NCOA facilitates an incredible network of aging advocacy organizations and service providers that represent a broad cross-section of the country. Specifically their research and advocacy work on older Americans dealing with the economic crisis and their work during the electoral season (and the subsequent political analysis that followed) has proven to be invaluable to other organizations in the field. Their ability to do these things while also convening other organizations has been a true testament to their leadership in the sector.
I am the new board chair of ECIAAA in Bloomington, IL. My wife and I attended the n4a annual conference at Louisville, KY this past summer. I became aware of the need for promoting awareness of the increasing ratio of seniors in the world's population, especially in developed countries. NCoA does a great job of doing that job.
NCOA's work impacts the neighborhood level needs and concerns of our nation's seniors by taking national trends and creating/innovating solutions with local level partners. It is this steadfast commitment to shared leadership and partnerships that motivates my continued involvement with this organization.
I have been associated with this organization for fifty years in one way or another. It plays an important intermediary role in the field aging between and among government, agencies serving older persons directly, other age related agencies and older persons. It has flourished through the years since it has kept its "eye on the ball" in using its resources, material and moral, to further the well being of the most frail maintaining a virtually unique role in the field since it is perceived as having no agenda or compromising activities that detract from its mission. It is highly effect in its stated mission of enhancing the lives of older persons especially the most vulnerable.
The NCOA is an example of nonprofit organizations at their best. It is innovative, dynamic and nimble as well as mission-driven. The NCOA has partnered with government agencies, corporations, civil society organizations and academia to find and test innovative solutions to the challenges facing underserved Seniors in America. The NCOA leadership is devoted to their mission but highly flexible and nimble with respect to their business model for the best ways to implement effectively.
NCOA is the most trusted organization in the area of aging. It's programs in health, reverse mortgages and benefits are state of the art. it's commitment to seniors, with an emphasis on the most vulnerable, is not taken up as a priority by any other organization. It's policy work is bipartisan which is what gives NCOA the legitimacy it has earned. Also, its work in senior employment shows NCOA is involved in senior issues at all levels.
It's Benefits Check Up has been recognized by the federal and many state governments as very helpful and easy to use. it has helped thousands of people gain access of benefits to which they are entitled or have earned live better more fruitful lives
The nation should be grateful that such an organization exists. The excitement is in seeing what emerges next from NCOA, a group that does well by doing good.
NCOA is unique in that it is one of the few national organizations that advocate for vulnerable seniors as a core part of their mission. NCoA actively dedicates resources to ensure its programs for economic security and improved health reach literally millions of seniors. NCoA is working to creating a network of community organizations who develop and disseminate programs for disadvantaged seniors and that leverage the existing power of aging organizations.
During the nearly 33 years that I have been committed to the National Council on Aging, I have seen first-hand its transformation from a good organization to a great organization. I strongly echo the comments made by previous reviewers and would like to add yet another aspect of NCOA's far-reaching impact: it serves as the headquarters of the National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC). NISC is the only national organization that works to strengthen over 11,000 senior centers (serving over 1 million older adults daily) through national standards and accreditation, promising practices, research, advocacy, and professional development activities. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that "nothing was ever achieved without enthusiasm." Let me assure you that the NCOA Board of Directors, senior management and staff, and volunteers are enthusiastic and passionate about NCOA. We are enthusiastic and passionate about our mission, our core values, our core competencies, our designated impact areas, and our strategic priorities. Thinking big and collaborating are parts of our culture. NCOA is an exceptional organization that is making a BIG difference in the world by improving the lives of millions of older adults and their families. That's why I invite everyone interested to visit the NCOA website, including the NISC pages, to find out more. As an annual financial contributor, current member and a past chair of the board of directors, and a past chairperson of the National Institute of Senior Centers, I wholeheartedly believe in the vital work of NCOA and am pleased to submit my testimonial in support of NCOA as a Great Nonprofit. Thank you!
NCOA is is an unusual non-profit rganization on the national scene. It is one of the few, perhaps only, national leadership organization that does the following things at the same time: generate policy oriented leadership focussed primarily on low and moderate income older people; develop service and support startegies that atually enhance access to support for older people and persons with disabliities in a way that assertively reaches out to partnering organizations touch people's lives directly; do this work in partenership with locally based organizations all around the country, which greatly enhances awareness and effectiveness becasue of their oal knowledge and visibility; learns from these local partners what services actually work and which don't, which also enriches NCOA's capacity to understand policy and its implications on "real people"; and it oursues this mission with passion and integrity that leads people to rely on NCOA as a trusted source of innovation and partnership at the national level. Finally, it does all of this not in service of a particualr group of providers or specific group of professionals. it does it becasue it needs to be done. i am proud to be associated with it.
For over 60 years, NCOA has had a fire in its belly for its mission: “to improve the lives of millions of older adults, especially those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged." NCOA's longevity and effectiveness can be attributed to its particular strength in three areas: commitment to its mission, organizational DNA that’s wired for innovation, and ardent advocacy on behalf of disadvantaged elders.
* Mission: Struggling seniors are an all-too-often overlooked segment of American society. NCOA’s programs have a profound impact on this group by bringing jobs, benefits, food security, health self-management and more directly to the people. NCOA has not faltered in its focus; it is a mission-oriented nonprofit.
* Innovation: Not content to keep doing programs as they’ve always been done, NCOA’s genius lies in its commitment to innovation, to figuring out new and better ways to bring more jobs, more benefits, more self-management skills, more food security and a host of other much-needed services to the people who need them. Just one example among many is the online BenefitsCheckUp that helps connect low-income seniors with government benefits that they qualify for.
* Advocacy: NCOA is a tireless advocate for struggling older adults who live in hard economic times. To help the voiceless be heard, NCOA launched the brilliant videobased “One Away” campaign to bring attention to elders who live one misfortune away from calamity.
NCOA is a mission-oriented, results-driven organization making a big difference in the lives of older Americans. This country needs NCOA.