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Cogenerational Service Academy

ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation
Phoenix, Arizona

Creating multigenerational teams of AmeriCorps members and volunteers to bridge divides, enhance economic opportunities and address pressing community needs

The Cogenerational Service Academy at ASU works to bridge the generational divide within national service and normalize collaborative problem-solving. Older volunteers and younger AmeriCorps members will form small teams to develop service projects that can help close the racial wealth gap, support minority- and female-owned small businesses, advance homesharing and caregiving solutions, improve financial literacy and provide job training. Capitalizing on the strengths of both generations, the projects will promote social inclusion, reduce ageism and enhance community cohesion.

Jill Watts portrait

Led by Jill Watts, Director, Capacity Building Initiatives

Jill Watts, the director of capacity building initiatives at the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation, is a key figure in advancing the Center’s mission to strengthen the social sector.

As director, Jill leads initiatives to expand the Center’s reach, targeting a diverse audience from grassroots organizations to large national entities. She oversees programs focused on elevating nonprofit organizational effectiveness and capacity, including board governance, strategic planning, cogenerational initiatives, service enterprise training, and leadership programs for the next generation of social sector professionals.

Jill’s expertise spans the business, government and nonprofit sectors. Before her role at the ASU Lodestar Center, she served as director of communications at ValueOptions Arizona, managing communications, advocacy, marketing and advertising for the Regional Behavioral Health Authority. Earlier in her career, Jill was executive director at the Arizona Foundation for Women, dedicated to preventing domestic violence and child abuse, and intergovernmental liaison for the Arizona Department of Economic Security.

Jill holds a bachelor’s degree, MBA and Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) credentialing from Arizona State University. A graduate of Valley Leadership, Jill actively engages in community networks and serves on various organizational boards. With two grown children, she resides in central Phoenix with her partner, Shawn McClain, and their Australian Shepherd, Siobhan.