Volunteer Power News Number 30
Author: Thomas W. McKee
"Volunteer Power News" Monthly Newsletter
© 2005 Advantage Point Systems Publishing
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In this Issue:
Response to question, "How do we get the younger generation to volunteer?"
How Do We Get the Younger Generation to Volunteer?
Gen Y - the 68 million people born between 1980 and 1994 who constantly question the standards and expectations imposed by society.
Did you know that 30% of
generation Y volunteers 80+ hours annually? At least that is what
If so many Gen Y teens are
volunteering, why am I asked, "How do we get the young generation to volunteer?"
more than any other question. Of course one reason that so many are volunteering
is that many high schools require their students to do community service. How
do we tap this resource? Do we actually want to tap this resource? Why have
volunteer managers just given up on this incredible source of volunteer power
when the schools are setting us up for recruitment?
To answer your questions,
I have spend a month researching and bringing together the often contradictory
information about the Gen Y-The Millennials. For example, the Marines are recruiting
"team players" believing that this generation responds to "teams."
However, the Army recruits the "Army of One," believing that Gen Y
wants to work alone. Who is correct? Who are the real Gen Ys?
In the next few newsletters
I want to share with you ten important characteristics that I have found out
about this generation that we need to keep in mind in order to help you build
an exciting core of younger volunteers.
Of all of the major generational
studies, these three seem to be the most popular:
They all are based on one
basic assumption: Each generation has been shaped by certain historical events
that seem to mold most of a particular generation. Psychologist remind us
that our core values are programmed into us during our first fifteen to sixteen
years of life, through a combination of five major life shaping influences:
Parent/Family; Schools/Education; Religion/Morality; Friends/Peers; and Media/Culture.
(Chester, 2002, p. 12) Defining events such as Columbine and 9/11/01 have profound
and lasting effects on the generational psyche. Combine a major event with dramatic
shifts in the economy and national security, and younger children begin to have
a different life experience from those just ahead of them.
I believe that the following
ten characteristics of Gen Y have been shaped by the events of their lives.
As you read them, think of what your organization is doing to appeal to these
Let's look at three this
month. I would love to hear from some of you and what you are doing to recruit
the younger generation, under 22.
One: They are impatient.
Two: They are adaptable.
Three: They are multitaskers.
This is perhaps why Gen
Y can multitask faster than boomer women. They can switch faster. They have
learned to balance sports, school, jobs and social time. They strive for maximum
results with minimal effort. They possess a self confidence that allows them
analyze problems, select options and move on. They do not sit around and wait
for things to happen when they know they can make things happen.
Kaiser Family Foundation
has an interesting report on media consumption saying that Gen Y consumes three
media at once-internet, music and TV. For instance, 20 percent of youngsters
age 8 to 18 can surf the Web from their bedrooms, double the figure from 1999,
according to the Kaiser Family Foundation study. That has helped turn kids into
"media multitaskers," researchers suggest. Nearly one-third of kids
say they chat on the phone, surf the Web, instant message, watch TV or listen
to music "most of the time" while doing their homework. What effect
this behavior has on the often fragile ability of kids to focus is unclear because
detailed research is fairly new, said Vicky Rideout, the foundation vice president
who directed the study.
Evaluate your organization's
fit for Gen Y volunteers:
Next month I would like
to talk about the next three characteristics and also add what some of you are
doing to recruit and manage Gen Y. Please send me your success stories to Tom@volunteerpower.com.
After all, you are the people who are working with volunteers.
Next Month: Gen Y
Team building, decision making, problem solving, training activity - Push the Envelope
I recently came across a volunteer training activity that I have used several times in the last month and it has worked very well.
Divide your group into at least three teams of 3-6 people in each group. Having four teams of 4-6 works great.
Step One: Identify team # and team concern.
Step Two: Pass the envelope.
Step Three: Pass the envelope again and again (as many teams as you have).
Step Four: Pick the best solution.
Step Five: Reports
If you have four teams,
this exercise takes about 45 minutes.
Thomas W. McKee
Tom McKee is a leading
volunteer management speaker, trainer and consultant. You can reach Tom
at (916) 987-0359 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other articles and free resources are available at www.volunteerpower.com.
For more articles by Thomas McKee, visit the Articles section on our website.
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