How can nonprofits benefit from youth volunteering?

There’s no age requirement when it comes to volunteering. Whether you’re retired and looking for ways to help your community or a young parent who wants to teach their children the value of community service, there are always nonprofits looking for some extra hands.

There are many reasons why youth volunteers are particularly important to nonprofits. Rather than requiring volunteers to be at least 18 years old to participate, here are some awesome reasons why kids and teens should work with nonprofits:

They are more likely to develop a lifelong commitment to volunteering. Habit formation starts at an early age, and what better time to learn about the value of serving one’s community than when kids and teens have the time, energy, and enthusiasm to learn before college and jobs take up much of their time? Not only does volunteering foster greater empathy for less fortunate members of the community, but youth can also develop interpersonal skills, add volunteering experiences to their college applications, and build friendships with other volunteers.

For nonprofits, training youth to serve their communities today will benefit future generations, as those kids grow up, have families, and teach their own kids to fall in love with volunteerism.

They are tech-savvy.

Let’s face it: Millennials and members of Gen Z are some of the most tech-savvy people around. No matter how much training we go through, it can’t compare to people who literally grew up with advanced technologies. Although younger generations are often criticized for their obsession with technology, this stereotype can actually be pretty beneficial for nonprofits who want to improve their efficiency and outreach via digital media.

Youth volunteers are readily equipped to help with technological aspects of nonprofits, whether that be marketing special events on social media, researching various topics, designing graphics and websites, and/or even resolving technical issues.

They understand social media.

In addition to the tech-savvy qualities youth volunteers have to offer, they’re socially savvy, which means they know how to quickly spread the word. Studies have shown Generations Y and Z communicate frequently with friends and family over social media, and these younger generations are also more likely to seek out meaningful activities (such as volunteering) and opportunities to further causes they care deeply about.

For nonprofit organizations, the social media savvy that so many youth have nowadays can be a huge advantage. After all, social media marketing is much more cost-effective than traditional print advertising, and you can reach many more people for donations or volunteering events through Facebook or Twitter than you would through direct mail or local flyer distribution.

As you can see, the youth of today have many fantastic qualities to offer nonprofit organizations. They’re curious, driven by charitable causes, tech-savvy and extremely social — everything a nonprofit could need to expand its efforts in the community and attract more volunteers and donations.