Engaging Gen X and Y: Hosting a Young Professional Event

These past weeks I have been investigating ways to engage Gen X and Y as donors.  Previously, I have discussed various entry points to engage younger generations in nonprofit organizations:

–       Host events for young professionals

–       Recruit Gen X and Yers for board & committee roles

–       Engage the younger generations using multi-channel communication

–       Ask young professionals to engage their peers

–       Provide philanthropic resources & trainings

–       Offer tiered membership structures (i.e. lower pricing for those with smaller budgets)

In this post, I wanted to focus in on how to create a Young Professionals Event.  There are five easy steps to creating a young professionals’ event.  First, identify one to four Gen X and Yers who are currently donating their time and treasure (aka donations) to your organization and would be good leaders.  Second, create a young professionals’ committee with their help.  Ask them to engage five to ten of their peers to sit on the committee. Third, ask the committee to organize and host a young professionals event at your organization.  Fourth, provide support and planning of event. Fifth, host a successful event and engage 25 to 100+ new Generation X and Yers in your organization!

So, what does a young professional event look like?

  • Choose one evening (6-9 p.m.) mid-week to host your event.  Thursdays are pretty popular!
  • Choose a location.  Your organization is ideal if you have space.  Otherwise, choose a trendy restaurant or bar.
  • Choose an enticing focus for the event (art, music, etc.) that will attract a younger crowd.
  • Charge a minimal entrance fee ($5-15).
  • Provide drinks and food.  Tip: Engage a local restaurant to host the food gratis.
  • Spread the word to Gen X and Yers using social media and other media outlets.

Next post I am going to talk about a great Young Professional Event: Museum of Photographic Arts POP Thursdays!

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