Phoenix, Ariz. – March 13, 2020 – Experience Matters has received a generous $50,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities to support expansion of their collaborative Literacy and Mentors Program, a K-3 reading program that addresses the urgent need to increase reading readiness of low-income children in Title I schools in Phoenix, Buckeye and Littleton School Districts.

““This grant from the Thunderbirds Charities will give us additional resources to expand our activities into new school districts and provide intergenerational connections,” said Experience Matters Executive Director Wendy Cohen.  “Over the past 10 years, Experience Matters has impacted over 600 nonprofit organizations in the greater Phoenix area, matched skilled talent to almost 1300 capacity building projects, while generating over $43 million in Human Capital.” 

“Thunderbirds Charities is proud to support the Literacy and Mentors Program,” said Chance Cozby, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “Additional resources towards the program will ensure that more students can become equipped with reading readiness.” 

Experience Matters connects the skills and talents of individuals, age 50+, with social-benefit organizations to enhance their capacity to solve community problems. Objectives include providing resources to nonprofits to more effectively fulfill their mission and preparing older adults with meaningful service work to help improve Arizona. 

The grant to Experience Matters represents one of many awarded to nonprofit organizations by Thunderbirds Charities. Since Thunderbirds Charities began in 1986, they have raised over  $147 million for Arizona charities. 


• Wendy Cohen, Executive Director, Experience Matters, 602-812-3939,

• Cheryl Ruggiero, Grants Manager, Thunderbirds Charities, 602-216-7325.

ABOUT EXPERIENCE MATTERS: Recognized nationally as a groundbreaking initiative, the Experience Matters vision is to effect lasting social change through civic engagement to transform the structure and sustainability of hundreds of nonprofits throughout Maricopa County. Experience Matters connects passionate individuals with nonprofit organizations and supports the organizations as they receive the talent.  For more information, visit

Thunderbirds Charities is a non-profit organization formed in 1986 to distribute monies raised through the Waste Management Phoenix.  The Thunderbirds Charities Board consists of 15 board members from varying professional backgrounds.  The mission of Thunderbirds Charities is to assist children and families, help people in need and improve the quality of life in our communities.  The organization’s giving is directed toward organizations based or with a significant presence in Arizona.  The Thunderbirds were founded in 1937 with the mission of promoting the Valley of the Sun through sports.  The Thunderbirds consist of 55 “active” members and more than 285 “life” members.  For more information on the Thunderbirds or the 2021 Waste Management Phoenix Open, visit  For more information on the Thunderbirds Charities, visit