The first question to ask new Millennial volunteers

During the recruitment process, or shortly thereafter, be sure to ask the following question of new young volunteers:

What do you want to get out of this experience?

Some people may assume that a new line on the old resume is enough of a benefit for young volunteers. While this may be one benefit, Millennials are seeking much more. If you don’t know, you risk putting in the effort of offering rewards that have no value.

In my recent experience engaging volunteers, here are some common responses I’ve heard to this question:

I want to meaningfully contribute to a cause that’s important to me.

I want to connect with other people who are have experience in this area.

I want more experience with (insert skill/task).

I think I might be interested in finding a job in this area in the future.

These fit exactly with what the Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating over the years has found – in general – for people aged 15-24, and 25-34. But for each and every individual, you won’t know until you ask.