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What You Need to Know About Generational Differences in Your Volunteer Workforce Cathy Grady and Emily Crenner.

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Presentation on theme: "What You Need to Know About Generational Differences in Your Volunteer Workforce Cathy Grady and Emily Crenner."— Presentation transcript:

1 What You Need to Know About Generational Differences in Your Volunteer Workforce Cathy Grady and Emily Crenner

2 * Generation- “An identifiable group that shares birth years, age location, and significant events at critical development states.” * Kupperschmidt, 2000

3 * Everybody is different and generational traits are only one part of who we are * There is no one agreed upon start and end year for each generation – there is no one icon or event that characterizes each * “The specific affectations of a generation’s formative years DO bind them together in exclusive ways.” * Generations at Work, Zemke, Raines and Filipczak

4 Traditionalists 1925-1944 Baby Boomers 1945-1964 Generation X 1965-1984 Millennials/Y 1985-2004

5 * Do you believe in generational differences? * What people, places, things, events that define your generation? * What generational differences have you noticed? Generations montage Brookings Institution Generations montage http:// Harvard Business Review Sitcom clip

6 * PgVE PgVE

7 Assets Loyal Dependable Thorough and hardworking Detail-Oriented Willing to volunteer many hours on regular basis; been volunteering for years Liabilities Change and ambiguity can be difficult Hierarchical, military chain of command model Avoid Conflict Sources:,


9 Assets Anxious to please Challenge the status quo Good at seeing the big picture Good team players Mission/service oriented Will go the extra mile Problem-solvers Liabilities Process-oriented Can be self-centered Rarely commit long-term Often juggling a lot of other activities Resent not being able to make decisions about how to do their work Sources:,

10 Assets Enthusiastic, flexible Direct communicators Eager to learn, very determined Like to get things done – results before process Technologically savvy Liabilities Cynical; skeptical Dislike rigid work requirements Impatient People skills can be lacking Mistrust institutions Sources:,

11 Assets Collaborative Goal-oriented Highly educated Quick Optimistic & positive Technologically savvy Liabilities Inexperienced Need supervision & structure High expectations Lack of skills for dealing with difficult people Sources:,

12 * Traditionalists are LOYAL * Boomers are OPTIMISTIC * Gen Xers are SCEPTICAL * Millennials are REALISTIC

13 Volunteering is a civic duty

14 Volunteer when they see a cause that impacts them directly Want to give back Know they can change the world

15 Source: Volunteer when they see a cause that impacts them directly

16 Volunteerism is civic duty Want to give back Need experience to complement their knowledge and education Sources:,


18 g8H1MM

19 * Is your volunteer program based on a “traditionalist” model?

20 Considering these generational differences, how might you change your approach to volunteer: Recruitment? Job design/management? Recognition?

21 * Understand volunteers’ deep-seated need to have impact and use that understanding in all facets of how you involve them as volunteers * Focus the volunteer interview on learning the prospective volunteer’s passions, mutually designing his/her volunteer role and helping the volunteer determine if your organization is the right place to realize the impact he/she wants to have * Offer a wide choice of volunteer opportunities in all aspects of the organization’s operations and offer short- term and seasonal opportunities to maximize involvement.

22 * Establish project-driven relationships, not “touchy-feely" relationships with them. * Recruit younger volunteers to work on teams with dynamic leaders who will act as mentors, care about them, and demand high performance. * Stay in touch, offering constant very specific feedback. * Never micromanage. * Let them be creative and do things their way. * Listen to them express their opinion. * Value their new ideas. Source:

23 * Be specific about the end results of the project they are working on. * Be sure they understand that you are depending on them to meet the deadlines. * Establish certain checkpoints during the course of the project.

24 * Empower younger volunteers to work at their pace, making their own day-to-day decisions, mistakes and creative solutions. Let them know that you are holding them responsible for the end result.

25 * Encourage questions and be generous in sharing information about the organization and the project.

26 * Train younger volunteers on skills and competencies that not only help your organization but also are something that interest them. They love win/win contractual relationships. They love to win and be rewarded for the effort that they put in.




30 Source: MAVA

31 TraditionalistsBaby BoomersGeneration XMillennials Committed Competent Confident Conservative Dedication Doing more with less Ethical Hard-working Historical viewpoint Honor Linear work style Loyal to organization Organized Rules of conduct Sacrifice Strong work ethic Task oriented Ability to handle a crisis Ambitious Challenge Authority Competent Competitive Consensus Leadership Ethical Good communication skills Idealism Most educated Multi-taskers Rebellious Optimistic Strong work ethic Willing to take on responsibility Adaptable Big Gap with boomers Can change Crave independence Confident Competent Ethical Flexible Focus on Results Independent Pragmatic Results driven Self-starters Self sufficient Sense of entitlement Willing to take on responsibility Willing to put in the extra time to get a job done Best educated Confident Diversity Focused Fiercely Independent Focus on change using technology Globalism Think our of box Individualistic yet group oriented Loyal to peers Sociable Open to new ideas Optimistic Political Savvy (like the Boomers) Self –absorbed Sense of entitlement Techno Savvy - Digital generation Want to please others Hope to make life contributions to world Seek responsibility Source:

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