The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently hosted a group of interns from the advocacy group Americans for the Arts. We quizzed them on what nonprofit leaders can do to attract and engage young employees. Their responses have been edited for clarity and brevity:
Eva Steinhardt, 21, University of Exeter (Britain)
Make career stories more accessible to young people. So many of my engaged and passionate friends don’t even consider nonprofit work because they have a preconception that nonprofit leadership isn’t an achievable goal.
Minne Atairu, 23, George Washington University
Increase the pay scale in the nonprofit sector.
Derek Krevat, 24, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Invest in deeply engaging fellowship programs, and create easily accessible mentorship networks.
Talia Rosen, 19, University of Virginia
Senior nonprofit leaders need to embrace change. We have a lot to learn from those who have been successful in the nonprofit sector, but as technology and the world change, the nonprofit sector must be flexible and willing to adjust.
Samantha Sobash, 24, American University
I get nervous that many nonprofits are understaffed. As an employee, I will have to take on many different jobs under one title and one salary. It can easily lead to burnout, so I would encourage an organization to be honest about the work expectations upfront. Also, when I interview with an organization, if I get the sense that the staff is genuinely invested in their work, I am much more attracted to working there.
Margie Fuchs, 20, Georgetown University
Senior nonprofit leaders can offer valuable work experiences, such as internships and entry-level jobs, that are engaging places where we can grow a diverse skill set. Providing exciting and meaningful work, as well as advice for navigating the work force, is essential to both attract and retain young professionals.
Correction: An earlier version of this post misspelled the surname of Talia Rosen. It has been updated to correct the error.