Which is more important? Voting or Volunteering?
Well, if you’re a Millenial, you will most likely answer “volunteering.” According to a survey conducted by the Associated Press, Millenials value voluntarism as a critical civic duty. The New York Times further examined the results of the survey and reported that twenty percent of adults under 30 volunteered in 2013, up from 14 percent in 1989, according to census data analyzed by the Corporation for National and Community Service. It seems likely that the Millennials’ volunteering rate will climb higher, because past generations have peaked in their 30s and 40s, when many parents give their time to schools, youth groups or community improvements.
“We’re on the crux of something big, because these Millennials are going to take this spirit of giving and wanting to change communities and they’re going to become parents soon,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “I am very encouraged by what we’re seeing.”
So, what should your nonprofit do to take advantage of the Millennials interest in volunteering? How can you tailor your volunteer activities to attract new younger volunteers and donors?
The 2014 Millennial Impact Report, sponsored by the Case Foundation and prepared by Achieve, cites the kinds of volunteering employees born after 1980 want to see more of at work: company-wide volunteer days, sabbaticals from paid work for volunteer work, and performing charitable projects with a department or team. Researchers also found that millennial employees respond best when they are given an array of different ways to engage in a cause, and regard donating their skills and time to a cause as equivalent to writing a check.