Yes, your nonprofit should care about millennials.
Posted: February 17, 2014
I’m a big admirer of the late Maggie Kuhn, the founder of the Gray Panthers. Maggie founded the Gray Panthers to fight for the rights of seniors after she was forced to retire on her 65th birthday from a job she loved.
When Maggie founded the Panthers, however, she never envisioned the organization as age-segregated in make-up or in causes. The Panther’s motto is “Age and Youth in Action.” (If you have a chance someday, watch Maggie Growls)
I’ve been thinking more about Maggie, youth and the future of nonprofits lately, especially after attending a panel on Engaging Millennials at the Yale Philanthropy Conference earlier this month. And after two recent conversations with board chairs presiding over boards where the majority of their members were well over 70 years old. (Not that 70 is terribly old these days )
First, a definition. Millennials are roughly those who were in their teens and twenties at the start of the new millennium. You can read all about them in the Millennial Study of the Pew Research Group.
There seems to be an overly optimistic belief that chasing the under 35 set will help nonprofits raise significantly more money. Discussions about the latest crowdfunding online platforms seem to be all the rage. And of course, everyone wants to snag the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world.
Yet all the data shows that these young people have quite limited financial means, Read More >>