The Elders


  • How can I stay up to date with The Elders’ work?

    There are several ways you can keep up to date with The Elders’ work and initiatives. As a start, The Elders’ website is very frequently updated – please see the question How can I find out more about The Elders’ work on specific issues? for help searching and finding specific information on the website.

    The Elders take turns to write a monthly newsletter to supporters. You can sign up to receive these, as well as occasional other email updates using the 'signup' link in the top right of this page. An archive of past newsletters is available here.

    You can also keep track of The Elders’ work by:

  • How can I work or volunteer for The Elders?

    We have been overwhelmed by the level of goodwill and public support The Elders have received. Currently The Elders are supported by a small team based in London (UK) – unfortunately we are not in a position to offer volunteering opportunities at this time. Should this change, we will post a notice on the Jobs page on our website.

    We advertise all job vacancies and internships on the Jobs page (please do not send us speculative applications). We also tweet about these vacancies – you may wish to follow us on Twitter to hear about them.

  • I recently applied for a job at The Elders. How can I find out about the status of my application?

    We tend to receive a very high number of applications for the jobs we advertise. Unfortunately, this means that we are only able to contact short-listed candidates – it is not possible to respond to each query individually.

    We try to complete a short-list as soon as possible following the closing date for applications; if you have not heard from a member of our team within four weeks of the closing date, it is likely that your application has not been successful.

  • How are The Elders funded? Is it possible to donate?

    The Elders are grateful to the donors who make their work possible and who share their commitment to fulfilling Nelson Mandela’s vision for the organisation as an independent and robust force for good. The donors are represented on the Advisory Council.

    We are currently unable to accept personal, private donations. There are, however, other ways in which you can show your support. Please see the next question: How can I contribute to The Elders’ mission?

  • How can I contribute to The Elders’ mission?


    While we are not a typical campaigning or fundraising organisation, we still encourage you to contribute to The Elders’ mission through your own actions. The Elders believe very strongly in the idea that everybody can be a change-maker – as Nelson Mandela says, “It is in your hands to make a difference.”

    Many supporters tell us how they are helping to raise awareness of the issues The Elders work on, from teachers educating their students about the universal values we share, to individuals campaigning for peace and human rights in different parts of the world.

    We want you to share the inspiring work that you do, so that it may inspire others. You can post your stories and links on our Facebook page, or upload your own message to our website.

  • How can I share my ideas with The Elders and their supporters?

    The Elders have years of experience, but they don’t claim to have a monopoly on wisdom! While we can’t respond to everyone personally, we value your opinions, whether critical or supportive.

    We encourage you to post your thoughts and ideas on The Elders’ Facebook page, and to comment on the blogs and articles published on our website. You can share ideas with The Elders on Twitter or send a message via our contact form. You can also share a reflection or idea with our global village by uploading a short message to our website.

    There are also opportunities to interact with the Elders directly at events and through online Q&As, such as the Elders+Youngers dialogues. Sign up to receive email updates and follow The Elders on Twitter to be kept informed of these opportunities.

  • Can I guest blog for The Elders website?

    We often publish guest contributions on The Elders website, either in the form of blogs or Q&A-style interviews. We usually seek contributions from policy experts, activists and change-makers, or people affected by conflict or human rights issues that The Elders are working on. You can find all guest blogs here.

    You are welcome to send us your suggestions; however please note that we generally do not publish unsolicited guest blogs.

  • Can The Elders intervene in individual situations and/or offer financial support?

    Regrettably it is not possible for The Elders to intervene or get involved in individual cases. If you wish to report a human rights abuse, for example, we encourage you to research and contact an organisation that specialises in the matter that concerns you.

    Nor is The Elders a grant-giving organisation – we are not in a position to provide any financial support, scholarships or grants.

  • Can I suggest an area or issue for The Elders to work on?

    The Elders receive many proposals and suggestions for areas of engagement and regret that they cannot support or act upon all of them. Ultimately, The Elders must decide where they feel they can collectively have the most influence and impact – it is often a difficult decision.

    President Carter explains: "Where we feel a vacuum in the world, where there's a need that can be filled by us uniquely, that's when we decide to take on an issue."

    Please see our strategic framework 2014-2017 for information about The Elders’ priorities over the next three years, and visit the Our Work page on our website for The Elders' position statements and recent activities.

    We also encourage you to share and discuss ideas and suggestions on our Facebook page – these may be of interest to other supporters of The Elders’ work.

  • How can I find out more about The Elders’ work on specific issues?


    We are a small team so it is not possible to answer all your questions individually. However, we update The Elders’ website regularly and there are several ways to find out more about the topics that interest you:

    • Visit our News & Media page to browse recent updates, photos, videos and blogs – or use the tags to narrow your search by topic.
    • Visit an individual Elder’s page to find their full biography and their latest blogs, photos and videos. See the full list of Elders.
    • Use the Search field at the top of every page.
  • How can I invite members of The Elders to an event?

    If you would like to invite an Elder to your conference, lecture or other event, please send a formal letter of invitation containing all necessary details to connect [at]

    For all media enquiries please use the media contact form provided on our website.

  • Can The Elders collaborate with my organisation?

    The Elders work with partners on specific issues. For instance, they initiated and are members of Girls Not Brides, a worldwide coalition of organisations working to bring an end to the harmful practice of child marriage. In the spring of 2012, they collaborated with Tck Tck Tck, a campaign of the Global Coalition for Climate Action, to organise the Elders+Youngers dialogue in the lead-up to the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development.

    However, as a rule, and in order to maintain their independence, The Elders do not usually establish formal ongoing partnerships with other organisations.

    If your project or organisation shares similar goals with The Elders, we encourage you to post information about it to our Facebook page – it may be of interest to other members of our global village.

  • How can I support The Elders’ work on child marriage?

    The Elders are committed to promoting equality between women and men, girls and boys, in all aspects of life.

    In 2010, they founded a global civil society alliance to tackle child marriage which affects an estimated 10 million girls every year. Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage brings together non-governmental organisations working all over the world to end this harmful practice. It aims to give a voice to girls at risk of child marriage, to defend their rights to health and education, and to give them the opportunities they need to fulfil their potential.

    Please visit the Girls Not Brides website for more information and ways to get involved in the campaign. You can also follow their work on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Where are The Elders based? Are there regional or local chapters of The Elders?

    The Elders are supported by a small team in London. The Elders themselves are based in their respective offices in different parts of the world, but regularly travel together as part of their ongoing work, and meet twice a year to review their activities and set upcoming priorities.

    At the moment there are no plans to set up regional Elders groups or roll out particular Elders projects locally.

The Elders are independent global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela, who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity.

Sign up to receive monthly newsletters from The Elders.

We will occasionally send you other special updates and news, but we'll never share your email address with third parties.

Visit the archive to see our past newsletters.

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