We need to inspire the next generation of donors; it’s critical to AFP and the future of philanthropy. We’re working with the Case Foundation on the 2011 Millennium Donors Summit, and our Youth in Philanthropy program provides education and awareness to students about the importance of giving and volunteering—engaging in a “hands-on” way.
But there’s another “next” group we have to focus on too: the next generation of fundraisers. They’re as different from earlier generations of fundraisers as Millennial donors are to the Baby Boomers. The mission of engaging young people with the profession is so critical that we added it as a goal in our strategic plan for 2011-2013.
Our collegiate chapters are one of the fastest growing programs here at AFP; it shows there’s significant interest in fundraising among young people today. But an article from Nonprofit World about attracting and recruiting young fundraisers reminded me that we’re facing a whole new set of challenges.
These fundraisers are just entering the workforce and seeking meaningful jobs that match their life-expectations: work flexibility, employee-centered facilities and creative communications –ways to engage with their organizations. And while many of us “fell” into fundraising, this generation already has significant education and training in nonprofit management and WANT to become fundraisers.
It’s a good challenge to have, but it’s forcing us to rethink our messages and operations. AFP is looking at new ways to engage the next generation of fundraisers, and I’d be interested in your experiences. What have you found resonates with the next generation? Or if you’re part of it, what’s most important to you when you look at new jobs and opportunities?