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Key Insights To Help Inspire and Engage Millennials

Lori Halley  25 July 2014  0 comments

One of the top challenges for small associations, clubs and non-profits that was identified in our 2014 Small Membership Survey was difficulty in recruiting younger members (AKA Millennials). But it’s critical for organizations to to find ways to connect with this generation since, as Derrick Feldmann (Achieve CEO and creator of the Millennial Impact Project) reports, there are “approximately 80 million Millennials in the world who will soon make up 50 percent of the workforce”.

This generation is now “defining the culture”

Achieve and its partner, the Case Foundation recently released their 2014 Millennial Impact Report based on their survey of more than 1,500 U.S. adults born after 1979. But as Derrick Feldmann notes, “we don’t study Millennials because they’re a part of the culture. We study them because they’re defining the culture.”

Since 2010, their four Millennial Impact reports have identified some key insight into this generation of individuals born after 1979. Key trends have included:

  • Millennials engage with causes to help other people, not institutions.
  • Millennials support issues rather than organizations.
  • Millennials prefer to perform smaller actions before fully committing to a cause.
  • Millennials are influenced by the decisions and behaviors of their peers.
  • Millennials treat all their assets (time, money, network, etc.) as having equal value.
  • Millennials need to experience an organization’s work without having to be on site.

2014  Millennial Impact Report focuses on “inspiring the next generation workforce”

While last year’s report offered insight into how Millennials “connect, involve and give”, the recently released 2014 report focuses “primarily on Millennials’ preferences in the workplace – how they engage with their company and what they look for in corporate cause work, with “cause work” meaning the programs and initiatives companies execute that help people and communities.”

The survey report notes the following as its “top takeaway”:

Companies need to build relationships with Millennial employees from the beginning to spark their passions and create opportunities to engage both their professional and personal interests. Employers should develop a triple platform of involvement – company-wide, department-based and interest-driven – through the workplace.

Highlights From 2014 Millennial Impact Report

Here are a few other key findings highlights:
  • A company’s involvement with a cause is one of the most important factors in deciding whether to apply for a position.

  • 92% of respondents felt they were actively contributing to a company having a positive effect on the world.

  • Beyond compensation and benefits, having their passions and talents used and fulfilled was the top reason for staying with a company (53 percent).

  • 78% of Millennial employees preferred serving with a group of co-workers.

  • 87% of Millennials feel encouraged to volunteer or participate in their company’s cause work

  • Nearly half (47 percent) of respondents had volunteered for a cause or nonprofit through their workplace in the past month.

  • Three cause-related programs Millennials want to see more of:

    • Company-wide volunteer days
    • Sabbaticals
    • Performing charitable projects with department or team.

What are the implications for non-profits and membership organizations?

First and foremost, this report offers insight for any organization looking to “build a bond” with Millennials – as members, donors, volunteers or employees. But the survey data also offers some insight into Millennials’ attitudes and preferences that non-profits and membership organizations can consider when trying to get this generation involved.

Here are 5 key insights and ideas for non-profits and membership organizations to consider:

  1. Millennials want to use their skills for good. 97% of Millennials prefer using their individual skills to help a cause. – To engage Millennial volunteers, identify volunteer roles that enable them to use their existing skills (including social sharing; virtual volunteering, etc.).

  2. Millennial employees most appreciated cause initiatives that help their surrounding community – So reach out to those in your local area and be sure to demonstrate the impact of your work on the local community.

  3. Millennials volunteer with peers. Nearly half (47%) ... had volunteered for a cause or nonprofit in the past month ...44% had participated in company-wide service days, 44% had volunteered their skills to help a cause and 47% had done a volunteer project with their team or department. To take advantage of this trend, structure projects or volunteer roles that build and nurture volunteer or employee teams.

  4. Millennials ... view their network and voice as two very beneficial assets they can offer a cause. – Find ways to encourage Millennial staff and volunteers to engage their networks and establish social media policies so they can promote your organization on their social networks.

  5. Millennials are digital natives and use the following channels to find out about cause work:

    • Website (93%)
    • Google Search (61%)
    • Facebook (22%)
    • LinkedIn (12%)
    • Twitter (11%)

– So it’s clear that your organization’s website is your key information gateway  it should be welcoming, informative and easy to navigate.

The conclusion of the 2014 Millennial Impact Report offers some suggestions for companies that also apply to non-profits and membership organizations:

  • Provide opportunities ... to volunteer with groups and complete cause work with a team
  • Offer a range of cause work actions. Allow Millennial[s] to perform both small actions from their desks, as well as larger projects with others, possibly off site.
  • Tell stories and demonstrate the impact...show them who benefited from these actions and highlight individuals who made a difference.

Are you “ready to inspire and engage a passionate culture of Millennials”?

The millions of Millennials – 14 million 20- to 24-year-olds and almost 32 million 25- to 34-year-olds employed in the United States [alone] (Bureau of Labor Statistics) – are both your current and future members, donors and volunteers. Understanding and embracing their attitudes, preferences and expectations is the first step in getting “ready to inspire and engage a passionate culture of Millennials” and to solving your challenge to “involve the younger generation”.

You can download The 2014 Millennial Impact Report here.

Want additional insight into Millennials?

Here are some additional Wild Apricot blog posts:

Has your organization had success in engaging younger members? Share your tips in the comments below.

Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Friday, 25 July 2014 at 8:30 AM
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