Donna’s Writing & Quotes

Donna Butts is an internationally sought-after speaker, author and advocate. The following is a list of some of Donna’s writing and commentary on intergenerational connections, grandparents raising grandchildren and policies effective across the lifespan.

Huffington Post

Journal of Intergenerational Relationships: Programs, Policy, and Research
Member, Editorial Board. 2002-current. Routledge Taylor & Francis Group. Philadelphia, PA.

Selected Publications

Funding Across the Ages: A Tool Kit
Chapter 3 “Young and Old Helping Each Other” Co-author.
1999. Grantmakers in Aging. New York.

Get Organized: A Guide to Preventing Teen Pregnancy
Volume 1 Chapter 5 “Involving Youth in Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs”
Volume 3 Chapter 14 “Raising Funds for Teen Pregnancy Prevention”
September 1999. National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. Washington, DC.

The Featherbone Spirit: Celebrating Life’s Connections
Chapter 8 “The Courage to Connect”
2000. Charles E. “Gus” Whalen, Jr. Gainsville, GA.

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Theoretical, Empirical, and Clinical Perspectives
Chapter 20 “Organizational Advocacy as a Factor in Public Policy Regarding Grandparenting”
2000. Springer Publishing Company. New York.

Journal of Gerontological Social Work: Volume 34, No. 1
Chapter 5 “Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Emerging Program and Policy Issues for the 21st Century” Co-author.
2000. The Haworth Press. Binghamton, NY.

Linking Lifetimes: A Global View of Intergenerational Exchange
Chapter 5 “Advancing an Intergenerational Agenda in the United States” Co-author. Chapter 17
“Organizing at the National Level: Lessons Learned from the U.S. and Japan” Co-author.
2002. University Press of America. New York.

New Directions for Philanthropic Fundraising: Volume 42
Chapter 5 “Intergenerational Service Learning and Volunteering”
Winter 2004. Wiley Periodicals. San Francisco, CA.

Church & Society May/June Issue: Social Insurance, A Covenant Between a Government and Its People
Chapter 2 “The New Deal As Covenantal Promise” Should We Be Our Neighbors’ Keeper?
Co-author. 2005. Presbyterian Church, USA. Louisville, KY.

About Children: An Authoritative Resource on the State of Childhood Today
Chapter 15 “Grandparents Raising Grandchildren” Co-author.
2005. American Academy of Pediatrics.

Kinship Care: Supporting Those Who Raise Our Children
2005. The Annie E. Casey Foundation. Baltimore, MD.

Powerful Allies: Mobilizing Older Adults to Build Strong Communities
Co-author. 2005. The Annie E. Casey Foundation. Baltimore, MD.

Indian Journal of Gerontology: Volume 20, No.1-2
Chapter 9 “Bridging Generations: Intergenerational Strategies for Healthy Ageing”
2006. Aalekh Publishers. Jaipur, India.

Civic Engagement and the Baby Boomer Generation: Research, Policy, and Practice Perspectives
Chapter 12 “Civic Engagement Research, Policy, and Practice Priority Areas: Future
Perspectives on the Baby Boomer Generation” p. 255-256
2006. The Haworth Press. Binghamton, NY.

Programas Intergeneracionales: Hacia Una Sociedad para Todas las Edades
(Intergenerational Programmes: Towards a Society for all ages)
Chapter 4 “Programas Intergeneracionales e Incusion Social de las Personas Mayores”
(Intergenerational programmes and social inclusion of the elderly)
2007. Obra Social. Barcelona, Spain.

Boomer Bust? Economic and Political Issues of the Graying Society: Volume Two
Chapter 10 “Better Together: Generational Reciprocity in the Real World” Lead Author.
2009. Praeger Publishers. Westport, CT.

Journal of Intergenerational Relationships Special Issue: Grandparents and Other Relatives as Parents Volume 7 Numbers 2-3.
“Generations United for Grandfamilies” 2009. Routledge Taylor & Francis Group. Philadelphia, PA.

Generations Journal of the American Society on Aging Fall 2009 volume 33 number 3.
“Time for an All-Generations Approach to Public Policy” Co-author.
2009. American Society on Aging. San Francisco, CA.

Generations Journal of the American Society on Aging Winter 2009-10 volume 33 number 4.
“Generations Going Green: Intergenerational Programs Connecting Young and Old to Improve Our Environment”
Co-author. 2010. American Society on Aging. San Francisco, CA.

Longevity Rules: How to Age Well into the Future
“Affirming Age at Every Age”
2010. Eskaton. Carmichael, CA.

Intergenerational Solidarity Strengthening Economic and Social Ties
Chapter four “Key Issues Uniting Generations”
2010. Palgrave MacMillan. New York.

Journal of Intergenerational Relationships Volume 9 Number 3.
“The Life of Intergenerational Projects” 2011. Routledge Taylor & Francis Group. Philadelphia, PA.

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults Volume 13 Number 4.
“Intergenerational Practices in the United States: past, present and future” co-author 2012.
Emerald Group Publishing Limited. United Kingdom.

Resilient Grandparent Caregivers A Strength-Based Perspective
Forward. 2012. Routledge. New York.

Policies and Programmes Supporting Intergenerational Relations
Lead author. 2012. United Nations. New York.

Family Futures
“Stronger together: intergenerational solidarity in families and communities”
2014. Tudor Rose. United Kingdom.

Journal of Intergenerational Relationships Volume 12 Number 4.
“Reflecting Back and Moving Forward: Shaping the Intergenerational Field from the Field”
2014. Routledge Taylor & Frances Group. Philadelphia, PA.

Donna’s Quotes

Intergenerational Cohesion

“Our bookend generations — our youngest and our oldest — hold our civil societies together. After all, with no history (our elders) and no future (our young), we lose our hope for today.”

“It’s not a fight, it’s a family.”

“Generations United was formed to protect our bookend generations – our young and old who hold our civil society together.”

“We need to change age-segregated institutions and policies in order to nurture each generation and our interdependence. Who better to lead this battle than our elders?”

“…many of our public policies and work environments aren’t designed to support the web of care and connections among all generations of a family that are essential for a strong America.”

“We’ve cultivated this myth of independence in this country, and stigmatized individuals and families when they rely on each other. We are, in fact, interdependent.”

Intergenerational Practices

“Older adults on average report watching 49 hours of television a week. If 10 percent of our older population used 10 percent of those TV hours to work instead with or on behalf of young people, it would equal about $885,5000,000 in service to our country’s future.”

“When older adults only live with or spend time with other older adults, the conversation turns to the three Ps – pain, pills and passing – what hurts, what medication you’re on and who died.”

Changing Demographics

“Wake up and smell the demographics. America, are you open?”

“Throughout our history, our coming together as one America across race, age, and other differences has made our nation stronger. The changes we face today push this narrative like never before.”


“Children and youth fare better in the care of relatives.”

“Grandparents raising grandchildren save taxpayers $4 billion a year.”

“Kids age out of a system; they never age out of a family.”

Multigenerational Households

“Families may have come together because of the economy, but they stay together by choice.”

“Previous generations were so much about rebellion and making your own identity. Now, parents and children have different relationships. They find they’re liking each other and like to be together.”