Engaging Millennials in Volunteering

What is the benefit of volunteering to Millennials?

Increasingly, Millennials (also known as Generation Y, born 1980-1995) are using volunteering as a way of developing both their hard and soft professional skills, in order to bridge the gap between education and employment opportunities. Volunteering is seen as highly advantageous to employers, especially in the case of first time job seekers, which can be the case for some Millennials. Sporting clubs are a great place to volunteer as roles and positions vary so greatly, individuals can learn and enhance a broad skillset.

What are the challenges clubs face?

Many sporting clubs can find it difficult to engage and sustain millennial volunteers. Millennial volunteers seek project-based roles which provide them with opportunities to develop leadership skills. In terms of leadership skills, Millennials often value different skills to other generations. Where older generations value skills such as traditional forms of authority, decision-making, and responsibility, Millennials see a good leader as someone who is inspirational, a strategic thinker, and is passionate about what they do. To facilitate Millennials’ desires to develop as leaders, sporting clubs should provide volunteers the opportunity to make decisions, network with others, and contribute their ideas to the committee.

Millennials expect rapid role progression, and are known for moving quickly between organisations. Sporting clubs should look beyond traditional ideas of volunteer retention with Millennials and focus more on adapting to suit a quick volunteer turnover with short projects, such as applying for a grant or scoping new sponsors for the coming season.

How can clubs engage millennial volunteers?

Committees should clarify roles within the club and ensure they are well-defined. Keeping roles diverse and allowing volunteers to use different skills will keep them interested for longer. A key to engaging millennial volunteers is to identify skills that they are generally better at than other generations. The biggest one? …Technology!  Committees can identify roles within the clubs where Millennials can help with technology, such as managing the club’s social media accounts. Engaging Millennials with technology increases their autonomy in the volunteer role and will potentially encourage people to volunteer who may not be able to assist on training or game days.

All information was sourced from Volunteering Queensland’s ‘Engaging Millennial Volunteers: Engaging a New Breed of Volunteers’.

For more information about millennial volunteers, please click here, or contact us.

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