Frequently Asked Questions
Hey, what happened to Encore.org?
On Oct. 12, 2022, we changed our name from Encore.org to CoGenerate. As Encore.org, we helped change cultural expectations for the years beyond 50 and expand the contributions of older people. Now, as CoGenerate, we’re focusing on what the vast and growing older population can do in collaboration with younger generations to solve our nation’s most pressing problems.
What does “cogenerate” mean?
“Co” means together in Latin. Think collaboration, connection, community. We define cogeneration as a strategy to bring older and younger people together to forge bonds across differences, combat polarization and ageism, and help solve today’s toughest problems.
What does CoGenerate do?
As one of the nation’s leading social-impact organizations dedicated to making the most of our increasingly multigenerational society, CoGenerate brings older and younger people together to solve problems, bridge divides and co-create the future. Our goal is to put the idea of cogeneration on the map, build momentum around it, and change the social norm from generations apart to generations together.
We accomplish our goals in three ways: First, we work as a catalyst to shift the cultural narrative and tell a new story about cogenerational action. We write books and essays, sponsor research, partner with media, speak out, and hold virtual and in-person events.
And third, we build a community of leaders, organizations and funders to scale this work and sustain it. We hope you’ll join us by signing up for regular updates and invitations, coming to one of our events, and taking cogenerational action in your own life and in your community.
Why are you focused on bridging generational divides now?
There are so many things happening right now, creating urgency and opportunity.
We live in the most age-diverse time in human history, with 5 generations in the workplace at the same time. A new report from the Stanford Center on Longevity shows unprecedented age diversity, with almost equal numbers of people of every age from birth to 70 and beyond.
At the same time, we’re a deeply age-segregated nation, with few opportunities for the generations to connect in daily life, much less combine their talents.
New research from NORC at the University of Chicago shows that nearly all people (96%) believe cogeneration will make life better in America, and 93% say cogeneration will reduce divisions in our society. People want to cogenerate, but don’t often have the chance — 72% wish they had more opportunities to work across generations for change.
Finally, let’s face it: Our world is rocked by crises no generation can handle alone. We’re missing out on the complementary skills and talents people of all ages can bring to the table, the power and energy we can create, the divides we can bridge, the communities and country we can build together.
What are your current programs?
We run four programs right now.
- Innovation Fellowships support the work of innovators with ambitious initiatives to solve problems and bridge divides.
- Encore Fellowships match experienced professionals with nonprofits to boost capacity and strengthen multigenerational teams.
- Generations Serving Together offers incentive grants to age-integrate national service programs.
- Encore Physicians places retired physicians at health clinics to treat underserved people and mentor younger colleagues.
How can I get involved?
Check out this list of resources providing inspiration, education and concrete ways to connect with younger and older people to solve problems and bridge divides.
Does CoGenerate have programs or chapters in my area?
No. We’re a small, national organization working with hundreds of other organizations across the country to spark a movement. If you’re looking for local or virtual opportunities to cogenerate, check out this list of resources. And if you’re looking for local organizations committed to helping people find second acts for the greater good, check out the Encore Network, a coalition of local groups and leaders.
What is your history?
We were founded 25 years ago with the idea that the growing, older population was less a problem to be solved than an opportunity to be seized. In the years since then, we’ve become an award-winning nonprofit known for thought leadership, social entrepreneurship and field-building. Take a quick look at where we’ve been and the impact we’ve made. Hope you’ll join us going forward!
What are your legacy programs?
We are innovators, looking to spark broad, societal change. Over the years, we’ve created several programs, refined and demonstrated their effectiveness, then spun them off to new homes with the institutional capacity and commitment to take them to scale. Check out a list of our legacy programs here.
Tell me about your impact.
Among many other accomplishments over the years, we have:
- 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 62 new and diverse thought leaders working at the intersection of aging, intergenerational connection and social justice.
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.
I’m looking for a job. Can CoGenerate help?
CoGenerate does not work with individual job seekers, except through our Encore Fellowship and Encore Physicians programs, both of which work to place experienced professionals in paid, high-impact, temporary assignments in the social sector.
For help considering next steps or finding a job, we recommend:
Is CoGenerate hiring?
Open positions at CoGenerate can be found here.
How can I find a volunteer opportunity?
Here’s a list to help you find opportunities to serve while connecting across age divides.
- Sign up to video chat with someone in a different generation through Big & Mini,
- Connect across generation, virtually and in-person, with Sages & Seekers,
- Mentor a young person, virtually, with Eldera,
- Fight for our democracy and climate change alongside youth with Third Act,
- Help foreign-born students practice conversational English with Table Wisdom,
- Volunteer to help kids learn to read with Reading Partners,
- Mentor the next generation of high school writers with Girls Write Now,
- Connect with a young person through MENTOR or Big Brothers, Big Sisters,
- Become a Papa Pal and support older people in your community (hourly rate),
- See what our Innovation Fellows are up to, and if they’re seeking volunteers!
Join a Civic Saturday, an all-ages gathering sponsored by Citizen University to rebuild belief in our civic institutions and in each other.
How can I subscribe to your mailing list?
You can sign up to get the latest news from CoGenerate — including notifications about events, fellowships and other opportunities — here.
How can I unsubscribe from your mailing list?
There is 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].
How can I update my email address on your mailing list?
Please send your request to [email protected].
Who should I contact for media inquiries?
For media inquiries, email Stefanie Weiss, our communications director, at [email protected].
What is your mailing address and Employer Identification Number (EIN) / Tax ID?
CoGenerate is based in San Francisco. You can write to us at CoGenerate (formerly Encore.org), 1007 General Kennedy Avenue # 2, San Francisco, CA 94129.
Our Tax ID number is EIN #94-3274339.