Encore Talent Works: Building the Market for Encore Talent

In a marketplace driven by supply and demand, can the demand for encore talent – experienced, 50+ adults who want to make a difference – generate ample opportunities for the steady supply of encore-seekers who want to work in social-impact roles? Can we educate the market to understand the powerful human resource embodied in encore talent – and the windfall of benefits encore talent can deliver?

That’s the goal of Encore Talent Works, an interactive, one-stop toolkit to connect organizations’ ambitious goals with encore talent, to build new capacity. As Denver-based Project Shine Volunteer Coordinator Brandy Kramer said, “You’re doing your organization a disservice if you don’t invest time in recruiting boomers . . .They have great experience, knowledge and networks that will help you accomplish a lot more than you could without them.”

Consider Greg Betley, a 50+ tech veteran who signed up with ReServe, the nonprofit that matches professionals with nonprofit organizations. Greg was placed at St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children – and quickly transformed the organization’s tech services. A year later, President Deirdre Houtmeyers said, “We’re in a completely different place. . . . Greg has had an unbelievable impact.”

Thousands of Greg Betleys are using their experience in encore roles – but many organizations aren’t yet tapping into this growing talent pool, mainly because they don’t understand the value of encore talent. That’s why Encore.org and local program leaders developed Encore Talent Works, the first interactive toolkit for volunteer managers, hiring managers and executives that provides research, success stories, recruiting tips, a map of encore programs and links to resources from Points of Light, the National Council of Nonprofits, Bridgespan and others, to show how encore talent can help nonprofits and social-impact organizations nationwide.

“We’re thrilled to launch the Encore Talent Works toolkit, our dynamic new resource to help organizations leverage experienced talent and build nonprofit capacity,” said Ann MacDougall, President of Encore.org.

Mature adults are a growing talent pool, as millions of baby boomers look to use their skills in mission-driven work. Encore Talent Works is an online tool to help the social sector benefit from this experienced talent base, in direct service, capacity-building and strategic roles.

Encore Talent Works builds on the experience of many programs working with encore-stage adults, collaborating across the Encore Network. More than 50 network organizations advance the use of encore talent, share resources, create a learning community and raise the visibility of encore work.

The project team included Betsy Werley, Encore.org’s Director of Network Expansion; Beverly Burns, former Encore Innovation Fellow; Susan Fort, SCORE; David Garvey and Linda Friedman, University of Connecticut Nonprofit Management Program; Emily Merritt, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities and Kate Schaefers, AARP Minnesota President.

Leading capacity-building organizations have endorsed Encore Talent Works, including Points of Light, the National Council of Nonprofits and Bridgespan.

Notes Points of Light’s Georgia Gillette, Senior Vice President, Programs, “This toolkit will help nonprofits benefit from the deep expertise, wide networks and life experience of encore-stage adults. We look forward to sharing it with our many program partners as a way to improve and expand their skills-based volunteer initiatives.”

Rollout plans include webinars, conference presentations and outreach through the Encore Network, Encore Fellowships Network and Encore’s upcoming campaign for children and youth.

For more information, contact Betsy Werley, Encore.org Director of Network Expansion.