14 tips for recruiting youths

Whether it’s being tech-savvy or just something in the water, young people are willing to get involved in various endeavors, including nonprofit operations.

During the 14th annual Symposium for Nonprofit Professionals and Volunteers at the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management at North Park University in Chicago, Mary Morten of the Morten Group offered the following tips for recruiting young people:

  • Appoint a youth coordinator to take responsibility for young members.
  • Set up a mentoring program within the organization, so all members have the opportunity to work with older/younger people and swap knowledge and skills.
  • Set clear goals and guidelines so they understand their duties and fit within the organization.
  • Adapt the organization’s procedures when necessary to accommodate young people.
  • Conduct orientation and screening so the needs of both the young person and the organization are met.
  • Ensure all young members are aware of relevant health and safety laws.
  • Make sure young members are aware of reporting structures, emergency plans, risk-management plans and the identity of their supervisor(s) so they can approach them if they have any suggestions/complaints/problems.
  • Budget for any organizational change: training, etc.
  • Sell the benefits of recruiting young people to all members.
  • Appoint appropriate tasks to young people and don’t place them in dangerous or difficult situations.
  • Ask them what they want to do.
  • Offer flexible jobs.
  • Give their ideas a chance and allow them to act on their suggestions.
  • Ensure there is sufficient feedback and encouragement to maintain enthusiasm.