AARP, Inc., formerly the American Association of Retired Persons, is a United States-based membership and interest group, founded in 1958 by Ethel Percy Andrus, Ph.D., a retired educator from California, and Leonard Davis, founder of Colonial Penn Group of insurance companies.
AARP is a membership organization for seniors. It operates as a non-profit advocate for its members and is one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the United States.
AARP has seven affiliated organizations: AARP Experience Corps, a non-profit charity that encourages people over age 50 to mentor and tutor school children; AARP Financial Services Corporation, a for-profit corporation that holds AARP's real estate; AARP Foundation, a non-profit charity that helps people over age 50 who are at social and economic risk; AARP Insurance Plan, a non-profit social welfare organization that holds some of AARP's group health insurance policies; AARP Institute, a non-profit charity that holds some of AARP's charitable gift annuity funds; AARP Services Inc., a for-profit corporation that provides quality control and research, and Legal Counsel for the Elderly, a non-profit charity that provides low- or no-cost legal assistance to seniors in Washington, D.C. According to AARP's 2008 Consolidated financial statements, AARP Services, Inc. was paid $652,000,000 in royalties from insurance companies that sold products referred by AARP. AARP also received an additional $120,000,000 for the advertisements placed in its publications.
The AARP Foundation's website claims the nonprofit "wants to win back opportunity for those now in crisis, so thousands of vulnerable low-income Americans 50+ can regain their foothold, continue to serve as anchors for their families and communities and ensure that their best life is still within reach." Key areas of focus are hunger, income, housing, and isolation. The Foundation's vision is "a country that is free of poverty where no older person feels vulnerable".