Enlisting members of your association to volunteer can sometimes be like pulling teeth. No one has the time or the incentive just isn’t there. Ideally, all members of your group would be willing to commit some time to a greater cause. But, when you’re competing with other non-profits who have better volunteer programs, recruiting a solid volunteer base can be challenging.

As baby boomers get older and the Millennial generation steps into the forefront of the workforce, it’s also time to consider how to engage your younger members in volunteering. The good news with Millennials? They are much more likely to engage with your association if you support a greater cause. According to The Millennial Impact Report, younger individuals like to engage with (1) companies that highlight how they give back, (2) opportunities that further their professional career and (3) experiences they can share online.

Why you need to stop talking about your association

Millennials don’t really care about your company. They want to learn about your philanthropic contributions and the ways you give back to the surrounding community. If your mission supports the greater good, your chances of recruiting younger members increase greatly.

Focus your messaging on what you’re doing for a certain cause or a quick summary of how your contribution has helped. Share pictures from your last event, a compelling video that convinces them to join, or a feature story on one of your volunteers.

How your volunteer experiences can provide professional growth

Ideally, members would get involved in volunteer opportunities without much coercion. However, like mentioned above, you’re probably competing with other non-profits offering better experiences. To stand out and up your volunteer engagement, give members the ability to work on professional skills while simultaneously doing good in the community.

A survey from Deloitte showed that “skills-based volunteering increases the competency of the individual over time, and 85% of college seniors who volunteered at a nonprofit said they learned something important in the process,” summed up Sheri Tishman, a writer for Engaging Volunteers.

How to create experiences that are easy to share online

According to Inc., Millennials check their phone over 150 times a day (most of the time to check social media). Considering this type of exposure, it’s crucial you not only share your volunteer opportunities through social media but also provides ways for volunteers to easily share their experience online, whether that’s actually at the event or a follow-up.

Engaging your association members in volunteer experiences can be tough. Asking for a time commitment isn’t easy, especially with busy Millennials who have a myriad of other opportunities to choose from. Make your volunteer opportunities accessible and effective with skills development and social media sharing.

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