Press Release

New Survey Highlights Ways to Develop and Sustain Spaces that Serve Young and Old Together

PORTLAND, OR —  A new survey and report, The Best of Both Worlds: A Closer Look at Creating Spaces that Connect Young and Old, from Generations United and The Eisner Foundation includes actionable ways to boost the number of intergenerational shared sites around the country. Those recommendations include embarking on a coordinated effort to share success stories from shared sites; educating funders on the benefits of shared sites; and working with federal and state governments to change licensing, codes, and regulations.

“For 20 years, Generations United has advocated for using spaces and places to connect generations rather than separate them,” said Donna Butts, executive director of Generations United. “Intergenerational shared sites are prime for development in every community that cares about the quality of life for residents of all ages.”

This report builds off a 2018 Generations United/Eisner Foundation Harris poll that found 89 percent of Americans think that serving both children/youth and older adults at the same location is a good use of resources. However, only 26 percent are aware of intergenerational shared sites in their own communities. This new report digs deeper into the challenges shared sites face and shares ways to develop and operate spaces that successfully serve youth and older adults together.

“We know that people like the idea of shared sites, but implementation is a challenge. We hope that this new report provides the tools and inspiration to make more shared sites a reality,” said Trent Stamp, CEO of The Eisner Foundation. “Every community should have access to spaces where different generations can come together and benefit from what each has to offer.”

This report also includes the results of a survey conducted by The Ohio State University that established a new national baseline of 110 intergenerational shared site programs across the United States. The survey revealed a wide range of shared site models with a variety of program components including adult day services (42 percent; the most common pairing), assisted living (41 percent), and summer programs (37 percent).

The full report is available at

To schedule an interview with one of our experts, contact Alan King at or Chelsea Mason at Experts available for comment include:

  • Donna Butts, Executive Director, Generations United
  • Trent Stamp, CEO, The Eisner Foundation
  • Shannon Jarrott, Professor, The Ohio State University College of Social Work

About Generations United:
For nearly three decades, Generations United has been the catalyst for policies and practices stimulating cooperation and collaboration among generations, evoking the vibrancy, energy and sheer productivity that result when people of all ages come together. We believe that we can only be successful in the face of our complex future if generational diversity is regarded as a national asset and fully leveraged. The National Center on Grandfamilies is a critical part of Generations United’s mission and strives to enact policies and promote programs that support relative caregivers and the children they raise.

About The Eisner Foundation:
The Eisner Foundation identifies, advocates for, and invests in high-quality and innovative programs that unite multiple generations for the betterment of our communities. The Eisner Foundation was started in 1996 by Michael D. Eisner, then Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, and his wife, Jane, to focus their family’s philanthropic activities. The Eisner Foundation gives an estimated $7 million per year to nonprofit organizations based in Los Angeles County. In 2015, The Eisner Foundation became the only U.S. funder investing exclusively in intergenerational solutions.

About the Survey and Report:
Qualitative research for this report utilized semi-structured in-person, phone and asynchronous online (email) interviews conducted between February 2019 and April 2019. Staff and/or board members of nine existing intergenerational shared sites, two existing intergenerational shared sites in the process of planning and building larger expanded campuses, one intergenerational shared site that closed previous to onset of this project, two real estate development organizations (one with multiple shared sites and one planning its first shared site), and three national policy and program experts were interviewed. This report was also informed by existing research from a survey conducted by Generations United/Eisner Foundation, conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll between February 27 – March 1, 2018 among 2,041 adults ages 18+ (for complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Sheri Steinig at Generations United at, and a 2018 Generations United and The Ohio State University national survey of shared sites. For details on all other sources, please see endnotes or contact Emily Patrick