Penny Reeh


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Greatest Generation: Baby Boomers

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Penny Reeh

  1. 1. 6/21/2010 Volunteers: The Greatest Generation, Baby-Boomers and the Gen-X Crowd Presented by: Penny C. Reeh Indigo Resource Group Our Goals Today • Understand the advantages to taking a generational approach to volunteerism • Gain insight into what motivates each generation • Create recruitment, retention and recognition strategies for each group The Classic Generation Gap • “Young people these days….they don’t get involved.” • “We can’t lead unless the older ones are willing to get out of the way.” 1
  2. 2. 6/21/2010 Men resemble the times more than they do their fathers. --Ancient Proverb The Silent Generation • AKA – The Greatest Generation, The Forgotten Generation, Matures • Born between 1909 and 1945 • Currently age 62 and older • Prefers strong, central authority figures • Likes highly specialized roles • Act as team players • Believe in hard work and saving What shaped the Silents? Roaring Twenties, Great Depression, Pearl Harbor, World War II, Atomic Bomb, New Deal, Modern Appliances, Korean War, Infrastructure Development, Motion Pictures 2
  3. 3. 6/21/2010 The Baby Boomers • They have always been known as the Boomers • Born 1949 - 1964 • Currently age 43-61 • 78 million born • Likes shared leadership • Enjoys community-sized teams (“It takes a village.) • It’s all about me mindset What shaped the Boomers? Civil Rights Movement, Bay of Pigs, Kennedy Assassination, Television, Cold War, Rock N’ Roll, Sexual Revolution Generation X • AKA – The MTV Generation • Born 1965 - 1976 • Currently age 31-42 • First technology-oriented generation • Comfortable with virtual teams • Like smaller teams with loose rules and no defined leadership 3
  4. 4. 6/21/2010 What shaped the Gen Xers? Latchkey Kids, Watergate, Fall of Berlin Wall, Persian Gulf War, AIDS, Women’s Liberation, Pager/Cell Phone, High Divorce Rates, Unstable Economy, Challenger Explosion Generational Remembrances SILENT BOOMER GEN X Orange Juice The Juice Runs The Juice walks FDR Nixon Reagan Flat Tops HAIR Skinheads No more butter No more war No more ozone layer Sunday Drives Drive-thrus Drive-bys Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa Mom and Dad Mom OR Dad Dr. Spock Dr. Strangelove Dr. Kevorkian Source: Rocking The Ages Technologies to Remember SILENT BOOMER GEN X Slide Rules Calculators Spreadsheets Mimeographing Photocopying Desktop Publishing Outer Space Inner Space Cyberspace IBM Apple Netscape Rotary Phones Touch-Tone Phones Cell Phones Spirit of St. Louis Concorde Columbia Party Lines Conference Calls Chat Rooms Source: Rocking The Ages 4
  5. 5. 6/21/2010 Approaching the Silents • Emphasize civic duty (they expect to serve) • Use themes that promote community and not individuals • They “saved the world” and expect to sacrifice for community • Traditional values are important Retaining the Silents • Encourage them to share their expertise and “institutional memory” • Introduce new systems, methods and technologies with care, emphasize how change benefits the mission and not just efficiency (cake mix example) • Be sensitive to potential physical limitations but don’t baby them Recognizing the Silents • Use techniques that reward longevity • Praise them in front of their families and peer groups • What they did for community is important to them – it’s not about them as individuals 5
  6. 6. 6/21/2010 Approaching the Boomers • Emphasize issues, not duty (it is about leaving a legacy, not self-sacrifice) • Appeal to their self-image of being “forever young” • Let them know you understand their importance Retaining the Boomers • Flexibility and choice are important to them • Include them in decision-making and leadership structure • Tie volunteerism to learning, new experiences and relationship building • Rely on their expertise and allow them to create new volunteer roles • Remember that episodic volunteerism is not unusual, but soon many will have more time Recognizing the Boomers • Recognition is important – they have always been in control due and expect it • Praise their individual achievement and their respective hot issues • Honor their creativity 6
  7. 7. 6/21/2010 Approaching the Gen-Xers • Take a “cut to the chase” approach (they are skeptical, self-reliant, and pragmatic) • Emphasize results-oriented service with tangible goals • Sell local issues, not global ones • Show how they can make a difference in one life as opposed to saving the world Retaining the Gen-Xers • Let them to work alone or in virtual teams • Don’t expect them to attend meetings or engage in long decision-making discussions • Let them create and dissolve project driven teams • Encourage entrepreneurial, not bureaucratic processes • Remember time is often more valuable than money Recognizing the Gen-Xers • Connect them to the personal element of their work – knowing they made a difference is more important than personal praise • Spending money on their recognition may be viewed as wasteful 7
  8. 8. 6/21/2010 Who is next? • Generation Y – AKA Nexters, Millennials • Born 1981-1994 • Show signs of being very socially conscious • Shaped by strong economy and involved parents, they are well educated, diverse and optimistic • They are on the go and know much more about their world than any other generation at the same age What shaped the Millenials? Exploding technology, Internet, Domestic Terrorism, School Shootings, Break-Up of Soviet Republic, Power Rangers, Harry Potter, Political Scandal, OJ Murder Trial But will they volunteer? • 30% of students in grades 6-12 volunteer eight or more hours a week • 93% anticipate being volunteers as adults • 38% see volunteerism as a way to combine interests and talents • 76% say their parents volunteer • 44% find volunteering highly rewarding Source: USA Weekend 8
  9. 9. 6/21/2010 Why? • 53% could see the immediate impact • 52% believed in the overall effort • 51% made friends and met interesting people • 42% found the opportunity well organized and efficiently run Source: USA Weekend Putting the Pieces Together • We continue to need volunteers of all ages. • This knowledge is not meant to segregate, but rather to assimilate. • Make your volunteers happier and make your life easier, but showing them simply that you “get who they are.” For More Information Penny C. Reeh Indigo Resource Group P.O. Box 1025 Fredericksburg, Texas 78624 830.990.0180 | 9