Spring Break is just around the corner for many colleges and universities around the country. During this time, many millennials will be breaking away from the books and heading for the beach, to escape the dreary winter weather. Though commonly conceptualized as a way to thaw frozen bodies and rest academically drained minds, Spring Break doesn’t always need to be about sunscreen and sand. This Spring Break, why not create a program for millennials to use their free time more constructively? Instead of passively suggesting ways for millennials to get involved, harness their volunteering power while they have the available time to make a difference. The following three steps will get you started to enticing young people to make a difference with their free time.
Present Their Options
If your nonprofit has Spring Break volunteer opportunities available for young people you need to spread the word – and quickly! Though Spring Break may not fall for a few more weeks on the academic calendar, young people are making trip itineraries now. With each hotel and flight that is booked your nonprofit is losing access to a potential volunteer this season. Reach out to those young volunteers you’ve seen working with your organization in the past, post exciting updates about your nonprofit’s Spring Break plans on your social media feeds. With the correct message, you’ll have volunteers lined up in no time.
If you’re trying to entice a young person to give up something they view as fun, it is necessary to present them with an option that they will view to be equally as fun. Suffice to say, asking a college student to forego her trip to the beach to stay and participate in the familiar, maybe even mundane, volunteer tasks she could help with at any time may not have the desired result. Rather than offering your volunteers singular office jobs to do throughout the week, offer them the option to volunteer in groups. Allow them the freedom to create social media content for your nonprofit for a week, or create opportunities that speak to their specific majors. Catering to their interests in this way will be more likely to get them involved in your nonprofit – and keep them coming back for more.
Give Their Work Purpose
Though they’ve been dubbed an ‘apathetic’ generation, the fact has been proven time and time again that if a young person feels strongly about a particular issue, he or she will more than likely get involved to effect a positive change. If you’re encouraging them to complete a task that doesn’t appeal to them, many young people will be less-than-likely to get involved. Remember, you want your volunteers to feel something after they’ve worked with your organization for a week, not regret their decision to pass on their vacation in favor of volunteer hours.
Spring Break will be here for many colleges in just a few short weeks. What have you done to appeal to the volunteer force during that time?