This paper reports a United States study of the factors that influence the turnover of older adult volunteers. Based on a parent study of programmes that use older adult volunteers, the follow-up study examined the experience for 207 older volunteers who served in ten programmes in 2005 and 2006, respectively. Telephone interviews and mail surveys were used to collect programme and personal information. The findings indicated that aspects of the volunteer experience, like duration of involvement, volunteering in other programme(s), type of activity, the adequacy of on-going support, and the availability of stipends influenced volunteering retention and turnover. Respondents who volunteered for a longer period were committed in other programmes, felt better supported, and received a stipend were less likely to quit volunteering in a designated programme. Also those volunteering in public safety programmes were least likely to quit. As reported by older adult volunteers themselves, the primary reasons for volunteer withdrawal included a higher priority of another productive activity or commitment, declining health, and problems with the programme administration. Volunteers with extensive experience were least likely to withdraw. The findings suggest that organisations with volunteer programmes can promote older adults' long-term engagement as volunteers by providing on-going support and stipends. Changes in programme characteristics would impact positively on volunteer retention, especially among low-income older Americans.