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How To Attract More Young People To Volunteer At Your Nonprofit

Monday, July 17, 2017   (0 Comments)
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How to Attract More Young People to Volunteer At Your Nonprofit
By Gloria Horsley | Jul. 07, 2017
Click Here for the original article from The Forbes Nonprofit Council

In an age where millennials have helped turn greater attention toward doing social good, it's an opportune time to capitalize on this interest by attracting young volunteers to our nonprofit organizations. Younger volunteers mean the likelihood of having a lifelong partnership of support. Plus, these younger volunteers have great insight into how we can engage with donors and other supporters within their generation.

But first, we need to have a strategy for attracting these young volunteers in an age where we may not be able to meet as many in person as we'd like. Here are several strategies you can try:

Share Your Cause's Story


Young people need a reason to care about a particular topic or issue. Tell it to them in the form of a story, using primarily video across your social media channels. Although many young people may not find that your cause resonates with them at first, you can find an angle that might be relevant for them.


For example, while my organization deals with grief, many young people do not necessarily think about death because they feel invincible at their age. However, in telling stories about young people who have lost their parents or siblings and how our organization has helped them, we've had young people volunteer because they feel connected to the young people in our videos, who have also gone through the loss of a loved one.

Find a similar connection that would work for your cause that would emotionally resonate. Be sure to keep the message simple and straightforward to hold their attention. Shorter stories are better for achieving this aim.

Explain Their Role

Young people have a natural inclination to help that their parents hopefully nurtured from a young age. When speaking with any young prospects, focus on how they can get involved and make a difference. When they see that their participation will have a positive impact and actually do something, they will want to join.

Video is an ideal way to illustrate how young people can help. Using footage of other young volunteers working with your nonprofit and talking about their experience is a good strategy.

Go To The Young People


Use your own social media channels to get this visual content out to this target audience. You may even want to use specific social media channels that young people frequent. We've had great success on Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube.

At the same time, I would still consider offline strategies that involve going to schools and universities to talk about your nonprofit. Have other young volunteers go with you to share their experiences in person. Other places to consider meeting and connecting with young people are church youth groups and leadership organizations like the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and social clubs.

Leverage Young Influencers

Young people listen to other young people, so put these influencers to work on their social media channels talking about their experiences with volunteering and what it meant to them.

Because peer approval is so important, this is an ideal way to convince young people to get involved. They will want to tell others that they are volunteering and doing something important.

Offer Incentives

Many young people are looking to attend universities, get extra credit, fulfill internships, and launch their careers. Another strategy would be to offer incentives that speak to these goals, including assisting with college admissions, offering a scholarship, creating an internship program, and providing references for resumes in exchange for volunteer work.

You can reach out to young people through partnerships and collaborative projects with local universities, colleges and high schools to build a program that works for your organization, the educational institution and the young person.

Another angle that can serve as an incentive is to emphasize the social opportunities that volunteering offers, including another way to spend time with people their own age, make new friends, and do something important together.

Enjoy Their Energy

I love working with young people because their energy, creativity, enthusiasm and idealistic nature are inspiring to me and fuel my own passion for what I am doing. They bring a fresh approach to what we are trying to achieve, which can help when we all struggle to stay focused on the big picture goals.

Keep in mind, however, that they may work and see things differently than you when you bring them in for projects. They often do not work as long, have shorter attention spans, and are focused on technology. That means you may need to consider different types of roles for them, including overseeing texting and social media messaging where they know how to engage others that prefer these communication channels.

Bring More Young People Onboard

Since enacting these strategies to attract young people to volunteer work, we've seen a rapid increase in the number of high school and college students who have contacted us and signed up for volunteer opportunities. This growth in participation has then positively impacted upon donors and the awareness we've been able to build with a younger demographic. We look forward to continued opportunities to attract and retain younger volunteers who believe in our cause.

 

Click Here for the original article from The Forbes Nonprofit Council



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