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In June 2014, the Stanford Center on Longevity, Encore.org and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation joined together to convene the “Pass it On” conference of national experts, to explore how experienced adults can play critical roles in the lives of our children and youth, and to elevate generativity as a norm for the second half of life. This monograph builds on the key recommendations that emerged from the “Pass it On” conference to propose practical strategies for engaging encore talent to meet the needs of youth. It explains what organizations and communities can do, and encourages leaders and individuals alike to support and join efforts to mobilize experienced adults to work with children and youth. Two demographics — children in need of support and adults with the time and inclination to step into roles that provide it — fit together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
To better understand how Encore Fellows deliver impact in the organizations in which they serve (usually 1000 hours over a one-year period in stipended roles to improve organizational capacity, Jacquelyn James, Co-director of the Center on Aging & Work at Boston College, interviewed fellows, executive directors and other key staff at three organizations across the U.S. that worked on issues advancing the needs of children and youth. The study highlights commonalities among these three organizations in how bothfellows and the nonprofit leadership approached the fellowship, with exceptional impact for the organizations and fellows alike.
In 2015 Encore.org and six study partners surveyed nonprofit organizations that had used people in encore roles and asked about the kinds of impact they had observed and the personal characteristics of the individuals that might have contributed to that impact. The results – from volunteers to stipended roles, people in encores deliver unexpected types of impact across the board.