When I was in middle school the thought of volunteering for any school activities where I could spend time with my best friends and twin sister made me want to jump up and down with joy. As I entered high school, those same feelings of excitement were still there – and encouraged by teachers and peers in grades older than me. Seeing upper-classmen volunteer in organizations both in school and around the community made volunteering the “cool” thing to do. I kept those same thoughts in mind as I attended college and joined several organizations at the University of Texas here in Austin, and I am today, at the age of 30, still active in several organizations around the community.
My love of volunteering doesn’t exactly fit into today’s model of the ideal volunteer method. There is a generational diversity gap stemming from years of a lack of communication within organizations. As demographics continue to shift and our population ages, it is imperative to shape volunteer opportunities for people of all ages.
According to the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration, Millennials are volunteering in record breaking numbers. Are you taking advantage of this trend and offering opportunities for all generations within your organization?
Keep the following 4 tips in mind when designing volunteer roles within your organization:
And sometimes, the best ways to develop new volunteer opportunities and programs across multiple generations is to exchange best practices between organizations. I invited you to share your volunteer program tips and success stories in the comments below. What has your organization seen in volunteer trends and how are you utilizing volunteer programs to engage all generations?
Looking for a game changer at your next event or a strategy unique to your organization?