Intergenerational Community Building: Resource Guide

This guide is designed for community leaders, organizations, funders and intermediaries who are interested in using an intergenerational approach to community building efforts.

Download the Resource Guide.

It is based on the experiences of 23 sites that participated in Communities for All Ages (CFAA), a national initiative coordinated by The Intergenerational Center at Temple University and funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in collaboration with 8 local funders. The goal of Communities for All Ages is to improve the lives of children, youth, adults and elders by building the capacity of communities to address critical issues from a multigenerational, cross-sector perspective. A cross-site evaluation of the Communities for All Ages National Network from 2008-2012 documents how CFAA strategies have contributed to well-being outcomes for multiple age groups related to education, health, safety and increased connection across age, race, and class. The approach has also resulted in expanded social networks, increased civic engagement and leadership among multiple generations, new alliances among organizations/institutions, and increased representation of people of color, youth and older adults in local efforts.

The Communities for All Ages framework, outlined in this Resource Guide, will provide tangible strategies that can help your community:

  • Leverage limited resources;
  • Build inclusive constituencies for neighborhood and community change;
  • Build new alliances around convergent policy interests, such as access to care and social supports, lifelong quality education, and a physical infrastructure that is responsive to changing needs across the life course;
  • Design programs and policies that embrace age-group defined priorities, while moving forward the entire community; and
  • Improve well-being and quality of life for children, youth, families and older adults.

The tips and ideas in this guide will provide you with a solid foundation for incorporating an intergenerational approach into community building efforts.

The guide focuses on five different phases of work:

  1. Initiating the process
  2. Developing and strengthening cross-sector collaboration
  3. Building intergenerational resident leadership
  4. Assessing your community using an intergenerational lens
  5. Using intergenerational approaches for strategic planning and action

While the phases are written in a linear fashion, we recognize that community building is not a linear process. Many of the strategies listed in each phase can be employed at many different stages of the work.