Blend activism with volunteerism to keep young people engaged

Many volunteer roles filled by young people put them on the front lines of an organization. In some cases this can help connect them to the organization’s mission, but in many cases, it many lead to feelings of total disconnection from the big picture. In other ways, Millennials can be made to feel like they are just cheap labour, to be called upon when their hands are needed – again, leading to feelings of disconnection to the big change the organization wished to make in the world.

To help young people contribute in multiple ways to your cause and keep them engaged beyond their hands, include opportunities for activism in your communications with them. Here are a few ideas for blending activism with their volunteer roles (either in addition to or in between volunteer roles):

  • Check to see if they are following your org on Facebook or Twitter. Share articles, memes or petitions of interest for them to pass on to their networks, especially those not produced by your organization (connecting them to the bigger cause).
  • Share news articles and suggest opportunities to send a ‘letter to the editor’.
  • Ask them to provide quotes for press releases.
  • Ask them to serve on advisory bodies or board committee that focus on public policy or strategic planning.