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Supplier Diversity at AARP

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Overview: Together We Succeed

AARP relies on our supply partners for the needed goods and services necessary for us to be effective, impactful and successful in the pursuit of our enterprise goals and objectives.  As a social mission organization focused on improving all of the lives of the 50+ and their families in America, it is extremely important to AARP that our supply base reflect all of America.

As the demographics of our country evolve and become increasingly diverse, we also rely on our supply partners to help inform the services and solutions we provide to our members, and the way we advocate for positive social change. It is important to AARP that we have broad and diverse perspectives embedded in our supply chain, which serve as key sources of innovation and insights.

As our CEO, Jo Ann Jenkins, says: “I truly believe that age and experience can expand the possibilities in life for every member of our society. By working together toward a common vision and goal, we can create a nation where all people — of every background, income or social status — can discover their real possibilities for living a life of independence, dignity and purpose. That's why engaging people of all backgrounds and cultures is not only a vital piece of our community strategy, it is also an integral part of our business model.”

Because this is so important to us, we have a formal Supplier Diversity program that is focused on seeking out and engaging the best small and diverse businesses, and matching them with our supply needs. We believe that small and diverse businesses are an often untapped source of talent and ideas, and also a group of entrepreneurs and companies that have historically been underrepresented and face challenges in the marketplace.

AARP desires to be a leader in Supplier Diversity and an active voice in the market to promote greater access for, and use of, small and diverse businesses.  As such, we historically spend more than 16% with small and diverse vendors. We also provide accelerated payment terms for our small and diverse supply base to help fund growth and job creation.

Here's a snapshot of our Supplier Diversity approach:

  • Support at the top. From our CEO and board to our procurement leadership and business unit directors, we are committed to ensuring that the need to partner with a range of diverse firms is taken seriously at all levels of the organization.   
  • Buy-in across the organization. We're not just identifying a range of the best-performing firms, we are creating demand for them.
  • Focus on higher-margin activities. Our program is designed to remove barriers and actively engage small and diverse suppliers in all segments, including higher value-add and higher margin spend categories. 
  • Access to business unit heads. We help connect you with key AARP decision makers and build relationships through our brown bag luncheons, strategic meetings and annual awards ceremony to assist you in effectively competing for all aspects of our needs.
  • Finding top talent across the country. We are building a database with a range of firms that provide every type of service and product we need.
  • Growing our suppliers and their revenue base. Not only will we do business together, we will also provide strategic insights and opportunities.

How should you engage with us?

You are needed: Do you qualify as a diverse supplier?

Our supplier diversity program is designed to engage firms that are certified in the following categories:

Minority-owned businesses

  • African American, Hispanic or Latino, Asian American, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, and American Indian or Alaska Native–owned businesses

Woman-owned businesses

Lesbian-, Gay-, Bisexual- and/or Transgender (LGBT)-owned businesses

Small disadvantaged businesses (SDB)

  • Socially and economically disadvantaged–owned business as defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA)

Veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran­–owned small businesses

Disabled-owned businesses

HubZone small businesses

  • Businesses located within a historically underutilized business zone and that draw at least 35 percent of their workforce from residents of a HubZone

A certified business that is at least 51 percent owned and whose daily business operations are managed and controlled by one of the categories above is eligible to register as a diverse supplier with AARP.

We accept certifications from a wide variety of certifying organizations across the country.

Let's connect: Register as a small and/or diverse-owned firm

Please click here to complete the registration form so that we can enter your firm into our system. This does not guarantee or represent a commitment to do business with AARP, but it is a first step for us to get to know each other. We will keep all information confidential.

Thank you for your interest in partnering and sharing your expertise with us; we truly appreciate it.

For additional information regarding our program contact Kimberly Marcus, Director of Supplier Diversity or Rosemarie Roberts, Supplier Diversity Specialist at SupplierDiversity@aarp.org.