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Advancing Innovative Approaches to Integrating Aging into Your Grantmaking

As more people than ever live longer and healthier lives, it’s more important than ever to consider aging as part of existing or new initiatives in your funding portfolio.

Whether your primary interest is in children, youth, and families, community development, arts and culture, or any of a broad array of funding areas, older adults — what CEO Marc Freedman calls “our only increasing natural resource” — can significantly increase your grantmaking’s impact and results.

Older people are an integral part of the solution to any number of community challenges. The key is to find creative ways to harness their experience, knowledge, skills, and hard-won wisdom, to find innovative ways to overcome the obstacles that keep older people from fully joining in the life of our communities, that prevent our cities, towns and villages from becoming great places to grow up and grow old. From intergenerational educational programs, to supports for family caregivers, to accessible and affordable transportation options, improving the lives of older people and increasing their opportunities to contribute will nurture our families, energize our workplaces, and strengthen our communities.

Grantmakers In Aging (GIA) is an inclusive and responsive membership organization comprised of all types of philanthropies with a common dedication to improving the experience of aging. We at GIA are pleased to present this practical introduction to how to include the rich and diverse field of aging in your grantmaking.

  • Start with Aging 101 to familiarize yourself with the latest demographic data and information about funding by the federal government and websites that offer helpful resources.
  • In How to Get Started, you’ll find practical step-by-step advice to help you identify and choose potential funding opportunities in aging that align with the mission and goals of your foundation.
  • Or, take a look at sections devoted to funding in particular topics, such as Children, Youth, Families, Arts & Culture, Communities, Health, Education, and Work & Transitions.

We hope you find the Guide helpful and would love to help you begin your journey into the field of aging.


Aging influences nearly every aspect of our communities. The opportunities are limitless, the benefits are powerful, the time is now.

John Feather, PhD
CEO, Grantmakers In Aging

Young woman with senior woman in cafeteria

1: Aging 101

Find fast facts, demographic data, info on federal funding, and more.
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Hispanic senior woman with hispanic little girl reading a book

2: How to Get Started

Actions you can take to identify funding options that fit your mission.
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Senior white man and young white man with Downs Syndrome facing each other laughing

3: Children, Youth, Families

Ways that young and old can help each other and their communities.
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Elderly man painting

4: Arts & Culture

How to support or replicate arts programs that engage all ages.
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Diverse group of seniors playing with hula hoops and streamers

5: Communities

Keys to building stronger communities for people of all ages.
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Group of African American women in athletic clothing

6: Health

Strategies that improve health care and promote wellness for all.
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African American woman with young African American boy studying a text book

7: Education

How to make lifelong learning a reality in your community.
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Senior white man and younger white man looking at a device

8: Work & Transitions

Supporting efforts that help us stay engaged as we age.
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