In the last two years, under my leadership, the Encore Fellowships Network has truly proven itself to be a “killer app” for connecting Encore talent to opportunity. We have built the internal capacity to manage a significantly increased number of Encore Fellows; 2016 was a banner year for the network, with it handling a surge of more than 840 new fellowship matches, reaching upwards of between 50 and 200 fellows in key geographies, and developing a capacity to match fellows remotely in close to 40 communities outside those represented by the local network programs. Other accomplishments included developing new and solidifying existing corporate sponsorships, expanding the program to new sites, and deepening partnerships with national program operators to share and implement best practices.
Since last November, with the launch of the Generation to Generation campaign, a new set of opportunities for using Encore Fellows to build the capacity of nonprofits nationwide has arisen. The campaign’s coalition of nearly 100 partner organizations offers wide-scale opportunities for Encore Fellows to strengthen the capacity of youth-serving organizations to tap older adults’ expertise.
Looking at these past accomplishments and future opportunities, Encore.org’s Board of Directors agreed to make the growth of EFN one of the top two priorities for our 5-year strategic plan. By 2021, we expect the Encore Fellowships Network to become a truly national network, doubling its current 13-city geographic footprint to over 25 major communities. This growth will be accompanied by a significant increase in EFN’s corporate and national nonprofit partnerships.
In discussing the future needs of EFN, management and I agreed that we needed to reframe the EFN leadership role and skill-set to one focused more on corporate strategy, entrepreneurial growth, franchise development and financial modeling. Accordingly, I will be stepping down from the national director role in the fall but am committed to working to ensure a smooth handoff and continued success of the EFN.
We’ve retained a search firm, Bridge Partners, and hope you will help us by reaching deep into your networks to direct excellent candidates to send their resumes to Bridge Partners. The job posting is on the Encore.org job listings page along with other Encore opportunities.
I thoroughly enjoyed the challenges and opportunities of leading EFN as the national director, and bringing it to new heights. I know I will always support the encore movement but want to let you know that we couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you all for your contributions to EFN’s current and future success!
National Director, Encore Fellowships Network