We are gaining time. Our life expectancy is rising almost every year. This should be a cause for celebration. The problem is that it is putting severe strain on the intergenerational contract. Older members of our society are increasingly being regarded purely as a financial burden. But the coronavirus crisis has revealed the unexpected gap left by older people when they are placed under restrictions. They play an irreplaceable role when it comes to childcare and support for vulnerable people, for example. They also bring to bear their valuable experience in volunteer work and honorary leadership positions, like roles on boards of trustees.
Age is an important topic for charities in particular. Charities address issues that public authorities and the private sector do not – or do not yet – cover. Projects run by charities demonstrate how different generations benefit each other. The intergenerational contract is not a one-way street. And charities play a key role in making this fact felt. If this is done successfully, it enables us to shift the focus to the upsides of living longer.
I am therefore delighted that this edition is shedding light on the importance of the topic of age for charities. I hope that you enjoy reading it.
Dr. Peter Buss
Managing director and publisher Philanthropy Services AG