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Artful Aging Programs Might Be The Future of Philanthopy

August 19, 2016
By Jarrod Whaley

As the average age of the U.S. population increases, one of the largest demographic shifts in our nation's history will occur—and our goals as philanthropists probably ought to shift along with the makeup of our population. Inside Philanthropy explains just how big a change is coming in the next 10 years:

As the Journal piece notes, the Census Bureau projects that by 2025, the number of Americans aged 65 and older will hit 66 million, up 38 percent from 2015.

The article makes the case that one of the best-performing ways of supporting the elder demographic through philanthropy is through so-called "artful aging" programs, in which retirees' lives are enriched via exposure to the arts. Programs in which art is either created or consumed can have a huge impact on an elder citizen's quality of life, and the performance numbers seem to back this up. When you consider also the fact that these sorts of charities are going to find themselves serving a growing a number of people over the coming years, you have what amounts to a great opportunity for nonprofits and philanthropists alike. We'd encourage anyone interested in giving to keep their eyes on this space.