While many see our aging society as a problem, Encore.org (formerly Civic Ventures) views it as a solution. Those in and beyond midlife represent a powerful source of talent, with the accumulated skills, experience, and wisdom to tackle some of society’s most urgent challenges.
Encore.org is building a movement to make it easier for millions of people to pursue encore careers – or second acts for the greater good. The ultimate goal: to produce a windfall of talent to help solve society’s greatest problems.
Through an inventive program portfolio, original research, strategic alliances, and the power of people’s own life stories, Encore.org demonstrates the value of experience in solving serious social problems – from education to the environment, health care to homelessness.
Encore.org programs include The Purpose Prize, for social innovators in their encore careers; The Encore Fellowships Network, for experienced private-sector employees transitioning to encore careers; the Encore College Initiative, for higher education institutions preparing people for encore careers; and the Encore Network, a growing group of organizations building the movement one community at a time.
American society is aging, with a potential for increasing challenges to support and care for elders, and for individual and social renewal.
Encore.org helps potential retirees pursue “encore careers” with positive social impact.
Marc Freedman sees encore careers keeping people engaged and healthy, and offsetting costs of an aging society.
Encore careers focused on social benefit provide continued income and new meaning for individuals and help offset costs of an aging society by keeping people engaged, connected, and healthy.
Building a Movement
Encore.org recognizes and supports social entrepreneurs and other midlife changemakers with a goal of inspiring others to follow their path, and encourages employers and educational institutions to adopt policies friendly to the practice.
Marc Freedman founded Civic Ventures – now called Encore.org – in 1998 to find caring, committed adults to help young people growing up in poverty. His belief that the vast and growing older population could serve as a critical resource for children led him to spearhead the development of Experience Corps, now a highly successful tutoring and mentoring program helping 20,000 children in 20 cities. In the years since, Freedman founded The Purpose Prize, a $100,000 award for social innovators over 60, with his newest goal to get millions of boomers to pour their life experiences into “encore careers” that have positive social impact. Encore.org seeks to establish a new definition of success in the second half of life, engaging millions of baby boomers as a vital workforce for change. Through an inventive program portfolio, original research, strategic alliances, and the power of people´s own life stories, Encore.org works to enable those who want to pursue encore careers by addressing barriers such as missing language and vision, inadequate pathways and employer practices, and a policy landscape suited for shorter working lives. At the time of the Award, the purpose Prize was in its sixth year; Experience Corps was the largest national service program, mobilizing Americans over the age of 55 for social change, operating in 23 cities with 2,000 members serving 20,000 children.