ASU Lodestar Center



ASU Lodestar Center receives grant award from CoGenerate to bridge generational divides

January 10, 2024 — The Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation at Arizona State University was named one of 10 winners of the CoGen Challenge to Advance Economic Opportunity today for its work bringing generations together to create a more inclusive, prosperous future.

The $20,000 award comes from CoGenerate, a national nonprofit bringing older and younger people together to solve problems, bridge divides and co-create the future. More than 160 organizations applied for the funding.

This new funding will support the ASU Lodestar Center’s Cogenerational Service Academy, which launched its inaugural cohort in early 2023 and will begin a second program year this month. Participants in the academy represent as many as five generations of community-minded individuals, including AmeriCorps members from the Center’s Public Allies Arizona program for emerging nonprofit and civic leaders.

Working together in cogenerational service teams, the participants will develop co-created solutions that address economic challenges in innovative ways, ultimately promoting social inclusion, reducing ageism and enhancing community cohesion. Projects they will tackle include topics such as developing strategies for job training, financial literacy, or financial counseling, identifying ways to close the racial wealth gap and support minority- and female-owned small businesses, making home-sharing matches more accessible, and creating caregiving options.

“This grant affirms our past success in bringing older and younger people together as a key design element for achieving social impact,” said Dr. Robert Ashcraft, executive director of the ASU Lodestar Center and Saguaro Professor of Civic Enterprise. “We are excited to join others in the national network of grantees as we build on the promise of assuring economic opportunity based upon the strengths of every generation,” Ashcraft added.

This week, representatives from the ASU Lodestar Center will join the other nine awardees in a six-month accelerator, which will provide expert and peer coaching in program development, expansion, storytelling and fundraising.

“We’re thrilled by the ASU Lodestar Center’s use of intergenerational collaboration -- what we call ‘cogeneration’ -- to help solve a critical community problem,” says Cristina Rodriguez, director of the CoGen Challenge. “The ASU Lodestar Center’s work will show the nation what’s possible when older and younger people work together to open the doors of economic opportunity to all.”

For more information on all 10 winners, go to

The CoGen Challenge is funded by the Ares Charitable Foundation, which works to accelerate equality of economic opportunity for people globally.

Arizona State University’s Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation educates, empowers and connects nonprofit leaders to accelerate social impact. Housed within ASU’s Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions and its School of Community Resources and Development, the ASU Lodestar Center believes that the quality of life in communities is enriched with impactful philanthropy and effective nonprofit leadership. For 25 years, the ASU Lodestar Center has provided education, research, practical tools and convenings for nonprofit professionals, philanthropists and volunteers who seek to solve problems and realize their communities’ highest aspirations.