FAQs

Questions about Encore.org and the encore movement

What does Encore.org do?

Encore.org is a nonprofit dedicated to bridging divides, connecting across generations and creating a better future together. 

We work to change the culture by elevating new ideas and diverse voices on the power of connection and collaboration across generational divides. We accelerate innovation by offering a variety of fellowships that empower people bringing generations together to solve society’s greatest problems, increase capacity in the social sector, and create new models for the multigenerational workforce. And we leverage leaders, organizations and networks to build a movement making intergenerational connection and collaboration the norm.

What is Gen2Gen?

In 2016, Encore.org launched the Generation to Generation (Gen2Gen) campaign to engage many more older adults in the lives of young people. We built partnerships with more than 250 organizations, developed best practices for engaging older adults in nonprofit work, provided mini-grants to activists working in real life, and shared inspiration and ideas with tens of thousands of people via email and social media. (See impact here.)

We’ve seen that intergenerational connection can solve critical problems, bridge divides, bring joy to the second half of life, and help all ages thrive. Today, instead of operating as a separate program of Encore.org, the Gen2Gen campaign’s goals, values and ethos are at the heart of all of our work. As one example, on June 1, 2020, Encore.org will open nominations for the Gen2Gen Innovation Prize, for innovators of all ages who are creating new ways to bridge generational divides.

What does it mean to live Gen2Gen?

You’re living Gen2Gen if…

  • You’re aware of age segregation in our society and make efforts to avoid reinforcing ageist stereotypes.
  • You seek out opportunities to connect meaningfully with people of different generations and value the perspective that people of different ages bring.
  • You believe that strength comes from diversity and acknowledge the benefits of multigenerational teams, communities and households.

Want to see if you’re living in an age bubble? Take the quiz.

Why is Encore.org focused on bridging generational divides now?

For the first time in U.S. history, people over 60 outnumber people under 18, raising fears of widening generational divides. We see another path — a more-old-than-young society that works for all generations.

Tell me about Encore.org’s history.

Encore.org was founded on the belief that the aging of America isn’t so much a problem to be solved as it is an opportunity to be seized. For 20 years, we’ve worked to change cultural expectations for the years beyond 50 and spark a movement around second acts for the greater good. In our own second act, we see that intergenerational connection can help us solve critical problems, bridge divides, bring joy to the second half of life, and help all ages thrive. Our work is now focused on these intergenerational solutions.

Tell me about Encore.org’s impact.
Over the years, Encore.org has, among many other accomplishments:
  • Introduced and popularized the term “encore career,” meaning second acts for the greater good.
  • Written six books and hundreds of articles to influence the national conversation on the years beyond midlife and provide information and tools to tens of thousands of people. Marc Freedman’s newest book is How to Live Forever: The Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations. Marci Alboher’s most recent book is The Encore Career Handbook: How to Make a Living and a Difference in the Second Half of Life.
  • Launched Experience Corps to engage adults over 50 as tutors in under-served public schools around the country. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University and Washington University have proved the program’s impact on student reading scores, school culture and older adult health. Today AARP Experience Corps members help 30,000 children in 22 cities learn to read and succeed in school each year.
  • Launched the Purpose Prize, often called “a MacArthur genius award for older adults.” Through the Prize, we Invested $5 million in hundreds of social innovators over 60, while telling a new story about the second half of life. Today the AARP Purpose Prize continues to honor and invest in extraordinary people ages 50 and older who tap into the power of life experience to build a better future for us all.”
  • Created Encore Fellowships, midlife internships to make it easier to transition to encore careers in the social sector. So far, 2,000+ fellows have provided more than 2 million hours of service, at a fraction of their market value, contributing the equivalent of more than $200 million to non-for-profit organizations in over 50 metropolitan areas.
  • Created the Encore Public Voices Fellowship to lift up new and diverse thought leaders working at the intersection of aging, intergenerational connection and social justice. (See impact here.)
  • Attracted a strong board of directors — including CBS’s Jane Pauley, movie exec Sherry Lansing, bestselling author Chip Conley, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Ellen Goodman, and former AARP Experience Corps CEO Lester Strong — and an award-winning team. Encore.org staff won the 2018 Eisner Prize for Intergenerational Excellence. VP Eunice Lin Nichols won the 2019 Irvine Leadership Award, and CEO Marc Freedman has won numerous awards, including the Social Entrepreneur of the Year, given by World Economic Forum, and the Skoll Award in Social Entrepreneurship.
What is an encore or an encore career?

