Indiana University

Indiana Grantmakers Alliance Receives $150,000 Grant from Grantmakers In Aging

October 2013

The Indiana Grantmakers Alliance has received a second year of funding, totaling $150,000, to continue its work with “Community AGEnda: Great Places to Grow Up and Grow Old,” an initiative of Grantmakers In Aging (GIA) aimed at helping communities become more age-friendly. GIA is a national association of funders committed to improving the experience of aging in America and made the award with funds provided by the Pfizer Foundation. 

Indiana is aging quickly with the number of older adults expected to increase by 70% by 2050. The Community AGEnda grant will help Indiana Grantmakers continue and strengthen its work in building momentum to make Indiana towns and cities more age-friendly.

Indiana Grantmakers Alliance is partnering with two Indiana University research institutes to carry the work forward: The Center on Aging and Community at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, Bloomington and the Public Policy Institute at IUPUI. "The vast majority of current and future older adults in Indiana want to be able to age in place, maintaining their independence, contributing to their community, and enjoying their family and friends,” said Philip B. Stafford, Ph.D., Center Director. “The Community AGEnda grant work helps Indiana plan and carry out the necessary preparations to help make that possible. And the good news is that this work benefits all of us.”

Indiana Grantmakers Alliance will partner with the Center on Aging and Community to create and support Age- and Ability-Friendly Communities statewide in Indiana by developing a community resource guide, working with funders to include AAFC principles in their grantmaking, and holding webinars and creating issue briefs for funders on supporting complete streets and social determinants of health. Additionally, work begun in Bloomington in the previous year will continue with the exploration of the creation of a “lifetime community” district.

“Supporting age-friendly goals is one of the best ways we can respond to the aging of our population, whether we are funders, nonprofits, elected officials, planners, business people, or private citizens,” said John Feather, Ph.D., CEO of Grantmakers In Aging. “The Community AGEnda teams have worked hard to identify the age-friendly goals that matter most to their region, and are building the coalitions needed to pursue those goals in a sustainable way.”

In order to qualify for the maximum grant amount available from GIA, each Community AGEnda site is required to raise a minimum of $40,000 in matching funds, generally from local funders.

“The Pfizer Foundation recognizes the importance of helping our communities prepare wisely for the aging of our population, which is why they have supported a second year of the Community AGEnda,” said Caroline Roan, President of the Pfizer Foundation.

What is an age-friendly community? Efforts to make communities age and ability-friendly can include improving mobility and walkability; informing regional planning efforts; designing affordable, accessible housing; promoting healthy lifestyles; improving access to public services; and increasing volunteer, intergenerational, and social opportunities.

To help communities everywhere become more age and ability-friendly, Grantmakers In Aging will also invest in several communications and knowledge-sharing projects including a series of infographics explaining age-friendly facts and trends; a series of short videos about the work of the Community AGEnda sites; a photography contest seeking interpretations of what an age-friendly community looks like; and updated GIA-created resources: Age-friendly America, an online searchable database of age-friendly projects; and Age-Friendly Communities: The movement to create great places to grow up and grow old in America: An introduction for private and public funders.

Other communities around the country participating in Community AGEnda are Maricopa County, Arizona; Miami-Dade County, Florida; the greater Kansas City area; and the greater Atlanta, Georgia area.