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Building stronger communities for people of all ages

What does a strong community look like? It is a place where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. Where housing is affordable and accessible, and neighborhoods are safe. Where jobs and volunteer opportunities are abundant, arts and culture are valued, and social activities and events are diverse and convenient. Where parks and open space are pleasant, safe, and welcoming to all ages. Where quality community and health services are available to all. Where public transportation is safe and accessible.

In short, they are great places to grow up and grow old. Funders who are interested in community development should consider adding support for age-friendly communities to their portfolios. Because investing in age-friendly communities is investing in stronger communities.

As we age, the knowledge, skill and experience we acquire benefits our communities in profound ways, from enhancing the workforce and bolstering the economy to providing care across generations and volunteering with religious organizations, educational programs, social or community services organizations, and other programs.

Older people bring stability to neighborhoods, are steady customers at local shops and restaurants. We are taxpayers and caregivers. We make donations of money and time to charities. We make significant contributions to the social, political, and environmental fabric of society.

GIA offers resources, information, and learning opportunities for those interested in supporting age-friendly communities. Among them are Age-Friendly Resources, developed in partnership with the Tufts Health Plan Foundation and the Pfizer Foundation to help communities of any size learn about and launch an age-friendly effort; Funders for Age-Friendly Communities, an ongoing effort to help age-friendly community efforts continue to prosper even after private funders’ grants have ended; and Community AGEnda, a partnership between GIA and Pfizer Foundation from 2012-15 that funded efforts in five U.S. cities/regions to accelerate their growth as a community for all ages. GIA also provides Rural Aging Resources for those interested specifically in funding programs that benefit rural communities.

For more information, see the boxed sections below or the GIA Issue briefs on Age-Friendly Places and Rural Aging.

Word START painted on road

Getting Started

First steps if you are interested in funding community building programs.
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Elderly woman at an outdoor concert

Age-Friendly Communities

See how communities of any size can launch an age-friendly initiative.
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Exterior of apartments

Housing And Residential Programs

Learn about innovative models to keep older adults in their homes.
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Intergenerational Approaches

Discover how generations working together build stronger communities.
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Promoting Vibrant Rural Communities

Information and resources that address issues unique to rural communities.
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Senior people with small children in classroom

Engaging Older Adults As Community Assets

See how some communities involve older adults in solving problems.
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Worried looking senior woman

Community Approaches To Preventing Elder Abuse And Neglect

Learn from these community-focused elder abuse programs.
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Additional Communities Information

A list of helpful websites and resources.
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