Membership

Lunchtime Links: Prepare for the Generational Shift

By / Jul 26, 2013 (iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

A new poll suggests that young Americans believe that by joining nonprofits, they’re contributing to positive societal changes. Here’s how this finding can transform your organization. Also: Why early risers are the most productive.

Your organization may be perpetually recruiting new volunteers to drive its mission. But what’s in it for them?

How to prepare for a new generation of volunteers, and more, in today’s Lunchtime Links:

The generational shift: A USA TODAY/Bipartisan Policy Center poll showed that Americans believe volunteer organizations and charities are the best way to make positive changes in society by a ratio of 2-1, with younger Americans most likely to embrace that viewpoint. According to XYZ University’s Sarah Sladek, that group of younger Americans is wide, including about 48 million Generation Xers and 80 million millennials. And as SCD Group’s Steve Drake notes, these people could be looking for an organization to join—right at a point when many baby boomers might be heading into retirement. However, it’s hard to predict when the generational shift will occur. “The question is not if Generation Xers and millennials will move into volunteer leadership roles, it is when and to what organizations and causes,” he writes on his blog. Is your organization prepared to provide these incoming members with the fulfillment they’re looking for?

Morning person: Paul DeJoe, cofounder of the sales productivity tool Ecquire, likes to wake up at 4 a.m. He believes that’s the best way to be productive—when no one else is awake, when no one is rushing you to do something, when it’s just you and your creativity. It’s his time of Zen. “What I was depriving myself from was time in the day where there was no pressure and no expectations,” he writes for Fast Company. “For the same reasons that I felt most creative on Saturday mornings and on planes, 4 a.m. has become a place of productive peace… Attacking the hardest thing first and all the stuff I didn’t want to do before 9 a.m. leaves the rest of the day to be very fulfilling.”

Society’s challenge: Referring back to his recent blog post about HR being “stuck in the machine ways of management,” association leadership consultant Jamie Notter cites blogger Simon Heath’s observation that the problem isn’t confined to human resources departments. It comes up beyond the workplace—in the economy, religion, education, and so on. To Notter, this is a problem that can absolutely be fixed. “It’s like I said about human resources—the point here isn’t to fix the mess we’ve made,” he writes on his blog. “The mess has emerged from this crazy, complex system we live in. Our challenge is to create from here on out a better world. This includes better workplaces, but…it includes a whole lot more than that.”

What’s on your reading list today?  Share the links in the comment section below.

Anita Ferrer

Anita Ferrer is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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