older adults are leading change


An Innovative Idea for Tackling Tough Challenges

Community change happens in many forms and contexts, from grassroots projects to large-scale initiatives, in rural settings and inner city neighborhoods. This website describes a breakthrough strategy that groups of all sizes, doing work across a wide range of issue areas, are using to accelerate and advance their missions. Together with free supporting resources available for download, this site can help you explore, plan, and implement an older adult–led change strategy in your own community.

Who Should Explore This Site?

The free resources on this site will be of particular interest to people and organizations that sponsor or launch community-driven initiatives, such as executive leaders, program heads and project directors at community foundations, private funders, nonprofit agencies and networks—including United Ways, Area Agencies on Aging, and volunteer centers. This work also has wide relevance to policymakers, government officials, and others in civic leadership positions.

The Opportunity

Virtually every community in the U.S. is seeing rapid growth in its older population. By 2030, there will be 72 million Americans at least 65 years old—more than twice as many as in 2000. Older adults bring a wealth of experience raising families, building careers, and navigating life’s challenges, and many are lifelong members of their communities. Many have developed skills, judgment, passions, and personal networks over multiple decades. They want opportunities to keep growing and to give back, often by contributing their time but also through continued learning, paid work, and “encore careers” where they are able to bring unique value.

An older adult-led community change strategy takes effort and investment. The end result, however, is a pathway to innovation and solutions that are more efficient, effective, and sustainable.

Putting This Proven Strategy to Work in Your Community

Since 2010, leaders in nine diverse communities have been mobilizing older adults to address important community issues. As part of the Community Experience Partnership (an initiative of The Atlantic Philanthropies with management by Socius Group), these nine projects have developed a flexible template and free resources available to help you do similar work in your community.

  • Learn more about the nine Community Experience Partnership projects and how older adult–led change is happening today.
  • Explore the Road Map, an interactive model for planning an older adult–led community change strategy.
  • View other free resources, including short videos, stories, guides, and tools.