“Our goal is to connect generations to help strengthen our communities and to help develop healthy communities that engage people at all ages,” says Donna Butts, of Generations United. “Our country is really, really age-advantaged. We are so fortunate to have this healthy, growing older population. We also have a younger population that’s the same size as our older population, but they don’t look like each other. … These bookend generations really hold our civil society together, and it’s important that we are working to connect them. … Many of the Kendals around the country are wonderful communities that really do reach out and make sure that they engage other generations.”
Donna Butts is the Executive Director of Generations United, a position she has held since 1997. For three decades, Generations United has been the catalyst for policies and practices stimulating cooperation and collaboration among generations, evoking the vibrancy, energy and sheer productivity that result when people of all ages come together. In 2014, Butts was honored to be named to the NonProfit Times Power and Influence Top 50 for the third year in a row. In 1998 she was appointed by then DHHS Secretary Donna Shalala to serve on the National Kinship Advisory Panel. She is a respected author and speaker who serves on several boards, including the International Consortium for Intergenerational Programmes, the National Human Services Assembly and the Journal on Intergenerational Relationships. She is a graduate of Stanford University’s Executive Program for Non-Profit Leaders and was honored with the 2004 National Council on the Aging’s Jack Ossofsky award for leadership, creativity and innovation in programs and services for older persons. She served as an at large delegate to the 2005 White House Conference on Aging and has been invited by the United Nations to sit on four expert panels on intergenerational solidarity and other issues. Donna has over 35 years of experience working with non-profit organizations including Covenant House, the YWCA and National 4-H Council.