Champions Network


A Nationwide Network of Champions Dedicated to Ending Social Isolation and Loneliness

The Commit to Connect Champions are a nationwide network of passionate leaders and innovators at the local, state and national level dedicated to ending social isolation and loneliness. Champions work together to increase awareness of social isolation and loneliness, connect people who are/or at risk of social isolation to social connection programs and technologies, and create more socially connected communities inclusive of all people including older adults, people with disabilities, and caregivers. This network of peers supports collaboration through shared learnings and open communication across sectors and perspectives.

Joining the Commit to Connect Nationwide Network of Champions includes three steps:

  • Review, complete and submit the application
  • After submitting your application, you’ll receive an email that confirms receipt of the application. We will review and process your application.
  • Once the application is approved and processed, new champions will receive an email with access to the online network hub.

Apply to become a champion


Who can be a Champion?

Champions come from many different backgrounds, communities and perspectives. At the core, Champions are leaders and innovators at the local, state or national level dedicated to ending social isolation and loneliness.

Examples of potential local Champions:
Staff and volunteer leaders from: community-based organizations, local foundations and philanthropic organizations, educational institutions, long-term care ombudsmen, senior centers, parks and recreation departments, respite providers, senior housing and long-term care (including CCRCs, nursing, assisted living), caregiver associations, food security (e.g. pantries) organizations, animal welfare organizations, faith-based organizations, educators, Centers for Independent Living, health care organizations, disability-focused organizations, veteran service organizations and elected officials/offices. Local Champions can also be self-advocates.

Examples of potential state Champions:
Staff and leaders from: State government, or groups/initiatives within state governments/agencies (e.g. state aging and disability offices, Public Health, Mental Health, Departments of Education), State Colleges/Universities, Long-Term Care State Ombudsmen programs, Nonprofits, Associations and Coalitions and/or private organizations with statewide reach, statewide philanthropic organizations, statewide assistive technology (AT) programs, university centers for excellence in developmental disabilities (UCEDD) network.

Examples of potential national Champions:
Staff and leaders from: national associations, national organizations, national societies, national coalitions, foundations and philanthropic organizations, technology companies, national housing providers, national health and long-term care providers, national health systems, national health plans and insurance companies, national faith-based organizations, and federal agencies.

What is the benefit of becoming a Champion?

As a network Champion you are a part of a group of passionate leaders and innovators at the local, state and national level dedicated to ending social isolation and loneliness. You will have opportunities to connect to and gain support from a collaborative network via an online network hub and stay informed on the latest research, tools and public awareness efforts from Commit to Connect. Information will be disseminated through outlets such as the Commit to Connect newsletter and periodic emails and through your participation in the online hub.

Champions will also be able to participate in opportunities, such as working groups and free networking events/learning opportunities.

What are Champion responsibilities?

Champions will support Commit to Connect’s vision to deliver appropriate, informed solutions to decrease isolation and loneliness among older adults and people with disabilities, and its goal to reach up to 10 million socially isolated people. Read more >>

What is the time commitment?

While on-going engagement is encouraged, the amount of time dedicated to this initiative is dependent on each Champion in the network.

Champions will have opportunities to participate in relevant learning and professional development activities, such as discussion forums, working groups and events. Feedback will be fostered through invitations to participate in occasional brief surveys or polls to help inform the improvement of the network and the overall Commit to Connect Initiative

Champions will also help identify programs and technologies that address social isolation and loneliness and submit them for consideration to be included in the Commit to Connect Clearinghouse.

What information are Champions expected to share?

Champions will help measure success towards the goal of reaching up to 10 million socially isolated older adults and people with disabilities by tracking the total number of individuals reached periodically through their respective work (including through webinars, materials distributed in communities, social media messages etc.)

In addition, Champions will have ways to share feedback, input and thoughts through discussion forums, optional surveys & polls, and more.

What counts as a person reached?

A person reached includes older adults (age 65 and older) and people with disabilities (all ages) who are/or at-risk of social isolation or loneliness who a) join an event or workshop; b) participate in a program; c) receive public awareness materials (such as a post card, social media message or digital asset) that builds awareness of social isolation and loneliness, and helps connect individuals to social connection programs and technologies.

What if I don’t have this exact information or I’m unable to collect this information?

Champions are encouraged to share the most accurate or the best estimate of the total number of individuals reached. We do not require supplemental documentation to verify the person reached data.

How will this information be used?

These aggregate numbers will support efforts to measure success towards the Commit to Connect goal of reaching up to 10 million isolated or lonely people.

Feedback and insights shared through discussion forums and optional surveys and polls will help guide Commit to Connect strategies around how best to disseminate info, reach populations, assess if and how well interventions are working, and assess gaps.

What about measuring beyond reach?

Reach is only a baseline measurement as we evaluate the overall success of the Commit to Connect vision to deliver appropriate, informed solutions to decrease isolation and loneliness.

As Commit to Connect tools and resources evolve, we’re developing methods to measure outputs and/or outcomes at different levels to support the vision of Commit to Connect.

Apply to become a champion