The AdvantAge Initiative in Action

The organizations and communities that have used the AdvantAge Initiative to learn how older adults are faring in their communities have used their survey data in different ways and for different purposes. For example, foundations that have contracted with the AdvantAge Initiative team have used the data to help them develop a funding strategy, particularly in cases where the foundations have not funded aging-specific initiatives before. Community-based organizations (CBOs) have used the data to identify older adults’ concerns so that CBOs could channel their limited resources to address older adults’ defined needs and priorities. The survey data are “neutral” and do not intrinsically have a point of view or agenda (at least not until discussions among stakeholders begin), so the survey data are often used to bring different stakeholders to the table. These stakeholders could be from sectors that aren’t explicitly concerned with aging issues (e.g. schools, local business owners, housing management companies); providers of health services that rarely partner with aging-focused CBOs (e.g. hospitals, insurance companies); local elected or appointed officials; diverse media outlets; and funders or individual donors who may not have funded aging-related projects or programs in the past.

Case studies of two recent AdvantAge Initiative projects are included. One organization’s survey was conducted via telephone and the other was an online/paper survey.

The Plough Foundation, Memphis, TN

In 2012 the Plough Foundation of Memphis, TN, contacted the AdvantAge Initiative team to inquire about conducting the AdvantAge survey in Shelby County, TN, which includes Memphis and the surrounding suburbs.

Read More

United Way of Greater Union County, NJ

Two foundations that provide grants to New Jersey-based organizations—The Grotta Fund for Senior Care and the Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation—joined forces in 2015 to initiate a 3-year grant program to help some New Jersey communities become more “aging-friendly.”

Read More

The ultimate purpose of the AdvantAge Initiative is to use consumer-derived information to help community stakeholders develop and implement an agenda to make their communities better places to live for older adults and their families.