An encore or encore career is continued work in the second half of life that combines social impact, purpose, and often, continued income. While many people see their encore work as a “career,” others associate the career language with an earlier stage of life. For that reason, we talk about an encore role, work, or activity – or simply “an encore.” Use whichever language feels most comfortable to you.

An encore can be paid or volunteer, and doesn’t have to be limited to the nonprofit sector. And it’s much more about life stage than age. That said, the encore stage sits squarely in those years that used to comprise retirement. We see many people planning for their encores in their late 40s or early 50s and moving into encore work in their 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond.

What is the encore movement?

The encore movement aims to solve social problems and create a better future for all generations by tapping the experience of people in midlife and beyond. It includes:

  • The legions of people in or aspiring to transition to their encores. 
  • The organizations working to enable encores for others. 
  • The social-purpose organizations tapping encore talent.
  • The innovators of all ages working to make intergenerational solidarity the norm.
  • And, as Encore.org CEO Marc Freedman writes, all those who find purpose by “investing in the next generation, forging a legacy that endures, and leaving the world better than they found it.”
I’m under 50. Is the encore movement for me?

Yes! The encore movement is for people of all ages who believe that the aging of America isn’t so much a problem to be solved as it is an opportunity to be seized. It’s for those who decry ageism and age segregation, believe in the value of experience, and know that older and younger generations need one another. And it’s for those who understand that connecting across generations will bridge a multitude of divides and create a better future for all. 

How can I find out what’s going on in the encore movement in my area?

The Encore Network is a coalition of leaders and organizations across the country and the world focusing on a wide range of encore issues. Visit the Encore Network site to learn more about encore programs, throughout the U.S. and globally.

How can I find out about webinars and other virtual and in-person events?

Check the Encore.org Events page.

What’s Encore 101 and where can I sign up?

Encore 101 is a free, one-hour monthly orientation session for people interested in learning more about Encore.org, the encore movement, fellowships, intergenerational work, second acts and more. Encore.org staff will provide an introduction and answer your questions. Check the Encore.org Events page for registration details. 

Questions about Encore.org programs

What is Gen2Gen?

In 2016, Encore.org launched the Generation to Generation (Gen2Gen) campaign to engage many more older adults in the lives of young people. We built partnerships with more than 250 organizations, developed best practices for engaging older adults in nonprofit work, provided mini-grants to activists working in real life, and shared inspiration and ideas with tens of thousands of people via email and social media. (See impact here.)

We’ve seen that intergenerational connection can solve critical problems, bridge divides, bring joy to the second half of life, and help all ages thrive. Today, instead of operating as a separate program of Encore.org, the Gen2Gen campaign’s goals, values and ethos are at the heart of all of our work. As one example, on June 1, 2020, we will open nominations for the Gen2Gen Innovation Prize, for innovators of all ages who are creating new ways to bridge generational divides.

Encore.org offers a lot of fellowship programs! How are they different from one another?

It’s true. Our goal is to accelerate innovation by offering a variety of fellowships that empower people bringing generations together to solve society’s greatest problems, increase capacity in the social sector, and create new models for the multigenerational workforce.

Here are the three fellowship opportunities we’re offering now.

  • The Gen2Gen Innovation Fellowship is for innovators who are bridging generational divides. We seek 12 practical visionaries with great new ideas for putting generational connection and collaboration front and center in ways that benefit all ages, solve critical social problems and mend our fraying social fabric.
  • The Encore Public Voices Fellowship is a prestigious year-long initiative to accelerate the ideas and impact of new and necessary thought leaders working at the intersection of aging, longevity, intergenerational connection and social justice. This Fellowship is a joint project of Encore.org and the OpEd Project.

Encore Fellowships match skilled, seasoned professionals with social sector organizations in high impact, paid leadership engagements. Over 10 years, more than 2,000 Encore Fellows™™ have provided over 2 million hours of service, contributing the equivalent of $200 million to not-for-profit organizations in over 50 metropolitan areas.

What is the Gen2Gen Innovation Fellowship?

On June 1, 2020, we will launch the Gen2Gen Innovation Fellowship to call on the nation’s most talented innovators and entrepreneurs to marshall their best ideas to create and scale intergenerational solutions.

We will select an initial group of 12 fellows of all ages and from all backgrounds, sectors and walks of life. They will be animated by a wide range of topics — from literacy to loneliness, housing to health care, education to the environment. But ultimately, these practical visionaries will all be working to solve the same challenge: creating a post-Covid world that puts generational connection and collaboration front and center in ways that benefit all ages, solve critical social problems and mend our fraying social fabric.

