Associations and nonprofits tend to have a common problem these days—going gray. Even groups that are growing in this recovering economy are often growing older, too. No surprise then, that the biggest challenge associations and nonprofits report is engaging younger generations.
Until recently, people supported nonprofits and associations because it was the “right thing to do.” Nothing wrong with that. It just doesn’t work with Gen X and Millennials. The first question younger gens ask is “Will this work?” Associations and nonprofits have to have ready answers.
Boomers wanted to teach the world to sing.
Younger generations want to teach the world to sing, too, but with a quantifiable ROI on the songfest.
Meanwhile, Millennials expect companies to be good for society, and the nonprofits garnering respect these days are well managed and (yep!) profitable. It’s an odd crossover, and here’s the upshot. As a nonprofit or an association, you absolutely have to be crystal clear about who you are, what your do for whom and how your results are measured.
Here’s a tip for that process. Put numbers on it. If you are an association, survey your members to get percentages of members who got new business, new skills or new management tools. If you are a nonprofit, put hard numbers on your results. Then you can win over prove-it-to-me Gen Xers and mission-based Millennials.
Harness the Power of Generational Intelligence. Amy Lynch helps the generations understand each other. She has spoken to 100s of groups from MTV and Comcast to Boeing, J&J and the staff of the U.S. Senate. Contact Amy about your next event.