One of the key challenges facing nonprofits is finding new ways to meet their human capital needs. A shrinking workforce combined with funding cutbacks is forcing the sector to consider new solutions. Encore Boston Network (EBN) advocates broader use of encore talent: people 50+ who want to transition their private sector skills and experience to social purpose organizations.
The Boston Foundation also supports this solution, and to accelerate adoption of encore talent, they have just awarded a grant to EBN. This will fund a one-year pilot to design and test new ways to connect people 50+ to nonprofits, focusing initially on a small number of youth-serving organizations. Based on year-one results, we expect to rapidly ramp up the number of youth organizations we can support in year two and then expand to other organizations in subsequent years.
EBN is starting with youth-serving organizations for several reasons:
- They are the largest part of the nonprofit sector.
- The needs of vulnerable youth are a priority for funders as well as for workers and volunteers.
- And there is an obvious intergenerational benefit to connecting kids and adults 50+.
Encores4Youth is a national campaign being launched by Encore.org. EBN is one of four pilot sites across the country because it already connects organizations, like ESC of New England, that are necessary for successful implementation. ESC of New England will fill two positions funded by the grant with the Encore Fellow Program and we expect others to follow. ESC of New England also helped write and apply for the grant and serves as fiscal sponsor for EBN.
If you or your organization would like to get involved, contact Doug Dickson, Board Chair of the EBN Network and Board member at ESC of New England.