Community Foundations Receive Grants to Mobilize Older Adults

The Community Experience Partnership, which was launched in 2006 to increase the involvement of people over the age of 60 in civic life through paid work, lifelong learning, and volunteering, has announced the second phase of grants.

Funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies, CEP will award grants ranging from $20,000 to $100,000 each to twenty-four community foundations working to plan and implement programs that create opportunities for older adults to share their knowledge and talents with their communities. The second phase of the initiative will build upon the foundations' efforts to assess and better understand the possibilities for engaging older adults in civic life.

Grantees include the Phoenix-based Arizona Community Foundation; the Community Foundation of Broward in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; the New York Community Trust; the Cape Cod Foundation in Yarmouthport, Massachusetts; and the Dallas Foundation.

In addition, eight community foundations will receive grants to begin phase one of the partnership. They include the Virginia-based Arlington Community Foundation; the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County in South Bend, Indiana; the Southwest Initiative Foundation in Hutchinson, Minnesota; and the Seattle Foundation.

According to Atlantic, participants in phase one of the partnership found that while the growing population of older adults overwhelmingly wants to be engaged in making life better for themselves and those around them, a range of barriers often prevent community groups from tapping into the full potential of people 60 and older. In phase two of the partnership, community foundations and the organizations they work with will develop ways to overcome those challenges to put the skills and interests of older adults to best use.

"How we respond to this demographic sea change will determine whether this precious human resource is leveraged or squandered," said Laura Robbins, head of Atlantic's U.S. Aging Program. "Our actions will impact quality of life not just for older Americans, but for all Americans."

"Communities Across America Look to People Over 60 to Make a Difference" Community Experience Partnership Press Release 03/31/2008.