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Announcing the CoGen Challenge to Advance Economic Opportunity

Applications now open for $20K awards to support and elevate cogenerational models that bring generations together

By Janet Oh and Cristina Rodriguez | Sep 5, 2023

Illustration of a multigenerational crowd at a bus stop with text reading CoGen Challenge Advancing economic opportunity

We’re out to show the world that older and younger people can help solve pressing problems when they work together.

To that end, today we’re launching the CoGen Challenge to Advance Economic Opportunity, a partnership with the Ares Charitable Foundation to elevate cogenerational models that bring older and younger generations together to help create a more inclusive and prosperous future.

The Challenge will:

  • engage thought leaders to inspire and activate others, 
  • provide $20,000 investments and coaching to eight innovative initiatives, and 
  • sponsor a virtual public showcase of their work. 

Applications are now open. We’re seeking eight groundbreaking, cogenerational models that can open doors to economic opportunity and transform the landscape. Qualifying innovators can be (but are not limited to) nonprofits, social enterprises, commercial ventures, policy shops, academic institutions, faith organizations, and government institutions.


Leaders of the selected initiatives will participate in a six-month accelerator, providing a supportive community, plus expert and peer coaching in program development, expansion, storytelling, and fundraising.

If you’re interested in applying for funding, coaching and peer support:

  • Read our comprehensive FAQs.
  • Register to attend the first information session on Wednesday, September 27 at 9am PT / 12pm ET.
  • Register to attend the second information session on Wednesday, October 4, 9am PT / 12pm ET

Applications will close on Oct. 16, 2023 at 5pm PT / 8 pm ET.

Public conversations with thought leaders also begin today (1pm PT / 4pm ET), with a dialogue between Co-CEO Eunice Lin Nichols and the nation’s expert on caregiving, Ai-jen Poo. Ai-jen is a next-generation labor leader, author, and expert on elder and family care, the future of work, gender equality, immigration, and grassroots organizing. She’s the director of Caring Across Generations, president of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and winner of the MacArthur “Genius” Award.

The two women will discuss the crisis, care as infrastructure, and caregiving as “the essential work of the human experience.” They’ll also turn to the most promising solutions, including those that bring older and younger people together to improve life for caregivers and those who need care. 

The Challenge’s second public conversation will take place on Sept. 28 with two prominent funders dedicated to cogenerational solutions:

  • Sarita Gupta, vice president of U.S. programs at the Ford Foundation overseeing the foundation’s domestic work including Civic Engagement and Government, Creativity and Free Expression, Future of Work(ers), Technology and Society, Disability Rights, and Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice.
  • David Hsu, director of the Building Cultures of Belonging portfolio at the Omidyar Network and a member of the CoGenerate Board of Directors.

You can register here

Know someone who might be interested in applying for the grants or attending the public conversations? Spread the word using these suggested social media posts and graphics.

We’re grateful to the Ares Charitable Foundation for supporting the CoGen Challenge and for helping to create a future where age-diversity becomes one of our nation’s greatest strengths.

The Ares Charitable Foundation (the “Ares Foundation”) is a 501(c)(3) qualifying organization sponsored by Ares Management Corporation (“Ares”), a leading global alternative investment manager. Established in 2020, the Ares Foundation seeks to accelerate equality of economic opportunity through grants to nonprofit organizations whose programming provides Career Preparation & Reskilling, encourages Entrepreneurship and deepens individuals’ understanding of Personal Finance. The Ares Foundation’s vision – a world in which people benefit from equitable access to knowledge, resources and opportunities so that they can achieve their full potential – reflects Ares’ core values and staunch commitment to philanthropy.