Letter from the President
Jo Ann Jenkins
Change is often the catalyst for growth and revitalization in both our personal lives and
within organizations. As we move into 2011, AARP Foundation is poised to transform
itself in ways that will positively impact the lives of the low-income seniors we serve. As
the new president of this diverse, creative, and dynamic organization, I am truly optimistic about the new directions we have charted, and the opportunities for service that
lie before us.
The roads we have chosen present daunting challenges. As we begin our new journey
one out of four Americans age 50+ have difficulties meeting their basic needs for food,
housing, income and personal connection. Looking 20 years ahead, the fact that there
will be twice as many seniors in the U.S. increases both the importance of our work and
the urgency for getting the ball rolling now to address both current and future needs.
Our first immediate goal is to help older Americans who find themselves teetering on
the brink of poverty, mostly through no fault of their own. The second is to assist those
who have already fallen to get back up and live each day without fear of hunger; the loss
of safe, clean, affordable housing; worry about enough income to meet essential needs;
or numbing isolation.
As we work to resolve current problems, we must also educate people of all ages, build
ongoing programs and work with other nonprofits, government agencies, corporations,
universities, think tanks and hundreds of thousands of volunteers. These collective
efforts to design and put in place safety nets will help keep aging Americans from being
hungry, homeless, poor and lonely.
The Foundation’s new mission is to lead in the search for long-term solutions to age-old problems. We are looking at aging and poverty in new ways, examining new ways
of thinking, using new technologies, and modifying our approaches to meet evolving
Over the past 10 months, AARP Foundation has streamlined operations, re-focused
our mission, and updated program assessments and evaluation metrics to provide
increasing operational transparency to our donors and potential donors. These changes
have already helped us substantially increase the number of donors to the Foundation.
Thanks to the enthusiasm and team work of staff, donors, supporters and partners,
AARP Foundation is better able to help vulnerable, low-income older Americans. Take
time to read this report to see what we have already accomplished and be part of the
excitement about where we are going!