Did you know that 1,750,000 people graduate college every year? That’s a lot of people jumping head first into the “real world.” In many situations these young executives are moving to a new city where they hope to land a good job, meet new friends, and establish themselves, and if you’re a nonprofit, this is your next generation of philanthropists.
Whether it’s a new graduate or a young executive who has been in the workforce a few years, they are going to get involved in something. Shouldn’t it be your nonprofit?
So many nonprofits seek board members who are well established in their careers. There’s nothing wrong with this as these volunteers typically bring professional expertise, connections, and deep pockets that nonprofits need, but don’t make the mistake of neglecting the young executive! In addition to the existing board of directors, nonprofits should be cultivating relationships with a younger generation of volunteers and philanthropists.
Young executives have a deep network and usually have more time to offer than someone more established. Getting them involved early taps into an entirely new network of volunteers, members, and donors that you otherwise would not have.
Many organizations create committees, Junior Boards, or Young Executive Boards that target this generation. This group wants to get involved in something that moves them and somewhere they can make an impact.
I’ve been an active member of a nonprofit junior board for the past couple of years. The nonprofit we serve has a “big board” that is responsible for connecting the nonprofit to companies and people who are willing to make large capital donations to the organization while the junior board is responsible for putting on a huge annual event that attracts more than 1,000 people and raises around $300,000 a year.
We are taught about the organization and the cause it serves. We are exposed to the people the organization helps. We are involved and invested and as a result, we work our fingers to the bone to put on the best event of the year to raise as much money as we can for this nonprofit.
There are thousands of nonprofits in my city. The fact that I got involved with this one relatively young in my career means that it will always be a part of my life in some capacity. I’ll continue to share its story to whomever will listen, I’ll donate annually, and I’ll volunteer time when I can. This will be a charity of choice for me and it’s because the seed was planted early.
Young executives are going to establish their charity of choice early in their careers. Shouldn’t it be yours?