Every generation of volunteers has something to offer, and while non-profits should consider attracting volunteers of all ages, millennials in particular can revitalize a project and bring renewed energy to an organization’s mission.
Many non-profits express their disappointment in recruiting millennial volunteers. However, this isn’t because millennials don’t volunteer. In fact, according to the 2015 Millennial Impact report, 70% of employed Millennials volunteered at least one hour in 2014. So what are non-profits missing about marketing to millennials?
What’s Important to Millennials
Every generation has different priorities, including when and how they volunteer. In the case of millennials, there are several factors to keep in mind when attracting and maintaining them as volunteers:
Millennials seek opportunities that help them build professional skills.
Millennials came of age during the recent recession, and as a result they are very pragmatic and career-oriented. They will find a volunteer opportunity that involves building professional skills to be more attractive than one that does not.
What agencies can do: Come up with volunteer opportunities that build professional skills, and be sure to highlight what those skills are. You may also want to consider linking up with local colleges and universities to encourage students in a related field to sign up.
Millennials tend to get involved in many different ways.
Thanks in part to their enviable youth and energy, millennial volunteers tend to get involved with organizations in multiple ways, from helping out with online fundraising, to labor, to organizing upcoming projects. Just keep in mind that millennials are comprised of students, young professionals and young parents; they do not have a lot of extra time.
What agencies can do: Get creative with volunteer opportunities, but be transparent. Let potential millennial volunteers know exactly what they’re signing up for and how it will help your cause. Also remember to keep training and orientations short and to the point – the less hassle and time spent, the better.