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.

Advertisements

Nonprofit Event: United Way’s Spring Day of Action

Image

 United Way of Central Illinois is once again sponsoring their annual Spring Day of Action on April 25 and April 26. For the 5th consecutive year, the Day of Action has presented community members with the opportunity to interact with local nonprofits working on projects impacting the community. Because of an increase in community participation, the second day was added to accommodate the increase in volunteers.

Another first this year, United Way has made it possible for youth as young as 8, with adult supervision, to participate in this year’s volunteer programs.

The great thing about the Day of Action is the participation from local nonprofits. The United Way opens participation to all community nonprofits, not just its members. Some of the nonprofits participating include: the Central Illinois Food Bank, Illinois State Museum, Hensen Robinson Zoo, and Springfield Green and Contact Ministries. The list goes on and will likely grow, as there is still time for nonprofits to submit projects.

You can sign up alone or you can recruit a group of friends to work on a project together. Participants also receive a free t-shirt. What other reason could you need to sign up?

The day also presents two benefits for nonprofits: 1) the opportunity to recruit new donors and volunteers; 2) the opportunity to recruit new spokesmen.

Here are three tips to help build an ongoing relationship with your Day of Action volunteers:

  • Explain your organization and the mission. Be sure to explain how the project will impact the nonprofit and any outcomes that will result (packages delivered, letters mailed, etc.)
  • Invite some of your current volunteers, clients, or donors to serve as leaders for the event. This gives participants the opportunity to build a relationship with those who have witnessed firsthand the impact that the organization has on the community.
  • Create an exciting event! After the Day of Action, hundreds of volunteers will be talking about their experiences with nonprofits in the community. This is your opportunity to excite a new group of supporters for your organization.

When: Friday, April 25 (1:00-4:00pm); Saturday, April 26 (8:30am-11:30am)

For more information and to sign up as a volunteer, visit the link below:

http://volunteer.springfieldunitedway.org/aam/general/need/?doc_id=535&need_id=30743

Nonprofits interested in submitting a project should contact Katrina Schroeder kschroeder@uwcil.org

Photo Source: http://www.springfieldunitedway.org

Nonprofit Spotlight: Hosea Feed the Hungry

HOSEA%20FEED%20THE%20HUNGRY

Nonprofit Spotlight: Hosea Feed the Hungry

Location: Atlanta, GA

Website:http://4hosea.org/

Facebook:www.facebook.com/HoseaFeedtheHungry

Chief Executive Officer: Elisabeth Omilami

Mission:To examine and then raise public awareness about the many problems facing families and individuals that are living in poverty or are at-risk of slipping into poverty, and then to mobilize products, volunteers and financial resources to solve those problems, or to ease the burden that those problems cause.

Why is Hosea Feed the Hungry being profiled?

I first learned of Hosea Feed the Hungry through my mother. She loves the organization and annually volunteers at their Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, two of their largest outreach efforts to serve those individuals living in poverty.

On these two holidays, including the addition of Easter and Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the organization and over 1,500 volunteers provide a seven course meal, hot showers, barbers and beauticians, children activities and services, clothing distribution, medical services, legal aid counseling, free cell phones and much more. With so many opportunities and services, there are multiple opportunities for volunteers to assist in making these events a success. While these are important, Hosea Feed the Hungry provides services on a daily.

3

Since 2012, Hosea Feed the Hungry has served:

  • · Grocery Distribution: 3,274
  • · Financial Assistance: 152
  • · Homeless Outreach: 7,200
  • · Disaster Relief: 46
  • · Furniture Distribution: 206
  • · Book Bags: 1,800
  • · Volunteer Hours: 10,000

Programs and areas of service:

  • · Homeless Prevention
  • · The Day Center
  • · Families Care and Crisis Center
  • · Seniors
  • · Back to School
  • · International Outreach
  • · Children’s Christmas Party
  • · The Labor of Love

Hosea Feed the Hungry makes a great match for Millennials looking to volunteer or donate to a local nonprofit.

Millennials can volunteer at one of the many annual events hosted by the organization, utilizing their professional skills or providing general assistance. Looking to do something with your friends instead? Hosea will provide you with the information necessary to host your clothing or food drive.

Hosea also makes it easy for the Millennial to be a donor. With monthly giving, a Millennial wishing to make a large gift can do so gradually over the course of a period of time. Looking to donate $100 but can’t do it all at the same time? No problem! With small monthly donations of $10, those monthly donations could add up to $120 over the course of a year. Through this method, the Millennial can make a small donation each month without putting a dent in the weekend fund and even increase the amount they had planned to donate.

The organization also accepts in-kind donations, making it easy for the Millennial who may not be able to give a monetary gift, but has some gently used clothing items that may be of use to someone else.

Still not able to give right now? No worry. Hosea Feed the Hungry is currently competing for funding from the 2013 Aetna Voices of Health funding – an initiative celebrating the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. First place wins $30,000 and second place wins $20,000. Hosea is in third place. Voting ends October 20, so vote now!

http://aetnavoicesofhealth.com/

Be sure to check Hosea Feed the Hungry and let me know what you think. Have you volunteered with them before and want to share your experience? Do you know of another outstanding nonprofit in your community that should be profiled on Jerome’ Blogs? If so, please share your experience or comments below.

*Hosea Feed the Hungry logo and picture are not my own. Source, Yahoo Image.

Celebrate Museum Day Live! on September 28

On Saturday, September 28, select museums across the country will participate in Museum Day Live! 2013. In honor of this annual event, sponsored by Smithsonian Magazine, patrons can print a ticket for two (one per household) and attend any participating museum for free.

As school districts across the country continue to develop curricula based on standardized testing, it is imperative that our youth have the opportunity to explore museums. Our schools are failing our students in the areas of art, literature, history, and culture. As Millennials, it will be our role to inspire youth and ensure they have the resources to be intelligent, engaged and culturally aware of the changing society happening around them. Museums play a vital role in this process and deserve our support.

Museum Day Live! also makes a perfect date. It’s free, remember. Visit the link below for more information and to find a museum near you.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday/

Notable museums participating include:

Birmingham Museum of Art (Alabama)
2000 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. Blvd.
Birmingham, AL 35203

http://www.artsbma.org

The Birmingham Museum of Art, one of the finest regional museums in the United States, houses a diverse collection of more than 25,000 paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, and decorative arts dating from ancient to modern times. The collection presents a rich panorama of cultures, featuring the Museum’s extensive holdings of Asian, European, American, African, Pre-Columbian, and Native American art. Some of the exhibits currently on display include Collecting the African Diaspora, Dawoud Bey, and Horizons.

Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center (Illinois)
9603 Woods Drive
Skokie, IL 60077

http://www.ilholocaustmuseum.org

The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center tells the story of the Holocaust through richly designed, interactive exhibitions that will both move and inspire you. World-class special exhibitions explore broad themes which foster the promotion of human rights and the elimination of genocide. Some of the exhibits currently on display include Karkomi Permanent Exhibition, Keep Calm and Carry on: Textiles on the Home Front in WWII Britain, and Make a Difference!: The Harvey L. Miller Family Youth Exhibition.

Find out which museum near you is participating in Museum Day Live! at the link below.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday/venues/