Intergenerational Program Certification

Generations United annually recognizes outstanding intergenerational programs that are connecting younger and older people in the United States.

The Program of Distinction and Program of Merit designations are based on the criteria that underpin the effectiveness of any intergenerational program and are intended to recognize the rich diversity among programs that involve older and younger generations.   

How to Apply: 

  • Complete the pre-application checklist at the end of this page to determine which designation to apply for. 
  • Submit your application and supporting documentation online here. 
  • Please note: We recommend that you complete and save your application in a separate document before transferring your responses to the online form to avoid losing your work. A downloadable version of the application is available here.

Applications are closed for 2023.  Stay tuned for more information on the 2024 application process.

Intergenerational programs are defined here as programs, policies, and practices that increase cooperation, interaction, and exchange between people of different generations, allowing them to share their talents and resources, and support each other in relationships that benefit both the individuals and their community. 

There are two levels of recognition:  

  • Programs of Merit excel beyond the minimum standard of effectiveness.
  • Programs of Distinction meet a higher standard of innovation, leadership, and/or best practices and develop greater confidence in program sustainability and capacity to achieve targeted outcomes.


Programs that are selected to receive either designation will receive: 

  • National recognition for outstanding work, including publicity through Generations United’s website, e-newsletter, and social media outlets.  
  • Participation and acknowledgment in a virtual showcase of selected programs. 
  • Letter of support from Generations United, upon request. 
  • The official logo for use on websites and other materials; and 
  • A certificate recognizing this accomplishment. 

As a recognized Program of Distinction or Program of Merit, recipients represent the highest standards of intergenerational programs and will become a part of a distinguished national network of programs. 

 If you need assistance or would like to submit a hard copy of your application, please contact 

Current Programs of Distinction:

Current Programs of Merit:

Pre-Application Checklist

  1. Does your program address documented needs?
  2. Are your intergenerational activities tied to program goals and participant interests and input?
  3. Do you offer formal training/orientation for staff and participants?
  4. Are your intergenerational programs coordinated by staff or volunteers knowledgeable about all participants?
  5. Do you collect evaluation data from your program and use it to improve your program?
  6. Is your intergenerational program supported by organizational leadership and community partners?

If you answered “yes” to ALL of these questions, we recommend you complete the application for the Program of Distinction. If you are still working on some of these areas, we recommend you apply for the Program of Merit.