5 reasons young professionals are an asset to your nonprofit organization posted 11/06/14

By Jon Franko

For this post, I’m excited to introduce Ashley Holmes of The Rome Group, a nonprofit consulting group that works with organizations of all sizes to build capacity, develop resources and create exciting and actionable strategic plans that move them toward their vision. Ashley joined The Rome Group in 2014 and helps with development audits, capital campaigns and strategic planning. Ashley is a really sharp gal, and we’re excited to have her guest writing for our blog! In this post, she’s going to focus on why young people are an asset to nonprofits. Ashley, take it away…

As the national economy continues its slow recovery, so too does the job market, specifically for young professionals and recent graduates. But, there are some important reasons to consider making a strategic place within your nonprofit for these new professional talents. Here are five of many!

1. Having recently graduated, young professional have access to current, up-to-date research and best practices. Universities and colleges across the country have tremendous resources, from gifted researchers to extensive libraries. Young professionals usually have access to these assets several months and even years after graduation, allowing them to have access to research you need, from client demographics, new interventions, or even best practices for your upcoming capital campaign. They may be just learning your organization’s professional culture, but they come with a wealth of information at their fingertips!

2. Young professionals are your organization’s window into the expectations and interests of your future donors. As the next generation of income earners, young professionals are a great resource for better understanding your future donors and their needs. How do they like to be communicated with? Is multimedia the best approach? What prompts them to give? Not only will your organization benefit from their talents and contributions, but these young professionals will also have insights on what motivates and excites their peers when it comes to philanthropy.

3. Depending on your clients and the population you serve, young professionals might be your target service population. Having them in your organization not only demonstrates to your clients that you value the work and contributions of people like them, it also enables you to learn from your employees how best to serve, reach, or impact the lives of young people. Including stakeholders in your work is critical. If young people are your clients, then young people should be working in your offices doing meaningful work.

4. Young Professionals may be new to your agency, but they come with years of life experience outside the office and fresh enthusiasm for your cause. By hiring the right young professional you’re bring bringing fresh energy and know-how to your team. They may very well know the latest and greatest strategies for achieving your mission or have personal experience that makes them a tremendous ambassador.

5. Recent graduates bring fresh eyes to tried and true ideas. All organizations sometime get “stuck” doing the same things year after year, but young professionals can breathe new life into your current strategies with a fresh spin or even just thoughtful questions about why something is done. Take the opportunity to listen when it comes time to do what’s always been done.

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