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5 ideas for attracting younger volunteers

by The NonProfit Times - July 29, 2013

Volunteers help almost any nonprofit to survive, but younger volunteers can be especially beneficial. They are idealistic, they have the strength and energy to perform the tasks older people can’t, and they are more likely to work for free.

With that in mind, it is necessary to find ways to attract younger volunteers. Even with their exuberance, they often require different approaches from those that will draw their elders.

Speaking during the 14th annual Symposium for Nonprofit Professionals and Volunteers at the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management, Mary Morten of the Morten Group said it starts with asking the question: Why would a young person want to be involved with our group?

Attracting the best people can be addressed in the following ways:

  • Review recruitment strategies. How has the organization found support in the past? Can methods be directed toward youth?
  • Review marketing and communications. Does the organization’s marketing speak to youth? Would young people know the organization even exists?
  • Tell the people who are most interested. The organization’s membership and supporter base might know young people who would be interested in getting involved.
  • Review the organization’s advertising. Be sure to include information in places where a young person might read it.
  • Target youth publications, both in print and online.


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