National Grant Will Utilize Talents of Older Chicagoans In Non-Profit Leadership Roles

Chicago, IL (July 27, 2007) —  Three established Chicago organizations are joining forces to strengthen other Chicago-area non-profit organizations through a significant grant awarded by the National Council on Aging (NCOA) that will make the most of talents and expertise of adults 55 and older.  The first-ever Models of Significant Service (MSS) grant was awarded to Chicago Life Opportunities Initiative (CLOI), a partnership of Mather LifeWays and Council for Jewish Elderly, and Executive Service Corps of Chicago (ESC).  NCOA awarded only 12 grants nationally.

The grant winners competed with more than 200 applicants for the opportunity to develop entrepreneurial approaches to attract and support adults 55 and older to fill important leadership roles in non-profit organizations.

“Research shows that non-profits are not taking full advantage of the extraordinary pool of talent represented by older adults who are seeking meaningful and purposeful volunteering opportunities,” said Ann Rich, director of CLOI.

CLOI will use the grant funds for its “Count Me In” program.  The program is designed to mobilize Chicago’s older adults and community partners to help non-profits identify their volunteer needs; recognize the ability of older adults to meet those needs; and effectively recruit, train and place older adult volunteers in those leadership roles. 

CLOI is an established city-wide consortium of public and private service providers that offer opportunities for civic engagement (paid and unpaid), lifelong learning, and employment for metropolitan Chicago residents 50 years of age and older. 

Executive Service Corps of Chicago’s Interim Executive Director (ED) Service model will develop and provide interim ED services for many organizations undergoing executive transitions that need temporary leadership to ensure their stability, continuity and efficacy.    

“Having mature adults in leadership roles will help small, non-profits fulfill their missions and visions,” emphasized Marcia Lipetz, president of ESC. 

ESC volunteers will recruit, screen and train potential interim ED candidates; market to and assess prospective clients; refer interim ED candidates to interested organizations in transition; provide ongoing professional development opportunities for the interim EDs; and ensure client satisfaction.  At the same time, highly-experienced interim ED candidates will bring their years of experience, expertise and knowledge to ESC, strengthening the agency’s impact at they work with ESC volunteers in various capacities. 

The grant is managed by RespectAbility, a program of the NCOA and funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies. NCOA is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., whose mission is to improve the lives of older Americans.

About Mather LifeWays

Based in Evanston, Illinois, Mather LifeWays enhances the lives of older adults by creating Ways to Age Well.SM Founded in 1941 by entrepreneur and humanitarian Alonzo Mather, Mather LifeWays is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing a continuum of living and care; making neighborhoods better places for older adults to live, work, learn, contribute and play; and identifying, implementing and sharing best practices for wellness, workforce issues, memory care and empowering caregivers. To learn more about our senior living residences, Community Initiatives, Institute on Aging and how you can make a charitable contribution to advance our mission, please call (847) 492-7500 or find your Way to

About Council for Jewish Elderly

Council for Jewish Elderly (CJE) is an innovative provider of community-based and residential programs and services for older adults and their families throughout Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. To learn more, call (773) 508-1000 or visit

About Executive Service Corps

Executive Service Corps of Chicago (ESC) is nonprofit consulting firm that serves the management and governance needs of nonprofits, schools, and public agencies across metropolitan Chicago. ESC brings together experienced, veteran leaders from the business, nonprofit, professional, and education sectors as volunteer consultants to address these needs. Nearly 30 years after its founding in 1978, ESC’s 250+ highly-trained volunteers and the innovative services they deliver continue to provide tools and knowledge to make real, sustainable, internal change over the short and long-term.  To learn more, call (312) 580-1840 or visit


# # #