Recently, we offered the Early Childhood Innovation Fellowship (formerly the Gen2Gen Innovation Fellowship / Early Childhood) to support innovators tapping the talents of adults, age 50 and older, to improve the care and education of children, age 0 to 5.

What is the Encore Public Voices Fellowship?

The Encore Public Voices Fellowship is a prestigious year-long initiative to accelerate the ideas and impact of new and necessary thought leaders working at the intersection of aging, intergenerational connection and social justice. Working in partnership with The OpEd Project and senior advisor Ann MacDougall, we have provided support, skills and mentoring to 40 fellows to ensure their ideas shape the greater public conversation. (See impact here.)

Applications for the third group of Encore Public Voices Fellows will open on June 1, 2020, and 20 new fellows will be announced this fall.

How can I find out more about becoming or hosting an Encore Fellow?

Encore Fellowships match skilled, seasoned professionals with social sector organizations in high impact, paid leadership engagements. Over 10 years, more than 2,000 Encore Fellows™™ have provided over 2 million hours of service, contributing the equivalent of $200 million to not-for-profit organizations in over 50 metropolitan areas. You can find out more, including how to apply to become or host an Encore Fellow, here.

What is the Encore Network and how can I, or my organization, get involved?

Launched in 2011, the Encore Network is a coalition of leaders and organizations working across the globe to turn longer lives into a force for good. The Network connects leaders for learning, action and impact, and provides resources to expand and enhance members’ work. If you’re interested in collaborating with others to build the encore movement, consider joining today. Get the details here.

How can I nominate someone (or myself) for the Purpose Prize?

Encore.org no longer operates the Purpose Prize, but it lives on. You can learn more and apply for the AARP Purpose Prize here. The award honors and invests in nonprofit founders over 50 who are doing “extraordinary things by tapping their life experience to make a better future for people of any age.”

Where can I sign up for Experience Corps?

Encore.org no longer operates Experience Corps, but it lives on, enlisting thousands of adults over 50 as tutors for tens of thousands of K-3 students struggling to learn to read in 22 cities. You can learn more and apply to become an AARP Experience Corps member here.

Questions about your encore

I'm looking for a job. Can Encore.org help?

Other than through our Encore Fellowship program, Encore.org does not work with individual job seekers. 

Under the Resources section of this website, you’ll see a page called For Encore Seekers. That page will suggest ideas and resources, including The Encore Career Handbook: How to Make a Difference and a Living in the Second Half of Life by Encore.org VP Marci Alboher.

We also encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Our social media channels are where those invested in the encore movement share their ideas and experiences, and often post to jobs in the social sector. Our LinkedIn group is especially useful for those looking to move into encore careers.

A few other resources you might want to consider:

Is Encore.org hiring?

Open positions at Encore.org can be found here.

How can I find a volunteer opportunity that might lead to something more?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Search for volunteer opportunities by zip code and topic area on VolunteerMatch
  • Search here to find Senior Corps opportunities and RSVP offices in your area. 
  • Search MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership’s Mentoring Connector to find a mentoring opportunity near you. 
  • Search for volunteer opportunities you can do from home here.

Consider also volunteering with Experience Corps, Reading Partners, Oasis, Big Brothers Big Sisters and any other Gen2Gen partner organizations at work in your community.

Questions about our website and mailing list

How can I subscribe to the Encore.org mailing list?

You can sign up to get the latest news from Encore.org — including notifications about events, fellowships and other opportunities — here.

How can I unsubscribe from the Encore.org mailing list?

There should be an “Unsubscribe” link at the bottom of each message you receive from us.  Click on that button to remove yourself from our mailing list. If you have trouble, send an email to [email protected].

Who should I contact for media inquiries?

For media inquiries, email Stefanie Weiss, Encore.org’s communications director, at [email protected].

How can I update my email address on your mailing list?

Please send your request to [email protected].

I’m interested in finding encore talent for a job in my organization. Does Encore.org post job listings?

Encore.org does not list jobs for organizations or individuals. We encourage individuals and organizations seeking encore talent to share listings and encore opportunities in our Encore.org LinkedIn group. The nearly 7,000 members of that group include many encore seekers and many nonprofit leaders interested in encore talent. 

Organizations seeking encore talent may also want to consider hiring an Encore Fellow, a seasoned professional looking for a high-impact, paid, part-time assignment with a nonprofit. You can find out more about how here.

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