Times are changing, and one of the changes taking place is that of an aging population; and possibly one who won’t be able to keep giving to the level they have previously.
Before your ‘older’ supporters start to bow out, you need to refresh your pool with new supporters; it’s never too soon to look toward the children in your community to support you.
How you do this is the key to whether you will get them interested in what you do and getting them stay with you until the time comes that they will be able to support you more as they mature.
It will depend on the services your organisation provides as to how easily you can get younger people involved; for instance an organisation working with stray and abandoned animals may find it easier to attract younger supporters, than one working with the aged.
Some ways to look at attracting younger people could be through school activities, engaging with a local school to help with a community project will not only help share your story and what you are doing within your local community, but it will also give the opportunity to talk to children in a setting they’re familiar with – the classroom. Community groups may like to invite the local school to run a competition to design a poster for an upcoming appeal; this will not only get children involved, it will also help them understand what you are doing and will have the potential to also make their parents aware of what you are doing.
Invite a school group to visit your project; again this would help them understand what you are doing, they could then be invited to write a ‘story’ about what they saw and how they feel about what you are doing and who you are helping.
College and High School students could be engaged through careers events; this way they could see other opportunities where they could work when the leave high school or go onto further studies. This could have the potential to gain them as supporters well before they enter the workforce.
Encourage adult supporters to bring their children to family events; some parents may have felt reluctant to talk about the charity or community group they support; but by holding family events they may become more willing to share this with their children. Again, opening the children’s eyes to what and who they could offer support too.
Some organisations could be suited to having tiers of supporters; junior for children from ages 6-10, intermediate for ages10 – 15 and teens above age 15. Each group could have projects to work on specific to their ages; it would also give younger children an insight into what they could be doing for the organisation as they get older.
There’s also the opportunity for organisations to have part of their website dedicated to younger supporters; with games, competitions etc specific to this group. Larger organisations may wish to develop a website dedicated to younger members of the community.
What you can do:
- Look for ways to encourage children to become involved
- Use local schools to introduce children to what you are doing
- Offer opportunities to children by way of competitions
- Offer levels of support (Junior, Intermediate, Teens)
- Hold “family days” for your supporters
- Encourage adult supporters to talk to their children about the work you do
(This post originally appeared on Socialize Your Cause)