Author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has given an $8 million donation to NCOA to advance its mission to ensure equitable aging for all.
NCOA is working to address health and racial equity by empowering older Americans to access benefits programs that can help pay for daily expenses, learn new skills to re-enter the workforce, and take measurable steps to stay healthy and independent.
As the largest gift in NCOA’s 72-year history, this will help accelerate NCOA's efforts to make aging well a right, not a privilege, for every American.
Gift will address health and racial equity to ensure every American has the resources to age with dignity
Public Relations Manager
Arlington, VA (February 1, 2022) — The National Council on Aging (NCOA), the national voice for every person’s right to age well, has received $8 million from author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott to advance its mission to ensure equitable aging for all.
The independent unrestricted gift—the largest in NCOA’s 72-year history—will support the organization’s work to address systemic inequities that make it more difficult for women, people of color, LGBTQ+, low-income, and rural Americans to age with dignity.
Over 25 million older Americans are financially insecure, and 75% have at least two chronic health conditions. The pandemic has spotlighted how, despite increased longevity in the U.S., the nation’s systems are unresponsive to the disparities many Americans face as they age. More than 75% of COVID deaths have been among people aged 65 and older. Socioeconomic factors, including living near or below poverty, are tied to declining health at an earlier age and higher rates of social isolation.
“The one thing that will happen to every person born in this world is that they will age. Aging well should not be based on luck or any factor outside our control,” said Ramsey Alwin, NCOA President and CEO.
NCOA is working to address health and racial equity by empowering older Americans to access benefits programs that can help pay for daily expenses, learn new skills to re-enter the workforce, and take measurable steps to stay healthy and independent. NCOA provides online education and tools, supports a network of community-based organizations that serve older adults, and advocates to protect and improve federal programs that Americans depend on as they age. Since 2010, NCOA and its partners have improved the lives of 19 million older adults. In 2021, 95% of those served were low-income, 66% women, 40% people of color, and 27% rural populations, as detailed in the organization’s Impact & Equity Report.
“NCOA has a proven track record of addressing societal challenges on multiple levels,” said NCOA Board Chair Kathy Greenlee, former U.S. Assistant Secretary for Aging.
“This incredible gift will be a game-changer for spurring innovation and accelerating our efforts to make aging well a right, not a privilege, for every American.”
“Our fight for equitable aging is one day a time, one step at a time, but most importantly, done together,” said Alwin. “It is time to shift the paradigm and generate a national dialogue that your ability to age well will not be based on your gender, color, sexuality, income, or zip code. That is our Equity Promise.”
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is the national voice for every person’s right to age well. We believe that how we age should not be determined by gender, color, sexuality, income, or zip code. Working with thousands of national and local partners, we provide resources, tools, best practices, and advocacy to ensure every person can age with health and financial security. Founded in 1950, we are the oldest national organization focused on older adults. Follow us at @NCOAging.