Keeping Millennials Engaged

There’s a thought provoking post over on Katya’s Non-Profit Marketing Blog titled Why Millennials Are Going to Keep You on Your Toes.
 
In the post Katya Andresen talks about Millennials* and how they are different from past generations.  She makes many interesting observations but the one that stands out to me comes from a study by Achieve. She quotes a study which talks about millennials and their higher expectations for non-profits. The study says
 
Millennial donors want more than a transactional relationship. They want to be engaged,” said Derrick Feldmann, CEO of Achieve. “They need to feel a connection with an organization, and they want opportunities for deeper involvement, such as opportunities to work with leadership and to help craft direction for the organization. Plus, they want to know specifically how their gifts will benefit the organization’s constituents.
 
Interesting stuff.  I think it directly applies to fundraising, volunteerism and possibly even roles in the church.  As someone involved in all three of those areas I’m extremely interested in this. 
 
In our churches I would think that we need to create opportunities for millennials to take on leadership roles too keep them engaged.  Perhaps they can help plan events for the youth ministry, run their own small group, teach a class, or help facilitate the benevolence program.
 
In our non-profits perhaps we can include them on our volunteer committees and create opportunities for them to fundraise for specific projects.  There are a lot of possibilities but it’s important that we do something. 
 
We need to make sure we are open to allowing the kind of interaction this generation needs.  I’m afraid we’ll loose them and their support if we don’t.  So, be proactive, look at your programs and see where this type of interaction is possible and appropriate.  I’m sure you’ll appreciate the help and they’ll appreciate having a voice.
 
*Everyone seems to have a different definition of where the millennial generation begins and ends. In some studies I would be considered a millennial and in others I would be considered a part of generation x.   
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3 thoughts on “Keeping Millennials Engaged

  1. Brian–not sure when you were born, but it seems to me that when you were born is much less important than how you choose to relate to the other people in your generation. As an Xer, I consider it super important to relate to my generation in a way that builds bridges with other generations rather than tearing them down, a decidedly non-Generation X quality.

    Thanks for being a “subversive” influence on Gen Y by keeping them engaged. After all, they’re quickly bored.

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    1. Good point. We are not defined by our generations. I guess I find myself identifying with different qualities of both generations. Perhaps that’s a result of being in-between the two.

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  2. I think you’re on to something–the person who can see the good in any other generation rather than the parts they don’t understand or appreciate is much healthier personally and spiritually than one who can’t or chooses not to.

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