Encore is raising awareness of the enormous potential people 50+ offer: with their education, experience and desire to make a difference, they’re an invaluable community resource.
Listening, learning, jumpstarting action
Led by Grand Rapids Community Foundation, hundreds of local people helped develop a vision and roadmap for creating a community where older adults—and people of all ages—live to their fullest potential. Called Creating Community for a Lifetime the process catalyzed community efforts, including Encore.
Demonstrating the possibilities
Grand Rapids is one of nine US communities selected to create new models for leveraging the talents of experienced adults to help solve tough community issues. A multi-year $1 million-plus grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies and Grand Rapids Community Foundation is funding a local Community Experience Partnership project demonstrating how experienced adults can significantly impact the issue of homelessness—and, by extension, other challenging issues the community faces. Dozens of nonprofits helped design the project, providing ideas based on their involvement in intensive learning about best practices in engaging experienced adults and ending homelessness.
Through the national Community Experience Partnership, Kent County is part of a network of community foundations raising awareness of the movement to deploy the talents of people in their 50s, 60s and beyond in social purpose work. This creative network keeps us abreast of significant work taking place nationwide while infusing our community’s efforts with valuable learning.
Building a solid foundation for change
Encore has helped hundreds of community members and their organizations learn how to reap the full benefit of the aging of Kent County—by sponsoring community forums and local presentations by national thought leaders and facilitating planning initiatives. Encore also supports local research and reports, such as Boomers and Beyond: Is Our Community Ready to Tap their Talents?