News and analysis
October 29, 2015

Millennials Present Big Opportunity for Nonprofits, Study Says

Title: A Force for Impact: Millennials in the Nonprofit Sector

Organization: ProInspire

Summary: Nonprofits that adapt to desires and motivations of millennials (people born from 1980 to 2000) stand to benefit from their optimism, digital skills, and passion for improving society, according to a new report published by ProInspire, a leadership-development nonprofit. The report compiled findings from research done by Achieve, Deloitte, Nielsen, Pew Research Center, PWC, and the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Members of the generation, which is well educated and racially diverse, make up an increasing share of the work force, and employers may need to change their policies to fit young people’s expectations. Millennials value transparency, opportunities to help make decisions, regular feedback, flexible work schedules and environments, and professional development training, the report says.

Among the findings:

  • Student loans may influence what kind of careers millennials pursue. According to Pew Research Center, 69 percent of the 2012 college graduating class took on debt to pay for education, up from 49 percent in 1993. The average amount of student debt was $12,000 for the class of 1993; it was nearly $27,000 for the class of 2012 (adjusted for inflation).
  • Millennials have high expectations and are more comfortable than members of previous generations expressing their desires in the workplace. They also expect to advance in their careers more quickly.
  • A sense of purpose is an important factor for millennials when they consider jobs, and some businesses have already taken steps to make their employment opportunities align with young people’s values.
  • Millennials are comfortable switching jobs and exploring different career paths.
  • Young employees care more about the results of their work than whether they job is at a nonprofit or in government or business.

Send an email to Rebecca Koenig.