Strategies to Engage Generations of Volunteers


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Volunteer Wisconsin has compiled this information for organizations interested in targeting different generations for volunteer opportunities. Learn tips for effectively engaging different generations.

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  • This video does a good job of capturing the essence of the Gen Y’s views.
  • Strategies to Engage Generations of Volunteers

    1. 1. Strategies to Engage Different Generations in Volunteering Information compiled by Rachel Manuel Bruns Volunteer Wisconsin
    2. 2. Which Generation are you? Traditionalists (-1945) Baby Boomers (1946-1964) Generation X (1965-1980) Millennials or Gen Y (1981-2000)
    3. 3. Which Generation Are You? Do you have your own web page? (1 point) Have you made a web page for someone else? (2 points) Do you IM your friends? (1 point) Do you text your friends? (2 points) Do you watch videos on YouTube? (1 point) Do you remix video files from the Internet? (2 points)
    4. 4. Which Generation Are You? Have you paid for and downloaded music from the Internet? (1 point) Do you know where to download free (illegal) music from the Internet? (2 points) Do you blog for professional reasons? (1 point) Do you blog as a way to keep an online diary? (2 points)
    5. 5. Which Generation Are You? Have you visited MySpace at least five times? (1 point) Do you communicate with friends on Facebook? (2 points) Do you use email to communicate with your parents? (1 point) Did you text to communicate with your parents? (2 points)
    6. 6. Which Generation Are You? Do you take photos with your phone? (1 point) Do you share your photos from your phone with your friends? (2 points)
    7. 7. Which Generation Are You? 0-1 point – Traditionalists 2-6 points – Baby Boomer 6- 12 points – Generation X 12 or over –Millennial
    8. 8. What Comes to Mind?  Key Words  Major Events  Defining Characteristics  Communication Styles  Work Ethic
    9. 9. Generation Clashpoints Clashpoint Traditionalists Baby Boomers Generation Xers Millennials Institutions Are loyal to Want to put their Are skeptical of Will judge institutions own stamp on institutions institutions on institutions their own merits Rewards Satisfaction of a Money, title, Freedom is the Work that has job well done advancement, ultimate reward meaning for “me” renewal Feedback No news is good Formal yearly Frequent, honest, Feedback news feedback with lots immediate whenever I want it of documentation feedback at the push of a button Balance Support me in Help me balance Give me balance Work isn’t shifting the everyone else now, not when I’m everything; I need balance and find meaning 65 flexibility to myself balance all my activities Training I learned it the Train them too The more they Continuous hard way; you can much and they learn, the more learning is a way too might leave they stay of lifeJob Changing Job changing Job changing puts Job changing is Job changing is carries a stigma you behind necessary part of my daily routine
    10. 10. Traditionalists (-1945)
    11. 11. Traditionalists (-1945) The Great Depression Social Security Pearl Harbor World War II Korean Conflict Frank Sinatra Sputnik Alfred Hitchcock Rosie the Riveter The Holocaust
    12. 12. Traditionalists (-1945) Institutions: Loyal Rewards: Satisfaction of a job well done Feedback: No news is good news Balance: Support me in shifting the balance
    13. 13. Traditionalists (-1945) Training: I learned it the hard way; you can too Job changing: Job changing carries a stigma
    14. 14. Program Alignment Change the image of aging. Use designations other than “older”, “senior”, “retired”. Provide work that is meaningful and challenging – definable difference Focus on skills and experience – legacy Create opportunities for mentorship and leadership Provide occasions for networking for the organization – getting out in the community and telling the story.
    15. 15. Outreach Ideas Civic and social clubs Shopping centers and supermarkets Targeted television and radio AARP Health care facilities & institutions Seek out larger businesses to introduce volunteer work to those close to retirement
    16. 16. Baby Boomers 1946-1964
    17. 17. Baby Boomers 1946-1964 Booming birthrate The Beatles Television Vietnam War Martin Luther King, Jr. OPEC embargo Watergate Sex, drugs & rock n roll John Glenn Kennedy assassination
    18. 18. Baby Boomers 1946-1964 Institutions: Want to put their stamp on the world Rewards: Money, title, advancement, renewal Feedback: Formal yearly feedback with lots of documentation Balance: Help me balance everyone else and find meaning myself
    19. 19. Baby Boomers 1946-1964 Training: Train them too much and they might leave Job changing puts you behind
