I am part of the Millennial Generation. I am civic-minded – I have a strong sense of community, both globally and locally. I am confident – I have great expectations for my personal and professional life. I am open-minded – I welcome the opportunity to interact daily with different races, religions, socio-economic classes. I multi-task. Boy do I ever multi-task. At work. At home. On the phone. In the car. At events. Planning my weekends. If you need something from me, you better ask quickly because I don’t have time to read between the lines. Make it short and sweet. Ask now.
You can find me online. You can find me at a coffee shop. You can find me at a happy hour or a sporting event. Chances are I want to be found. By someone, anyone really, who can offer me the opportunity to give back. When you give me an outlet to give (of my time or money), you empower me to do something meaningful. You offer me a way to leave my mark.
The fact is that my generation’s drive for social good is a key element in influencing change all around the world. As a group we are driven by personal relationships and human connections. We want our giving to be tangible; we want to see and feel the impact. We are a lot like older, established donors and volunteers in that way. We expect to be treated as individuals rather than bodies in seats or money in pockets.
Here’s what works for us millennials: a personal email, less than 200 words, specifying why us, why now; a Facebook message, a tweet, because we’re tech-savvy and you should be too; a call or text from a friend, because I like my friends and if they’re going I will as well. Get to me where I already am. Online and on my phone, hanging out with other millennials.
But don’t be alarmed. It may sound like you’re only one of 20 things on my mind, but in fact, I do care about your cause. I care because it affects my life. Or I care because it affects your life. Or I care because it affected my life 10 years ago. All it takes is that first ask … then we’ll go from there.