2011 A group of encore leaders from Boston found themselves together, unexpectedly, at the same conference in San Francisco. Deciding that travel to the west coast was not the most efficient way to meet, the group agreed it was time to convene Encore Boston Network as a way to connect their individual efforts and to promote the growth of encore opportunities in our region.
2012 EBN was officially launched, with working groups creating a mission and agenda for the organization. A kick-off event featured labor economist Barry Bluestone discussing the economic value of older workers and volunteers.
2013-2014 With support from Encore.org and the Tufts Health Plan Foundation, the network infrastructure was put into place. Membership quickly grew to 50 organization leaders, advocates, researchers, policy makers, program operators and others. Meetings focused on knowledge sharing and best practices.
2015 An Encore Expo, held at Boston College, connected 35 organizations offering encore opportunities with a sold-out crowd of more than 200 encore seekers. David Campbell, founder of All Hands Volunteers and Purpose Prize winner, was the keynote speaker.
2016 With support from The Boston Foundation, we launched the Gen2Gen Boston campaign to connect people over 50 with youth-serving organizations. A launch event featured Pulitzer Prize-winner Ellen Goodman and EOEA Secretary Alice Bonner.
2017 EBN incorporated as a free-standing nonprofit and expanded our resources by co-developing 10 Steps for Engaging Adults 50+, a best practices guide for nonprofit leaders, with Encore.org and the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities.
2018 We partnered with United Way of Massachusetts Bay, Inspiring Service and Empower Success Corps to create Connect for Good, the most advanced online volunteer guide anywhere, with features to support the special interests of people over 50.
2019 EBN shifted its focus to welcome individual encore seekers as members, recognizing the value of bringing them together with organizations and others who need their help.
2020 We are launching Connect for Good, a one-stop, best-in-class volunteer engagement platform, with United Way of Massachusetts Bay and other partners. With AARP, Operation ABLE, Age-Friendly Boston and other partners, we are developing employment workshops for people over 50. Other initiatives include encore entrepreneurs, Encore Circles and virtual opportunities for people over 50.