Work With Young Volunteers

Learn how to better engage young volunteers.

What is it What is it

It is no secret that in the non-profit sector that engaging young volunteers can be a challenging, and at times unrewarding, exercise. Some non-profits have remarked that "students come in and mess up our work" or "they are too much work for too little a return". 

While some young volunteers may prove to be a handful, young people* can be amazing volunteers. Understanding the characteristics associated with young people can help volunteer managers to attract and retain young volunteers. 

*Here, we refer to young people as 15- to 24-year-olds, popularly known as Generation Z. 

Why do it Why do it

1
Groom ambassadors for your cause

By giving them opportunities to experience the merits of volunteering, young volunteers may become your future advocates who will help to propel your cause.

2
Leverage their skills

Today's young people can offer a range of web-based skills to help you and your beneficiaries navigate the digital age. Plus, young people are the best trendspotters and can help champion your work among their peers, teachers and families.

3
Encourage intergenerational bonding

Create opportunities for different generations of people to work, play and interact.

4
Harness their energy

Looking for a fresh perspective? Young volunteers may provide the spark of inspiration to take your work to the next level. Their enthusiasm can also bring great fun and joy to your beneficiaries.

5
Challenge perceptions

Negative stereotypes of young people are often unfounded. By recruiting and engaging young volunteers, you can challenge such views and encourage the local community to embrace the positive contributions of young people.

How to do it How to do it

1. Offer brief, short-term and ad-hoc assignments.

2. Tell them why their work matters.

3. Give them room to grow, or to make "good mistakes".

4. Engage them through social media.

5. Recognise their worth.

Who's done itWho's done it

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