Marc Freedman.
United States
An organisation that engages people in their 50s, 60s and 70s in new careers that provide continued income whilst helping to address some of society’s biggest challenges.
What solution does the innovation propose?

The organisation is constantly launching programmes to develop ideas from people over 50 and integrate them into organisations where they can achieve greater scale. Its flagship initiative, Encore Fellowships, is a post-career programme that creates a new pathway to connect participants with opportunities that benefit society. Fellows, often retired corporate professionals, are placed in non-profits or local government agencies to engage in meaningful work, earn a stipend and contribute to solving important social problems. For individuals, these fellowships are stepping-stones to a new chapter of their careers. For the host organisations, they are a new source of talent.


World Economic Forum Social Entrepreneur of the Year (2014). Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship (2010).

Impact evidence

  • Over 1,500 people placed in fellowships.
  • 1,500,000 hours of talent delivered to host organisations.
  • Over 97% of positive overall satisfaction ratings among fellows and hosts.
  • Four in five fellows positively affected different measures of community impact, increasing community resilience.
  • Hosts who said they were “unlikely” to hire Encore talent from outside the sector at the beginning of the fellowship dropped from 28% to 6% after the programme.
How does it work?

Local programme operators, who manage programmes in local communities, receive applications from both potential fellows and host organisations, and match capabilities with needs. Through a process of interviews, a mutual agreement is reached. Fellows receive a stipend, ranging from 15,000 US$ to 25,000 US$, for a 1,000-hour fellowship. The programme operator conducts ongoing monitoring, coaching and a cohort experience for fellows throughout the year. Encore.org also delivers the following programmes: - Purpose Prize Awards. Annual awards to people over 60 who have had the greatest social impact, to inspire others to follow a similar path. There is also an award for companies that get the most from a multigenerational workforce. - Experience Corps. Programmes to convert elderly professors into reinforcement teachers in primary education. - EncoreU. Promotes educational pathways for elderly people involving universities, companies and organisations.

Geographical scope

Where was initially developed
San Francisco, United States.
Where has been implemented so far
Implemented in 35 metropolitan areas across the United States.
Last updated: 
June 2017