Millennials: Ready, Willing, and Able to Serve on Your Board

By February 20, 2017Accounting, Fundraising

Here’s How to Recruit this Dynamic Generation to Service

Experts predict that within 10 years, Millennials (those born between 1982 and 2002) will comprise 74% of the workforce. These young people are the first generation to grow up with computers, a world connected by the internet, and all the changes that have rocked both the for profit and nonprofit worlds. Smart, independent, and service-minded, they are also ready and able to serve on the Board – if you know where you look. Here’s how you can find and recruit top Millennial talent to your Board.

The Five Traits of Millennials

In order to know where to look for Millennials, you have to understand what makes them tick, or what motivates and inspires them. There are five notable attributes of the Millennial generation:

1. Multitaskers: Millennials are quite capable of juggling multiple responsibilities at once. Don’t assume that your Millennial volunteers can’t handle a full-time job and more volunteer work. They’re experts at multitasking and proud of their abilities in this area.

2. Connected: Millennials love social media and its ability to help them remain connected to family, friends, and interests. They’re heavy social media users and that makes them great at gathering tribes for a cause. That also means you can find them hanging out on their favorite social media sites!

3. Team-oriented: Millennials love to work on teams and are great at collaborating. They engage easily with others on a team.

4. Work-life balance: Millennials know the importance of work-life balance. They grew up often with both parents working and a full schedule of activities. They’ll work hard, but they’ll also work hard at their volunteer work too.

5. Honesty and transparency: Millennials need to feel like you are being open and honest with them. They need to feel listened to and valued.

Recruiting Millennials to the Board

Recruiting Millennials to your Board starts with their volunteer work at your organization. Examining the five characteristics above, it becomes clear that Millennials are interested in volunteer work and will prioritize their work-life balance around things they’re passionate about. Millennials are volunteering for causes they promote and like to be part of a team working towards the common good.

Look around your nonprofit for Millennials who may be volunteers now. These are the people who your organization has helped or who know the organization well. Even though they seem busy, don’t be afraid to ask them about their interest in a Board position. Remember, Millennials are also multi-taskers.

Some ideas for recruiting Millennials to your board include:

* Find Board members from within your organization. They may be hiding in plain sight!

* Promote a Board “meet and greet” on social media where Millennials gather for information.

* Identify or create pathways for Millennials to grow throughout the ranks of volunteers so that they acquire a good combination of skills and experience to serve on the Board.

* Consider bringing a group of Millennials in together so that one single person doesn’t feel like an outsider.

Millennials are a hard-working and responsible generation. They may not work in exactly the same style as the previous Generation X or Baby Boomers did, but they bring an enormous amount of talent and experience into any organization. Learning to work with them is a skill that will serve your nonprofit in good stead. Learning how to recruit them to your Board will help your nonprofit grow and prosper.

Welter Consulting

Welter Consulting bridges people and technology together for effective solutions for nonprofit organizations. We offer software and services that can help you improve and streamline your accounting practice. Please contact Welter Consulting at 206-605-3113 for more information.