D’Andre Lampkin of the Lampkin Foundation is a seasoned public servant who successfully founded the Lampkin Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt human services organization designed to promote “social good” projects throughout the United States. In the following article, D’Andre Lampkin discusses youth philanthropy and how to cultivate the next generation of changemakers.
With 84% of Millennials donating to an average of three organizations, it appears the younger generations are forefronting the donor charge. However, nonprofit organizations have the power to attract children, adolescents, and young adults to their volunteering and fundraising efforts with the right techniques.
Today’s youth are eager to engage with foundations they believe in, but it won’t always be through monetary donations. They intend to get their hands dirty in more practical ways, giving organizations plenty of opportunities to increase their philanthropic efforts.
Of course, not all of Gen Z are aboard the charity train. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to encourage more individuals to get involved. Experts say it simply requires implementing effective engagement tactics.
D’Andre Lampkin: Youth Need to Find Purpose Within a Larger Cause
The importance of enticing young people to philanthropic volunteering or donating isn’t just imperative for the future of these entities; it’s vital for the development of the next generation.
Upon evaluating youth philanthropy programs, experts found that participating in such initiatives:
- Encourages young people to enhance their skills, knowledge, and confidence.
- Allows them to understand the community and its problems.
- Enables youth to share opinions more freely.
- Promotes beneficial development of life and social skills.
- Lets young people see themselves as leaders who can truly inspire and create change.
- Boosts interest in going to college.
- Develops language, public speaking, critical thinking, and budgeting skills.
D’Andre Lampkin of the Lampkin Foundation says that people who are interested in charity work and donations at a young age have been more likely to continue these efforts as they age. And that’s when these individuals becoming lifelong changemakers, paving the way to improved societies across the globe.
The hard (yet possible) part is urging them to get their foot in the door.
Providing Multiple Ways to Get Involved Proves Fruitful
As touched on briefly, young people may not want to donate money. Instead, they yearn for a variety of ways to show their support and help communities.
The youth of today are wholly interactive with social media, deftly getting posts out to their many followers. And organizations can harness that energy hosting online-based fundraisers, digital petitions, and more.
Naturally, hands-on activities like building playgrounds and serving at soup kitchens are still attractive to younger generations. It’s just a case of offering diverse initiatives so everybody can use their strengths for the greater good.
Encouraging Community-Building to Incentivize Young People
D’Andre Lampkin of the Lampkin Foundation notes that a sense of belonging is a must-have for many members of Gen Z and Millennials. Organizations that include their supporters in their shared stories invites individuals into their inner circles, giving them that all-important community feel and boosting the likelihood of them sticking around.
Once in a group, today’s youth are unlikely to leave. In fact, they become the charities’ best spokespeople, spreading the world about their involvement (and the organization as a whole) to friends and families. Thus, this gives entities an ever-expanding potential for onboarding.
Showing The Impact of Support Invigorates Youth to Get Involved with Philanthropy
D’Andre Lampkin says that young people need to see the true impact of a foundation’s work before they donate their time or money. Otherwise, their mindset will likely be “if it doesn’t make a difference, what’s the point?” And that’s understandable.
Those that show the continued positive change their creating in the communities they’re aiding, increasing the chances of younger generations participating.
Including Youth in Charitable Creation
Both middle schoolers and highschoolers often feel an overwhelming sense of powerlessness in their lives. They’re on their way to being young adults, yet they’re unable to make many important decisions for themselves.
D’Andre Lampkin explains that giving them ownership over philanthropic processes can alter this perspective and allow them to see that charity is a way for them to make their mark. A member of Fox Foundation‘s junior board, Sarah Saltzman, said it best — involvement at the creation stage “gives us a sense of control over the impact we’re having.”
Youth Involvement in Philanthropy: The Ticket to Improved Communities Now and In the Future
Organizations that adapt to changing demographics will find unbelievable success attracting the youth of today to their doors now and going forward. Programs should tap into this generation’s desire of equality, passion, community, and diversity to lower barriers to entry and let young people make a difference.