Is Kent County ready to reap the experience dividend that its 50+ population offers? An Encore community assessment found that many local organizations are eager to tap this talent source but lack the capacity to do so. Two Encore investments are helping to change that.
The Encore: Coming of Age® Learning Lab helps nonprofit organizations develop strategies for achieving their missions by effectively involving age 50+ volunteers and encore careerists.
Based on cutting-edge research on engaging 50+ adults in meaningful service, the Learning Lab offers proven approaches for creating compelling opportunities for experienced adults and maximizing their impact in the organization.
Dozens of social purpose organizations in Kent County have participated in the Learning Lab, offered by Grand Valley State University’s Johnson Center for Philanthropy with Encore support. Learning Lab participants also gain access to follow-up technical assistance provided by the Johnson Center.
Connecting skill-based volunteers with significant social purpose work
The Heart of West Michigan United Way Volunteer Center links nonprofits, schools and government organizations with volunteers and volunteer management resources. The Center disseminates information about volunteer opportunities to businesses, schools and universities, and the media, as well as through Volunteer Solutions, a free web-based volunteer matching system. With Encore support, the center has geared up to assist organizations in recruiting and cultivating experienced adults, with a focus on skill-based opportunities.