It is an exciting time for volunteer-based organizations. Recent research from the Corporation for National & Community Service indicates that volunteering remains strong in the United States. Last year, 62.8 million people volunteered over 7.9 billion hours.
The news is even better for schools and parent-teacher organizations that rely heavily on parent volunteers thanks to the rise of the Millennial parents.
Today, 48% of K-5 parents are Millennials (aged 18-34). About one if four Millennials is a parent already, and in the next ten to fifteen years Millennials will be introducing 9,000 new additions per day. So why is this important to those in schools who manage volunteers?
Maria Bailey, the author of Millennial Moms, says there are three big reasons why Millennial moms are going to LOVE to be involved in your next school function.
- Millennial Moms LOVE Education: Thanks to their baby boomer parents, they developed a value for education and it is one that they want to replicate and share with their children.
- Millennial Moms LOVE Volunteering: Almost 90% of all Millennials had to graduate from high school doing volunteer hours, so they have a real respect for giving back. Their schools give them an opportunity and an outlet to volunteer.
- Millennial Moms LOVE Brands with Heritage: Schools in most communities have been around a long time. They have a lot of heritage in many cases. It is entirely possible that a good percentage of Millennial moms and dads may have attended the same schools their children now attend.
Scholastic, the world largest children’s publisher that is in nearly every kindergarten to 8th-grade school performed an extensive study of more than 2,000 K-5 moms that had volunteered in their child’s school over the past two years.
Here is a snapshot of the findings:
- Nearly 6 out of 10 moms that did not volunteer at school said they were never asked to volunteer. Nonprofit organizations indicated they had similar findings.
- When asked how volunteers like to be recognized for their efforts, they simply wanted to know how their time served directly benefited their child, their child’s classroom, and the school.
- They take lots of photos and share their experiences on social media. All social impact events that involve millennial volunteers must offer “shareable moments”.
Volunteers are critical to the success of many school programs. Volunteers are an essential component to creating a culture of compassionate giving in schools and at home. Even school volunteer coordinators that feel that they have things “under control,” should encourage parents to come in and volunteer even if they are just spending quality time in their child’s classroom or sharing lunch with their child. Their experience will help them develop a deeper bond with their child’s teacher and their child will love that they are there with them at school.