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How well we thrive as we grow older depends in large part on how creative and resourceful we are in shaping the communities where we live.

Almost any focus that guides your grantmaking will be bolstered by incorporating aging. Odds are, aging is already a part of your funding, and the importance of considering the contributions of older people, as well as their needs, in your grantmaking will only grow as we live longer and healthier.

Older people are a valuable asset and a growing resource in most U.S. towns and cities. So, as you begin deliberating how to build aging into your portfolio, it makes sense to gather some basic demographic information about older adults, especially older people in your target community or region. Consider a presentation to key decision-makers within your foundation. Create some simple charts with demographic information and show a video like “The Big Idea in 4 Minutes – Coming of Age In Aging America.

For more on the best sources for demographic information, see Aging 101.

If your foundation is new to funding in aging, you’ll probably want to determine the needs of older people in your service area. You can conduct a community needs assessment, but an easier approach is to first determine what data and information are already available about older people in your community.

Regardless of your approach, some or all of these actions may be useful as you begin to think about aging.

For quick links to material that further explains the process of Getting Started in Aging, see the boxes below.

And for quick links to each of the main sections in All Together: GIA’s Comprehensive Guide to Funding in Aging, please scroll down to the bottom of this page.


Thanks to Barbara R. Greenberg and Jan Schwarz of The Philanthropic Group for their contributions to this section.

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Gather Basic Information About Older Adults

Where to find data on communities of interest to your organization.
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A white woman's hand holding a magnifying glass examining a document

Examine your Foundation’s History and Style

Questions to consider regarding your organization’s core values.
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Connect with Local Funders in Aging

How to contact local foundations that are already funding in aging.
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Choose a Focus

Identifying appropriate goals and strategies in aging.
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Consult the Experts

Where to find experts in your community who can help.
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Three African American business people looking at a document

Engage your Decision-Makers

Why you should involve foundation decision-makers at every key stage.
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Infographic of Road to Successful Aging in 2030

Add Aging to your Grantmaking

Options to determine the best ways to make grants related to older adults.
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