It’s been one year since Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) joined AARP as a charitable affiliate and we have accomplished a lot together already! As leaders in the aging space, the exciting affiliation was a synergistic joining of forces to both expand the reach of Senior Planet programming and bring digital literacy to the forefront of AARP strategy.
Here are some other highlights of the affiliation thus far:
- OATS hosted 20 programs and events on AARP’s Virtual Community Center (VCC), bringing in both AARP members and Senior Planet participants. Over 17,962 people attended these events through the VCC!
- The Aging Connected initiative team worked closely with AARP throughout the year to raise awareness of the government’s Emergency Broadband Benefit. This work resulted in an instructional video to help older adults learn about the subsidy for affordable broadband, information shared on AARP.org and in AARP The Magazine, social media posts, and many calls to the Aging Connected hotline! We also hosted a Remote Resource fair in December, focused on reaching seniors in Detroit, Boston, and Washington DC.
- OATS from AARP was featured in dozens of major media stories. Media coverage included NPR, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Vox, Fox News, and more. In December, Tom Kamber had an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal about the value of older workers, disproving the prevailing systemic misunderstandings – and supporting the work of AARP Foundation.
- In 2021, Senior Planet online programs welcomed new and returning older participants more than 275,000 times. After making a 180-degree digital pivot in 2020, we continued to roll out new digital courses and programs in 2021 that have allowed us to gather with friends from across the nation and world.
- Our Supporter program continued to thrive and grow in 2021. 1,737 older adults became or renewed their status as a Supporter in 2021! And $71,790 was raised by Supporters to fund free online programming for thousands of older adults.
- AARP supported OATS in our Giving Tuesday push, resulting in our largest Giving Tuesday fundraising effort to date! Over 400 individual givers came together to above $45,000 to support free technology courses for thousands of older adults across the country!
These are just a few of the top highlights since our affiliation with AARP. Thank you to all of our partners for the continued support – we can’t wait to see what will come out of the next year.