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          “VOMO has been a win-win for me and my volunteers. It’s a great system for them to see all of the service opportunities we have in one place and to sign up for projects that best fit their abilities.”

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Engage and retain millennial volunteers

Despite the bad rap they receive, millennials spent the decade creating impacts with causes they care about.

Engage Millennial Volunteers

Millennials are impacting communities through volunteerism

If you only read one headline between 2010 and 2020, chances are it was about how millennials were “killing” yet another industry. From beer and mayonnaise to starter homes and department stores, millennials have taken the fall for “wreaking havoc” on popular industries.

Some people still see millennials as kids, even though they were born between 1979 and 1996. That makes elder millennials 42 this year and the youngest millennials will turn 25. So, what kind of positive impacts were these industrial scapegoats making instead of buying diamonds?

In the past year, volunteering with vaccination clinics and food banks have been the most popular serving opportunities among millennial volunteers using VOMO.

An American Time Use Survey states, in 2019, millennial volunteers spent an average of 2.35 hours a day engaged in volunteering. In the past year, volunteering with vaccination clinics and food banks have been the most popular serving opportunities among millennial volunteers using VOMO. Millennials answered the call when communities struggled during the pandemic. Seth Block was one of several young philanthropists to step up to the plate in 2020. His group collaborated on a book drive that partnered with Dallas, Texas, businesses. This effort provided children with books and drove people into local businesses hit hard by COVID-19 restrictions.

The Millennial Impact Report found that 90% of millennials are motivated to give based on causes over organizations. If a certain issue resonates with millennials, they are more apt to give either their time or money to that mission rather than work with a particular organization. As summarized by The Case Foundation, “Millennials are in the business of doing good.”

 

So how do you engage and retain Millennial volunteers?

The road to millennial volunteer engagement has a couple of twists and turns. However, it is an easy path to follow when you have the right roadmap. For starters, being clear and direct about your mission will help sow seeds of trust with millennials. Ninety percent of millennials surveyed for the Millennial Impact Report said they would quit giving (time, money, or both) to an organization if they no longer trusted it. Building trust with millennials can include communications, transparency, and online visibility. 

Communicate your mission clearly from the start. Your volunteer orientation is your opportunity to share any and all necessary information with volunteers. Share the goals of the project with volunteers, making sure they get just as much out of the experience as the lives they are impacting. This is also a great time to ensure volunteers understand the mission that is at the heart of your organization. The better they understand what drives your mission, the more connected they will feel to your cause.

Keep the communication going once your event is over. Follow up with project participants by sending out volunteer surveys. This gives them the opportunity to provide you with feedback and clue you in as to whether or not they would volunteer again. Utilize their feedback in your messaging to reach new volunteers, or draw lapsed volunteers back in.

Keys to Engaging with Millennials Ready to Volunteer

  • Effective Communication Through Stories – inspiring, clear stories help Millennials see how their efforts can make a difference
  • Inspiring Orientation – now that they are on site, ensure they leave the site understanding the impact they personally made that day
  • Feedback Loop – when you ask for feedback, Millennials are great with giving honest feedback to help you further engage in the future
  • Follow Up – creating an automated set of messaging following up with them after their volunteer project can help drive the relationship further, reminding them of your gratitude of the impact they’ve made

Need help with creating an engaging Millennial volunteer experience? A VOMO expert can help you today.

It isn’t enough to be on Facebook anymore. Taking steps to manage your online reputation will help you create messaging that runs the gamut of social media platforms from Twitter to TikTok. Being present on various platforms builds your visibility. It also helps create opportunities to create transparent posts. These posts can consist of where donations go, or how your volunteer opportunities work. It is also a great way to start a dialogue with current and future volunteers.

You can even provide your volunteers with a photo op space. “Selfie walls” are everywhere. From alleys to bakeries, people stop at these walls to snap a quick selfie. This wall can be a vinyl backdrop that you can move from event to event. Or, you can feature your logo on a wall within your building like OurCalling. By creating your selfie wall, you are providing volunteers an opportunity to stage a fun photo. Don’t forget to encourage them to tag you and your mission in their post!

A good way to connect millennial volunteers to your organization’s volunteer opportunities is through their workplace. Many companies have focused on their corporate social responsibility and implemented corporate volunteer programs accordingly. Roughly 65% of millennials are more likely to volunteer if their co-workers do as well. This peer-based volunteering is more influential than if a supervisor were to participate in the same activity. 

Need help engaging with Millennials in your community? We're here to help.