Monday, February 6, 2012

Humanizing & Young Professionals: More on Engaging Millenials in your Organization

You may remember that last week I wrote in SCDdaily Generations by the Numbers: Why Association Membership May Not Return to Pre-Recession Levels.

Later in the week, I came across two really super articles on the same subject ... one by Jamie Notter and the other by Michael C. Lowe.

If you are involved in association management, association membership or donor development, you really should reread my post along with these two!

In Humanize and the Millennial Generation, Jamie provides thoughtful discussion on Millenials (as well as a link to his powerful eBook on this topic. One key point:

“The differences we see among generations are both true at the big picture level AND irrelevant at the individual level. Every generation possesses significant diversity and significant “sameness” at the same time.”

“They (Millenials) are really too young to define too clearly. Generations are a big-picture and long-term deal. It’s much easier to spot trends when you can look back twenty years or so. When it’s still happening, the trends are harder to spot accurately. That being said, I think there is value in having the ongoing conversation about the trends, even if we can’t be definite about them. Based on my survey of the literature and observations in the work world, I identified four trends shaping Millennials:
  • Social Internet
  • Abundance
  • Diversity
  • Child-Focused”
Michael C. Lowe’s piece titled How Associations are Targeting Young Professionals appeared in MeetingsandConventions.

 "In previous generations, the only way to network was to join a professional organization, but now a lot of the benefits that somebody gets socially can be achieved online, and a lot of answers to professional development questions can be found at one's desk," says Lauren Hefner, 29, director of membership, marketing and communication for the Fairfax, Va.-based Laboratory Products Association. "We're a lot less likely to do something in person that we can do online without having to travel or spend money ... If you're going to target young professionals, you have to use the channels they use."

The article provides six ways to engage Millenials:
1. Lure them in
2. Show them the guest list
3. Invest in design
4. Make it easy
5. Make it concise
6. Appeal to the boss

If your organization defines “networking” as one of its major member benefits, this might be insightful:
  • “Attending a networking event can be especially intimidating if you're 25 and everyone else is older, more established and already knows most of the crowd. ‘When you go to these big networking events, there's a huge generation gap,’ says Alexis Fitzpatrick, chair of Metro Edge, Sacramento.”

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