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IT’S GO TIME!
We are poised to take advantage of the unprecedented human resource windfall of the Baby Boomer and beyond generation.Get Involved
say hello to
Grand Rapids Community Foundation’s Encore Innovation Fellows Tom Rademacher is seeking out stories about people doing great work in their Encore years. He's one of Grand Rapids more well-known writers and storytellers.Get in Touch
second acts for a greater
“Our society is shifting to a new place where people of a broad age range are blending together in fresh and exciting ways. I can only hope for more of this in Grand Rapids!”
Jane Royer, Encore Innovation FellowOur Stories
Meet our newest innovation fellow
Shannon Cohen will be focused on community education and leading sessions in untapped audiences to encourage new connections to the Encore Grand Rapids Network and organizations working in the movement. She'll work to educate affinity groups and organizations across Kent County on the importance of finding meaningful work and harnessing the value of individuals 50+. She's also helping us develop a plan for reaching a more diverse set of individuals.
Encore is a burgeoning national movement created to tap the skills and experience of those in midlife and beyond to improve communities and the world. Encore sets out to define this new stage of life. An Encore can combine work, service and social impact.
Grand Rapids Community Foundation’s Encore is leading the way in Kent County by seeking to inspire individuals in their 50s and beyond to engage in meaningful work and service that makes a difference. In addition, we seek to challenge organizations in our community to pave the way and increase their capacity for experienced talent by identifying innovative pathways and opportunities for service.
We’ll identify our community’s best practices. How can we build on the collaborative successes that already exist and leverage them for an even greater impact? Let’s work together to determine new and existing opportunities that contribute to the community good and create a better future for the generations to come.
We’ll find connections—those paid and unpaid opportunities in which the talents and experience of people in midlife and beyond can flourish. We will serve as a hub and a resource for leaders of profit and nonprofit organizations that share the Encore vision.
We want to make sure everybody knows about the vast population of people that are active and healthy with extensive skill, knowledge and life experience. We’ll tell their personal stories here. These stories challenge conventional thinking about aging and begin a new narrative that speaks to individual renewal and social impact.
Click on any of the images to view an Encore story.
No Experience Required for This Encore -- Just a Heart for Others
Sue Ekkens & Trude Zbikowski
A Pair of Unusual Encores -- Blessings in the Making
His Encore Is To Spread a Little Sunshine
"Esther's Hope" Destined to Change Lives of Young Kenyan Women
Once a Teacher, Always a Teacher
A Letter From Dad Delivers Lifelong Lessons
Let’s start a community conversation about life after traditional retirement! We want to help shape this new life stage that offers the freedom to work differently and contribute in new ways. We strive to link the individuals and organizations in networks and communities throughout Kent County that support and sustain continuous learning and improvement.
You are a vital source of talent that can benefit our community! However you choose to ‘Encore’, there are opportunities across Kent County. We will highlight resources here to aid you in realizing and claiming your own Encore. Did you know that if only five percent of today’s population chose encore service, Kent County could gain up to 80,000 person-years of benefit?
Community institutions in the public, nonprofit and private sectors can contribute so much to our collective understanding of how to harness this unique workforce and offer opportunities for service. We have so many challenges in our education and healthcare systems, in our environment, government and on our streets. Is your organization ‘Encore-friendly’ and interested in building capacity?
Tell Your Story
Please share your insights, ideas and experiences with us. The power of personal stories is profound—they give issues a human face and demonstrate what we can accomplish together. What purpose drives your future? We know these conversations are already happening in coffee houses, brew pubs, chamber meetings, churches, Kiwanis and Rotary clubs all around our community. How are you sharing your talent, skill and time?
We want to raise the visibility of individuals and organizations taking innovative approaches to achieving the Encore vision in our community. How are you realizing your Encore vision?
The Encore GR Network
Join other people in our community in the Encore movementVisit Website
Put your experience to work helping students.Visit Website
Encore Career Handbook
Explore your Encore potential!View Handbook
Encore edition of Current 2016
Read all about Encore!Read More
Heart of West Michigan United Way Volunteer Center
Find opportunities for service.Visit Website
National Encore think tank.Visit Website
What’s next for you?Visit Website