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Donor Participation Project

Fighting Senior Poverty: How AARP Foundation Supports Vulnerable Americans

The AARP Foundation works tirelessly to improve the lives of seniors living in poverty across the U.S. Through income assistance programs, benefit access initiatives, and efforts to reduce costs of living, the nonprofit helps vulnerable older Americans achieve stability and dignity.

Franklin Guerrero, Vice President of Major Gifts, explains that “we are there for them. We are here to fight and defend the rights of all older adults in the United States to help them live more meaningful lives and to work toward the end or eradication of senior poverty.” By providing practical support and advocating for policy changes, the organization aims to “rejuvenate the entire American economy” and enable seniors to age with prosperity and purpose.

For fundraisers seeking to drive change, Guerrero reveals several keys to success.

First, he emphasizes that “fundraising development philanthropy is a numbers game.” Building a robust pipeline of donors and consistently engaging them through one-on-one outreach is essential. Secondly, the most effective fundraisers act as “a bridge between what the donor wants to do in the world with their philanthropy and the message and mission of your organization.” Finding this intersection and helping donors direct their gifts to meaningful impact attracts lasting partnerships.

Guerrero credits a mentor for this valuable advice to see fundraising as both “a numbers game” and an “opportunity to work with philanthropists on what they want to do in the world.” For AARP Foundation, building personal relationships with donors who care deeply about empowering seniors has enabled the nonprofit to thrive. Their persistence and commitment to aligning donor desires with organizational goals has transformed lives.

Every contribution to AARP Foundation goes toward creating a future of possibility for vulnerable older Americans. By supporting their efforts to combat senior poverty, donors can help uplift and rejuvenate lives at a time when people need it most. Through partnerships built on trust and a shared vision of prosperity, transformative change is possible.

View the full recording of this session in our Resource Library.

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