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Nonprofits retool to lure ‘millennials’

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In an effort to recruit and retain more young professionals, U.S. charities are rethinking how they talk about their organizations and how they structure jobs, a new study says.

That strategy is appealing to baby boomers as well, nonprofit CEOs said at a recent roundtable discussion held by the Johns Hopkins University Nonprofit Listening Post Project.

“Our participants’ experiences show that offering staff a life of meaning can be a powerful tool for recruitment that appeals to both millennials and baby boomers,” Lester Salamon, director of the Center for Civil Society Studies at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies, says in a statement.

A key strategy for roundtable participants is focusing on an organization’s context, which includes the working environment and a particular focus on the group’s mission and values.

Because many young people are not familiar with the nonprofit sector, charities are becoming more proactive in their recruiting efforts.

And many organizations are updating their work environments by adjusting benefits packages to work for changing family structures by and allowing flexible work schedules.

However, roundtable participants identified areas in which they can improve, including adequately staffing and investing in human resources departments; helping to relieve the education-debt burden of their employees; and launching special efforts to recruit in diverse communities.

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