corps Program, administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), engages adults 55 years and older in national service that provides benefits both to local communities and to the volunteers themselves. This report describes the history and goals of the three Senior Corps programs and reviews the literature on the effectiveness of these programs to:
  • identify the strength of the evidence base for Senior Corps
  • contextualize these findings within the larger literature on the impact of volunteering for older adults
  • offer recommendations and lessons learned from this review
Study Goals:
The goal of this report was to systematically review the evaluation literature on three Senior Corps programs from 1980 to 2019 to determine what the academic literature and research realizes about the impact of Senior Corps on those who volunteer in its programs and on those served by Senior Corps volunteers.
Research Questions:
The research questions were:
  1. What is the strength of the evidence base for Senior Corps?
    1. What is the impact of Senior Corps service on volunteers and beneficiaries?
    2. What is the effectiveness of specific Senior Corps service models or interventions?
  2. How do findings from the research on volunteering among older adults generally compare to the findings from research about Senior Corps specifically?
  3. What are the learnings, best practices and key resources that can inform the work of CNCS, its grantees, and other stakeholder groups?
The evaluation found the following:
  • Findings show a positive impact of Senior Corps participation (75% of the outcomes studied having positive results) on both volunteers and beneficiaries.
  • The majority of the evaluations reviewed examined psychosocial and physical health outcomes; consequently, the majority of the positive outcomes observed for volunteers are in these two domains.
  • The majority of these positive findings (78%) are from non-experimental designs, and most did not directly test for statistical significance, so more rigorous evaluation will help address selection bias and further strengthen the evidence base. 
For more information, download the full report.

Further information

Best Practice Dissemination, Senior Corps Program
Implementing Organization
CNCS Office of Research and Evaluation Commissioned Report
AmeriCorps Program(s)
AmeriCorps Seniors
Age(s) Studied
55+ (Older adult)
Focus Population(s)/Community(s)
Outcome Category
Aging in place
Benefit to national service members/volunteers
Nonprofit development
Improving AmeriCorps
JBS International
Published Year