3 Things Your Nonprofit Must Know About Millennials

Posted by on May 11, 2011 in Millennials | 3 Comments

By Jessica Journey

As a millennial in the nonprofit sector, I’m often asked to offer insights into the perspective of my peer group. Not assuming that my personal preferences are indicative of an entire generation, I find myself looking for research on millennials. Recently, I’ve read:

Each work attempts to explain the millennial mindset. Here are some critical learnings that I wanted to share with you:

We, as Millennials, are relationship-oriented. That’s why we love technology – it helps us connect with people we care about. So, don’t expect to recruit us as volunteers or solicit us as donors by simplistic attempts through social media. Sure, meet us where we are, but don’t forget to be formally introduced to us – through someone we know. We trust the advice, referrals, and endorsements of our family and friends. Remember that we value people!

We, as Millennials, are accustomed to accelerated rates of change. We embrace transformation as a fact of life. That’s why we love trends – they help us keep up with what’s relevant. So, don’t expect to convince us that your cause is compelling with a quick story and a statistic. We need to know that what you are doing matters right now and that you offer a contemporary solution to complex social problems. Remember that we value relevancy!

We, as Millennials, are optimistic achievers. We want to make the world a better place, and we think we are capable of making it happen. That’s why we love getting involved – it helps us to use our skills to benefit others. So, don’t expect us to sit back and wait for an invitation from your organization. We’ll just volunteer with another organization, or we’ll start our own initiative. Either your nonprofit will benefit from our commitment to service or someone else will! Remember that we value postive impact.

The Millennial Generation is on track to becoming the most influential generation the United States has ever seen. Is your nonprofit ready for us?

  • Christina M. McDougall

    Jessica, Great job describing our generation! I couldn’t agree more that we value people, relevant change, and positive impact. Maintaining those relationships are so important especially if a business or nonprofit truly values people. Your last two points have a common thread of an action-oriented generation with an underlying theme of the organization’s actions and those actions Millennials want to and will take. Thanks for your contribution! Christina

  • The Victoria Foundation

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts here, Jessica. Now, more than ever nonprofits and charities are looking for new ways to reach the younger generation of philanthropists. I think most will find your insights here very useful.

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