Engaging ‘millennials’

Question: What are three ways nonprofits can engage the “millennial” generation?


* Volunteerism

The millennial generation wants to be actively engaged with causes to make a difference in the world.

Nonprofits can activate this large group both internally within the organization to help with fundraising, communications, program services, or out in the community with hands-n experiences.

About eight in 10 millennials volunteer either weekly, monthly or a few times a year.

Furthermore, there is a subset of the millennials, 10 million strong, that we call “doers,” who volunteer at least once a week.

Carol Cone is chairman and founder of Cone Inc., a brand strategy and communications agency that develops leadership cause-related initiatives for companies and nonprofits. Cone published the 2006 Cone Millennial Cause Study.

It is critical to let these young people know the results of their efforts. Millennials are used to instant gratification, especially because of their tech-savvy nature.Letting them know about the impact of their efforts is essential to their satisfaction and their continued engagement with a nonprofit.* Employment

Millennials do not only want to volunteer but they also want to do good in their work lives.

The nonprofit, as an employer, therefore has more and more opportunities to hire dedicated recruits. The nonprofit sector has become a viable and competitive employment choice.

The “doers,” who make up two in 10 of millennials, say they make employment choices by considering what a company stands for more than salary and work product.

Nonprofits shouldn’t be afraid of young people, but should take advantage of their ambition and satisfy their needs through robust training programs and varied, hands-n experience where their staff can make a difference and see their impact.

* Public-private partnerships

Even millennials who choose to work in the for-profit sector want their companies to provide them with active engagement with social issues.

This is great news for nonprofits because it means corporations need to partner with them to satisfy their employees.

Nonprofits can bring that corporate engagement to life and corporate partnerships can help bring authenticity and credibility to the nonprofit.

About eight in 10 millennials want to work for a company that contributes to society and almost two in three their company’s social activities enhance their loyalty.

Thus, nonprofits can help a company hire the best and the brightest by building a bridge to the cause and cause engagement that millennials are looking for in their future employers.

Compiled by Laura Newman

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