The Home Office has made £600,000 available for a national co-ordinating body to attract older volunteers.
The money is part of a new pot of £5.4m funding to attract volunteers from unrepresented sections of UK society over the next two years.
A Home Office spokesman said it wanted to build on existing infrastructure, allaying fears that it was imposing a new umbrella body similar to the Experience Corps.
He said the £600,000 would previously have gone to the Experience Corps and added: "We're keen to open up the field to fund existing volunteering agencies that will encourage older volunteers. The Active Communities Directorate is taking an open-mind approach, and those that offer the best and most sustainable method will be awarded the money."
The Home Office said it envisaged funding an organisation with a national co-ordinating role, which will be required to work with other directorate-funded initiatives such as TimeBank, Volunteering England and the do-it.org database.
Some £4m will go to increase group volunteering and engage people who don't normally volunteer, with £800,000 to develop a national mentoring body.