Tapping Young People’s Energy for Your Non-profit

MillennialsI was struck by two recent  articles in the magazine, Fast Company.

The first reported on a recent study, the Millennial Impact Report (link below), that young people in what is described as the “millennial” generation (people born in 1980’s through the early 2000’s) consider a company’s support for causes one of the top three reasons for agreeing to employment.


“Out of 1,514 respondents, more than 50% said that a company’s involvement in various causes influenced whether they accepted a job. It’s not the top factor that influences whether they take a job, but it ranks in the top three (what a company does and its work culture are the top two).”

“Once millennials have decided to work at a company, they’re more likely to stick around if they feel that their passions are fulfilled–and if they believe in the company’s mission.”

My takeaway is that for non-profits, creating an affiliation with companies may be a valuable and new relationship.  Your non-profit may be just what companies need to attract and retain millennial-age employees.

In the second article, we learn that this desire of young people to be involved in causes doesn’t stop with the millennial generation.  A new company, Venture for America (VFA), has successfully begun to channel these new graduates into productive relationships with non-profits.


“For the uninitiated, VFA was founded as a nonprofit in 2011 with a sweeping ambition to connect college graduates with startups who need smart talent. But it doesn’t stop there. After training and working in the trenches for two years, VFA’s “fellows” will have earned the chops to become entrepreneurs themselves, thereby seeding the need to place more college grads at new startups.”

“Today, three classes of VFA fellows in, the organization is making steady progress. Yang says this year VFA received more than 1,000 applications for 100 fellowships in Detroit, New Orleans, Cleveland, and Las Vegas, among other cities far removed from the startup locus of Silicon Valley.”

My last post suggested that non-profits need to use the Internet as part of its outreach and illustrated how its use can have outsized results.

This post suggest that the young people, who are the most active audience on the Internet, are generally highly receptive to becoming involved in causes, therefore, forming a great audience.

WordPress links are not working so please cut and paste the following into your browser.

Millennial article on Fast Company: http://www.fastcoexist.com/3031991/want-to-attract-millennials-to-your-company-engage-them-in-causes?partner=newsletter

Millennial Impact Report: http://www.themillennialimpact.com/

Venture for America article on Fast Company: http://www.fastcompany.com/3032049/agendas/how-parenting-and-partnerships-push-venture-for-america-forward?partner=newsletter