    20. 20. Program Alignment Repackage the way volunteer opportunities are presented. Focus on skills and work to be done. Design and manage volunteer positions like paid positions with job descriptions, training, supervision, and benefits Show personal and community impact Pair volunteer opportunities with education or part-time work Consider volunteer skills and interest
    21. 21. Outreach Ideas High profile media & technology Relationships with corporations and business associations Help prepare volunteers for second careers Outplacement agencies for shorter-term and episodic opportunities Skill development centers Armed forces branches Gyms and health/fitness businesses
    22. 22. Generation X (1965-1980)
    23. 23. Generation X (1965-1980) Sesame Street MTV The personal computer Divorce AIDS Crack cocaine Space Shuttle Challenger Missing children on milk cartons Grunge & rap music 24-hour media Madonna
    24. 24. Generation X (1965-1980) Institutions: Are skeptical of institutions Rewards: Freedom is the ultimate reward Feedback: Frequent, honest, immediate feedback Balance: Give me balance now, not when I’m 65
    25. 25. Generation X (1965-1980) Training: The more they learn, the more they stay Job Training: Job change is necessary
    26. 26. Program AlignmentFlexibility in roles and schedules, casual attire, and a comfortable environmentOffer technology-centered tasks as well as one-on- one interactions to choose from
    27. 27. Outreach Ideas Internet (bulletin boards, chat rooms, websites) Highlight the need/impact Limit service hours Post artistic flyers in cafes, diners, bookstores, other art/media centers Employer organizations that coordinate employee volunteers Family friendly volunteer opportunities
    28. 28. Millennials (1981-2000)
    29. 29. Millennials (1981-2000) Terrorism The fall of the Berlin Wall Worldwide Web Oklahoma City bombing Princess Dianas death Events of 9/11 Drugs & gangs Blended families Personal cell phones, iPods Britney Spears
    30. 30. Millennials (1981-2000) Institutions: Will judge institutions on their own merits Rewards: Work that has meaning for “me” Feedback: Feedback whenever I want it at the push of a button Balance: Work isn’t everything; I need flexibility to balance all my activities
    31. 31. Millennials (1981-2000) Training: Continuous learning is a way of life. Job changing: Job changing is part of my daily routine What do you think?
    32. 32. Program Alignment Change language around age. Move from “kids” to “young adult” Create meaningful positions with real responsibility Provide opportunities for leadership and leadership development Design work that can engage more than one person to allow peer interaction
    33. 33. Outreach Ideas Youth groups College service-learning and civic engagement offices, classes Internet, social media, radio Peer-to-peer recruitment Mall and recreation centers
    34. 34. Cuspers• Mediating• Translating• Explaining• Coordinating• Resolving conflicts
    35. 35. 12 Best Practices forEngaging Boomers & FutureGenerationsUnderstand deep-seated need to have impactFocus interview on learning passions, mutually-designing role and help determine if your organization is right fit for impact they are seeking
    36. 36. 12 Best Practices forEngaging Boomers & FutureGenerations Offer wide choice of volunteer opportunities in all aspects of the organization’s operations Include short-term and seasonal volunteer opportunities to maximize what volunteers bring to the table
    37. 37. 12 Best Practices forEngaging Boomers & FutureGenerationsOffer skills-based volunteer opportunities to maximize what volunteers can bring to the organizationDevelop volunteer positions descriptions that are engaging and show impact
    38. 38. 12 Best Practices forEngaging Boomers & FutureGenerationsMove volunteers into project leadership roles. Be open to project ideas that volunteers proposeDevelop appealing volunteer recruitment messages. Cultivate prospects and be highly visible on the Web
    39. 39. 12 Best Practices forEngaging Boomers & FutureGenerations Re-frame traditional volunteer supervision to leading volunteers and offering collegial support. Identify high potential volunteers and cultivate to take on additional responsibility Re-frame volunteer recognition to respond to the values of the current volunteers place on having impact and being life-long learners
    40. 40. 12 Best Practices forEngaging Boomers & FutureGenerations Be an instigator for these organizational changes. Identify your champions for change. Start smart and market success to other colleagues. Create systems to monitor changes in volunteer expectations and become a learning organization that adapts to changing needs of volunteers
    41. 41. Contact (414) 344-3933
    42. 42. Resources Choosing appropriate outreach techniques for different generations Boomers and Beyond: 12 Best Practices Vital to Volunteer Resources in the Future, by Minnesota Association of Volunteer Administrators (MAVA) 2010, article available at e- When Generations Collide: Who They are. Why They Clash. How to Solve the Generational Puzzle at Work by Lynne C. Lancaster, 2004