Civic Ventures, d.b.a. Encore.org, was founded in 1997 by social entrepreneur Marc Freedman, grew out of a desire to transform the aging of America – one of the most significant transformations of the 21st century, one many characterize as an inevitable demographic disaster – into a powerful source of individual and social renewal.
Originally, Civic Ventures was created to provide a home for the Experience Corps program, founded by Freedman and others to engage people over 55 as tutors and mentors in some of the country’s poorest neighborhoods and lowest-performing elementary schools. Two years after becoming an independent nonprofit, in 2011 Experience Corps become a program of AARP. Now known as AARP Experience Corps, the program is working in roughly 20 cities.
In 2012, Civic Ventures became known as Encore.org, which is building a movement to make it easier for millions of people to pursue encore careers – second acts for the greater good. Encore.org is leading the call to engage millions of boomers as a vital workforce for change.
Largely through foundation support, Encore.org has worked to redefine later life, shifting from the idea of retirement as the freedom from work to a new life stage that offers the freedom to work in new ways and to new ends.
The organization’s current focus is to draw boomers to encore careers that provide personal fulfillment doing paid work, producing a windfall of talent to help solve the most challenging social problems of our time, including poverty, the environment, education and health care.
To make encore careers possible for millions of people, Encore.org manages an inventive program portfolio, which includes The Purpose Prize, The Encore Fellowships Network, the Encore College Initiative and the Encore Opportunity Awards. The organization publishes original research that illuminates society’s need for encore talent and the desire among boomers to start encore careers.
For more comprehensive information on the case for encore careers, read Encore: Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life and The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife by Marc Freedman.