Involving Millennials in Nonprofit Organizations

Sep 05, 14 Involving Millennials in Nonprofit Organizations

Say what you want about Millennials, but this young generation truly believes that they can change the world. Nonprofit involvement is one way Generation Y chooses to make a difference, and their engagement early-on is key for an organization’s long-term sustainability. Consider implementing the following strategies when looking to targeting Millennial involvement.


1. Highlight the cause

When donating time and/or money to a nonprofit organization, Millennials are more drawn to a broad cause or issue, as opposed to a specific organization. According to the 2013 Millennial Impact Report, of the 73% of this generation who volunteered for a nonprofit in 2012, 75% donated their time because they were passionate about the cause. Millennials believe they can make a difference for a cause they care about, so they will be looking to organizations that emphasize a commitment to an issue.


2. Use social media effectively

Social media is a good opportunity for organizations to educate the Generation Y audience about how they uniquely contribute to a greater cause. Millennials are somewhat selective about what organizations they follow on social media, and are more interested when nonprofits share specific stories about successful projects or people they have helped. However, when nonprofits use social media to share compelling narratives, 75% of Millennials who do follow these organizations interact with social content that nonprofits post (liking, retweeting, sharing, etc.).


3. Create a continuum of participation opportunities

Millennials are attracted to organizations that offer a variety of volunteering opportunities, as this generation is almost evenly split between those who are looking for short-term volunteer projects and long-term volunteer opportunities. This group doesn’t appreciate feeling like they’ve wasted, and 32% of Milliennials are open to any kind of volunteer opportunity as long as they know their efforts will make a difference.


4. Allow for networking and professional development

Millennials also seek intrinsic benefits when finding a nonprofit to get involved with, identifying networking and gaining professional expertise as important factors to their involvement. For example, 72% of this generation is interested in being a part of a young nonprofit professional group, so they can meet people with similar interests and broader their skillset for future opportunities. Nonprofits represent social outlets for Millennials, and if given the opportunity to interact and learn from like-minded individuals, it helps with retaining their involvement and leading to more in-person action.


“So far, marketers have been quick to highlight the self obsessed and self-involved aspect of Millennials, but the fact is that they are motivated generous side,” said George L. San Jose, president and chief creative officer at The San Jose Group. “Today’s nonprofits need the 80 million Millennials that make up the US population, and the generation is ready and willing to help.”

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