Define Your Next Chapter

Encore Cleveland channels the time, energy and talents of experienced Clevelanders into solving community challenges and filling unmet needs.

Grants - Encore - Decision Toolkit Download ThumbnailWhat is Encore Cleveland?

Encore Cleveland is part of the Encore movement, a national effort to leverage the energy and experience of Americans who seek to fill community needs upon retirement or near the end of their primary careers.

Launched in 2013 by the Cleveland Foundation, Encore Cleveland helps to connect and fund a network of organizations to provide experienced Greater Clevelanders with an array of meaningful opportunities in the community.

Who benefits from Encore Cleveland?

  • Encore Clevelanders benefit from the opportunity to remain active and engaged through work in their community that provides personal fulfillment.
  • Partner organizations benefit from the dedication and expertise that Encore Clevelanders bring to their positions. Nonprofit organizations interested in participating may contact encore@greaterclevelandvolunteers.org to learn more about joining the Encore Cleveland network.
  • The community benefits from the intergenerational collaboration and networking fostered by the Encore Cleveland network.

Discover Your Encore Opportunity

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Encore Cleveland offers a wide array of experiences and opportunities. Individuals can get help to start a small business, train the next generation of skilled technical workers, or volunteer to improve the literacy rates of local elementary school students – the possibilities are endless! Explore different types of opportunities offered by our Encore Cleveland partners:

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I want to volunteer

With Youth:

With Adults: 

  • Cleveland Leadership Center Legacy Leaders: Stay civically engaged in the Cleveland community through service projects, mentoring opportunities and educational programs.
  • Fairhill Partners Encore Leaders for Health and Wellness: Lead evidence-based health promotion programs for adults in the community. 
  • Greater Cleveland Neighborhood Centers Association iConnect: Connect and engage socially with other older adults via digital devices, telephone or in-person “pop-up” sites at local senior apartment complexes.
  • Leadership Geauga Heritage Program: Put your professional experience and passion to work for the Geauga County community in this cohort-based program that offers networking, education and service opportunities.
  • Jumpstart Mentors: Share your business insights and expertise with entrepreneurs in the city of Cleveland who can benefit from guidance and support.
  • Teach for America Encore Mentoring Program: Help to accelerate the pace of change in schools by collaborating with teams of Teach For America corps member and alumni educators to tackle school-wide issues. These teams are called CATALYSTS (Collective Action To Accelerate Learning Yielding Strong Transformational Schools), and they benefit from the involvement and expertise of local Encore leaders. Meet two Teach for America Encore Mentors here.

With Nonprofits: 

I want to give back while receiving compensation

I want a salary or hourly wage:  

I want a stipend: 

I have specific skills, knowledge or training that I want to apply in my Encore experience
I want to start a business
  • ECDI - Women's Business Center: Participate in a specially designed series of entrepreneur training, coaching and support programs. 
  • Jumpstart Mentors: Share your business insights and expertise with entrepreneurs in the city of Cleveland who can benefit from guidance and support.

Watch Encore Clevelanders Talk About Their Experience


Betty Jones talks about her Encore Cleveland experience working with Fairhill Partners.


Gary Dudich talks about his Encore Cleveland experience working with Manufacturing Works (formerly WIRE-Net).


Joseph Rochford talks about his Encore Cleveland experience working with Vantage Aging (formerly Mature Services).


A Long-Standing Commitment

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The Cleveland Foundation has a longstanding commitment to the field of aging. The foundation has experience working with local organizations around issues of healthcare, housing, advocacy and supportive services for older adults through its responsive grantmaking process, including efforts dating back to the 1950s.

More recently, the foundation made even greater strides through its Successful Aging Initiative, which was a nationally recognized, $4 million effort that was among the first Cleveland programs to recognize and activate senior talent. Building on the learnings of this initiative, which ran from 2003 to 2006, many foundations and communities across the country have adopted similar work and built a body of knowledge around the assets older adults may contribute to their communities.


Contact Us

For more information, please contact encore@greaterclevelandvolunteers.org and follow the hashtag #EncoreCLE on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram!

Sign up for the Cleveland Foundation’s monthly e-newsletter for Encore updates and other news from the foundation.

If you wish to receive occasional Encore Cleveland updates and announcements, add your name to our Encore email list here.

Read about Encore Cleveland on our blog.