Either it be a religious org or an arts institution, many of these tips can be applied to attract millennials and young families.

  1. Baby Steps
    Start with 1-2 programs and go from there. Program examples: parent/young adult study groups (religious or arts/culture related), parenting classes, Young Families/Professional groups/committees, networking nights, a monthly family/young audience newsletter, and young family/young member support groups.
  2. Relationship Building
    Part of building a relationship is being there and listening to audience needs/wants from you. Program ideas: Young family dinners, weekend socials, clergy/staff to attend family/young adult functions, family-based services (once a month beyond traditional services), annual young member cocktail party/young committee gala, creating a family/young professional lounge, create affordable membership levels, enhance volunteer opportunities, seek feedback from core audience through surveys, & consistent online engagement .
  3. Create A Team
    If you want young families and millennials to be actively engaged in the org, the org needs to have recruiting from similarly aged folks: recruit current young audience members and young volunteers to help build relationships with target prospect, and get the younger audience on the staff and board, and actively contributing to online and print content.
  4. Context is Key
    When reviewing ideas consider: audience location in relation to orgs building, days and times of events, making programs accessible online, reviewing current successful programs and reviewing programs that were not successful as a tool to learn from. Ask core audience what they want from you.
  5. Time, time, time
    These programs take time and funds to develop, but with consistently hard work, and a diverse development team, these programs can be accomplished and successful. Consider a pilot program to test response and reaction.

Debra Gudema for DLG Nonprofit

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