New Year, New Millennials

Happy New Year! Thank you for continued support of Jerome’ Blogs, and be sure to look out for great things happening here throughout the year. Please send me any suggestions for topics you would like to see on the blog.

With every new year come the opportunity to become a “new you.” If you are like me, you have planned on joining the gym for the past five years. Perhaps you want to read more books, spend more time with your friends and family, or maybe you even want to recommend three friends to become Jerome’ Blog subscribers. Cheers to you!

Regardless of your personal goal, it’s also important to think about what your nonprofit organization plans to accomplish over the next year.

With so many social and civil rights issues emerging in 2014, there’s no doubt that Millennials will be leading the charge in 2015 to change our communities. If your organization hasn’t started to think about how it plans to interact and engage with this audience, don’t worry, I’m here to help you.

Below are 4 tips that will help you increase the number of Millennial volunteers/donors that you have in your pipeline. If you want to take it a step higher, set a goal that will allow you to measure your activity over the next year. For example, “Increase Millennial volunteers by 10%.” Be sure to set a realistic goal that meets the needs and challenges of your organization.

1. Talk with Millennials where they are.

– Engage with Millennials on social media

– Participate in volunteer recruitment fairs at your local university

– Create a partnership with your local university or specific academic program(s)

– Partner with young professional networks or organizations in your community

2. Empower Millennial staff to champion the organization

– Provide them with the training and resources to talk passionately about your organization

– Provide them with leadership opportunities within the organization

– Match them with a senior mentor who has institutional knowledge, and a willingness to coach younger staff members

3. Implement programs and events that capture the energy and passion that Millennials have

– Millennials love to do things with their friends. Plan social events that will allow Millennials to engage and interact with each other.

– Create memorable moments. Never lose an opportunity to talk about your organization and its impact. It’s even better when you can do this through testimonials, videos, or stories.

– Develop a giving circle that recognizes Millennials who give at certain levels

4.Evaluate your systems

– Do you have volunteer opportunities available that fit the schedule and skills possessed by Millennials?

– Do you have a database in place to capture your activity and interaction with all of your volunteers and donors?

– Do you have a website that can easily be read via a mobile device?

– Is your “Donate Now” button easy to find on your home page?

What does your organization hope to accomplish this year? Does your organization already have a plan for increasing activity with Millennials?? Let me know in the comments!

P.S. Don’t forget to share this blog with those three friends!

Source: Google Image

Young Professional Networks

Although the economy has shown continued growth since the Great Recession of 2008, Millennials continue to struggle with securing full-time employment. According to statistics from August, the unemployment rate for 18-29 year-olds has averaged nearly 12 percent. Those numbers are bleaker when discussing college-educated Millennials; 53% of college-educated Millennials are either jobless or underemployed, and only 30% feel that their job correlates to their long term goals.

So, what does this mean for your organization, and how can your organization connect with these young, educated adults?

Young Professional Networks! Simply put, a young professional network or group is an outlet that provides networking, professional development, and volunteer opportunities for motivated young professionals.

It’s a no brainer that your organization should consider starting a young professional network.

The 2012 Millennial Impact Report surveyed thousands of Millennials about their interest in young professional networks and found that the top three reasons Millennials join professional networks are: interest in the mission and cause; social and professional networking; and, professional development.

Benefits for your organization:

  • Access to educated, skilled volunteers looking to expand their network and expertise.
  • Access to young professionals and their network. Although they may lack capacity to give to your organization, Millennials are great “movers and shakers.”  They likely know, or know someone, who can connect to those donors you have been trying to meet.
  • Fresh blood! Young professionals from outside of your organization bring in new ideas and talents to tackle the problems in your community.

Benefits for young professionals:

  • Access to your organization and network.  This is extremely helpful to young professionals looking for employment or professional references.
  • Resume builder. Completing a significant project for your organization is a great way for young professionals to demonstrate they have the skills to succeed.
  • Opportunity to use and develop skills related to their desired career goal. With a great number of Millennials underemployed, young professional networks allow Millennials the opportunity to continue using the knowledge they gained during college.

Tips for developing your young professional network:

  • Millennials are more than social media users. Develop projects or assignments that add value and produce tangible outcomes for the organization.
  • Small organization? Consider collaborating with similar organizations to develop a young professional network that will work on a project beneficial to all parties.
  • Be sure that your organization has the capacity to manage a young professional network. Think about extra costs, staff responsibility, meeting locations, etc.

Does your organization already have a young professional network? Have you tried to start a young professional network in the past?

Comment below and let me know about your experiences.

Nonprofit Issue: #Hashtags

One of the many common attributes often mentioned when discussing the Millennial generation is their connection to technology and social media. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social sites have made it easy for Millennials to quickly learn about nonprofits and the work that these organizations do in their communities. These tools also create an opportunity for nonprofit organizations and businesses to easily connect with Millennials. However, the 2013 Millennial Impact Report says that Millennials only follow one to five nonprofit organizations.

 Did you know that there are an estimated 1.5 million nonprofit organizations?

 With this much competition, it is imperative that your organization be able to stand out and motivate the Millennial to learn more about your organization.

One simple way to do this: #hashtags

Yes, even your nonprofit can benefit from the hashtag craze sweeping social media. Just remember not to talk in hashtag in real life like Justin Timerlake and Jimmy Fallon.

First, what is a hashtag? According to Facebook, “hashtags turn topics and phrases into links in posts on your personal timeline or your page. This helps people find posts about topics they are interested in.” Hashtags make a great way to track and follow conversation surrounding your nonprofit or issues. They have become so popular that Twitter even provides a guide on integrating hashtags into your tweets. Check it out here:

RadiumOne, an advertising company, recently released results from a survey where they asked 494 participants (of all ages) about their usage and opinions of hashtags. Some of the highlights:

  • 58% use hashtags
  • 43% find hashtags useful
  • 42% click and explore new content
  • 30% use hashtags to identify new trends (your issues)
  • 21% use hashtags to find brands/products (your nonprofit)



They use websites and search engines primarily for information-gathering, finding volunteer opportunities, and donating online. They rely on social media and email for communicating and connecting with their networks, while mobile technology gives them instant access to all these channels.


Their interactions with nonprofit organizations are likely to be immediate and impulsive. When inspired, they will act quickly in a number of ways, from small donations to short volunteer stints, provided that the opportunities are present and the barriers to entry are low.


Peer influence plays an important role in motivating Millennials to volunteer, attend events, participate in programs, and give. Even if Millennials can’t give as much as other demographic groups, they nonetheless are willing to help raise funds for causes they care about, usually by calling on friends and family.

RadiumOne survey:

Ways to use hashtags:

  • Using the search feature, your pre-selected hashtags can be a great way to identify a new audience. Be sure to follow the user and direct them toward your website.
  • Find photos to repost and share. Everyone loves a shout out on social media, especially your Millennial followers!
  • Host an online event. Using your favorite platform, plan a social media gathering where organization staff and volunteers can engage in dialogue. Using hashtags are a great way to put all users in the same “room.”