GenZs (think those born after 1997) are known as the philanthrokid generation. This generation is a sucker for a good social cause and dreams of making a difference in the world. This is the generation that reads a few sentences off of Humans of New York, feel inspired to make a difference, and immediately bound together to raise millions of dollars. (Seriously, check this out!)
While it’s easy to lean towards volunteers with professional experience or older donors that have more to spare, successful nonprofits maximize on the potential and energy of philanthrokids to forward their missions, whether it be to recruit these younger individuals as volunteers or as more permanent members of their team. They want to work for organizations that have a positive impact on their community! They just need a good reason to join and an even better reason to stay. Plus, with all the quarantining and shifted school days, GenZs are in a unique position to assist you from home with just their computers or cell phones.
Here’s how to attract philanthrokids and encourage them to stay:
Young people follow young people. The key word here is trendy. Targeting younger generations through an untraditional program like recruiting a dance club, sports team, leadership organization, etc. to volunteer together makes it easier for them to get involved and with friends thrown into the mix, they will view service in a more positive light. Just look at the success of the ALS Ice Bucket challenge! Or take a look at K-Pop (Korean pop music) fans. They make up millions of people, and they banded together to overthrow the hashtag #whitelivesmatter.
In the workplace, this means leaving behind cubicles. An open work space where team members can easily collaborate and work together more informally is well suited for Gen Zs. It opens up communication and allows for them to easily become a part of the team.
It also means integrating more up-to-date technological approaches to spreading information and raising support. As pros in the social media landscape, you may be pleasantly surprised by what these individuals can offer your organization. Just take a moment to ask them!
Getting into a good college or finding a job isn’t as simple as having a good GPA anymore. Students are taught that their extracurriculars and experiences are what count, so many naturally gravitate towards community service. Give them projects that are short, accessible (read: appeal to the uber generation), and meaningful. Maybe even challenge them to create their own projects by asking what they are passionate about and be surprised by what a fresh, young perspective can bring to the table.
When creating your strategic plan, consider including plans that invest in your team members. Make it your goal to, not only further your organization’s mission, but to build your team’s repertoire with trainings and new skills. The first company you enter isn’t where you usually end at anymore. Young people have no qualms about jumping from place to place because it allows for them to test their skills in different areas and develop quickly. Help them grow, both in knowledge and job opportunities, and your nonprofit will naturally grow as well.
Kids typically dream of becoming astronauts, superheroes, or doctors. Most kids don’t dream of becoming an executive director of a nonprofit. It’s important to be a great role model, sharing stories of your own path, to show another rewarding career path. Encourage your disciples to explore their own passions and discover their strengths. Let them identify which social issue concerns them the most, and allow them to create their own way of giving back.
Checking in and asking for feedback from these team players is an absolute must. Gen Zs are self-sufficient and know how to lean on Google cloud sourcing for answers, but they also appreciate mentors that they can reach out to throughout their career. They’re very driven and receiving feedback is how they improve themselves.
Already have some philanthrokids serving in your organization? Tell us all about it at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to feature them and your amazing team on our social media!
Blog post written by Samantha Trieu, PiP’s Communications Coordinator.