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Knowledge Share #18: Engaging the Millennial Generation

by Sara Littlejohn, former Development Officer at Hope House

Millennials, those ages 18-35, are often praised for being well-educated, technologically savvy and active community members. They are often criticized for being entitled and unwilling to settle down at a job for longer than an average of 13 months.

The fact is that by 2020, millennials will make up 50% of the U.S. workforce; by 2030, they will make up 75% of the global workforce. So, the question is not IF we begin engaging the millennial generation but WHEN and HOW do we do engage them effectively?

What we have learned at Hope House is that millennials want to engage with organizations in three ways:

  1. Through their time. Millennials want to volunteer and are attracted to companies that incorporate volunteering into their employee culture.
  2. Through their talents. Millennials want to engage beyond the surface… in ways that allow them to utilize their education, passion and gifts.
  3. Through their treasure. The average one-time gift from a millennial is $238. They prefer to give online, through monthly giving programs, crowdfunding, corporate matches and through hosting beneficiary events for the causes they embrace.

We have also learned that millennials check the “About Us” section on organizational websites, looking for clearly defined goals, values and impact (either locally or globally). Once they find an organization that aligns with their core values, they tend to jump “all in.” Their involvement with causes they support becomes part of who they are… and they often share their experiences with their families, friends and co-workers.

At Hope House, we established a young professionals network called Hope House Young Professionals (HHYP) in 2014 to partner with the growing millennial population. The group is made of career-minded individuals who want to spread the word about Hope House in fun, innovative ways and help empower teen moms on their journey toward self-sufficiency.

This group engages with Hope House in a variety of ways, including:

Social Events – to establish community (we have an upcoming Christmas formal).
Happy Hours – to provide networking opportunities (often at a local brewery).
Volunteer projects for Hope House – to offer a tangible way to give back (recently this group worked on the landscape at our Residential house).
Fundraising –  to provide a way to financially invest (primarily through monthly giving, crowdfunding and beneficiary events).

This year alone, HHYP will:

1. Engage over 100 millennials, including Hope House graduates.
2. Enjoy a 50% retention rate from prior year.
3. Raise $10,000 for Hope House of Colorado’s self-sufficiency programs.
While we are continuing to grow and evolve, our focus will remain the same: partnering with the millennial generation to serve as many teen moms as possible in our community as they work to break the cycle of poverty for generations to come!



Meet Hope House Graduate Jamie Goad!

Jamie is a Hope House grad, mom to her two young children Darrien and Arayah, and owns her own business. Somehow she also finds time to remain involved with Hope House in her spare time!

Jamie recently served as the guest speaker at a HHYP event called Back-to-School Summer Bash, which featured happy hour and a school supply drive.  Jamie took the stage and shared her story of becoming a teen mom and the obstacles she faced – and how Hope House empowered her.

We have found that when our own teen moms advocate for Hope House, our millennial supporters are able to see how their involvement is making a real difference in their very own community – a powerful tool for engaging our millennials!

For more information and data on engaging the millennial generation:

The Pew Research Center:

Abilia Fundraising Solutions – “Demystifying Millennial Donors” Report:

21/64 – Philanthropy Consulting:

Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy:

Resource Generation:

NextGen Donors:

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Blog Archives

January 2018

Organizational Growth Cycles: Stages that Lead to a Mature Nonprofit - 01/23/2018

November 2017

Knowledge Share #19: Creating Unity: The Power of Mealtime - 11/20/2017

October 2017

Knowledge Share #18: The Power of Networking - 10/12/2017

September 2017

Knowledge Share #18: Engaging the Millennial Generation - 09/19/2017

August 2017

Knowledge Share #17: When the Dream Seems Too Big - 08/17/2017

July 2017

Knowledge Share #16: Personalized Learning - The Cornerstone of our GED Program - 07/18/2017

June 2017

Knowledge Share #15: Special Needs and Special Moms - 06/08/2017

April 2017

Knowledge Share #14: Creating Connections through Children - 04/18/2017

March 2017

Knowledge Share #13: Managing Volunteers: Benjamin Franklin had it right! - 03/13/2017

February 2017

Knowledge Share #12: Advocacy and Self-Sufficiency: Finding the Balance - 02/14/2017

January 2017

Knowledge Share #11: Effective PR and Spot On Communications - 01/18/2017

November 2016

Knowledge Share #10: I Walk the Line: Creating Deep Connections While Maintaining Professional Boundaries - 11/15/2016

September 2016

Knowledge Share #9: "Fundraising for Non-Profits: An Insider's Perspective" - 09/22/2016

August 2016

Knowledge Share #8: Breaking Out of Poverty - 08/18/2016

July 2016

Knowledge Share #7: Creating a Home - 07/11/2016

June 2016

Knowledge Share #6: The Power of Mindset - 06/14/2016

May 2016

Knowledge Share #5: College or Bust! - 05/17/2016

April 2016

Knowledge Share #4:Understanding Addiction - 04/07/2016

March 2016

Knowledge Share #3:Mentoring Empowers Teen Moms - 03/21/2016

February 2016

Knowledge Share #2: Healthy Relationships - 02/11/2016

January 2016

Knowledge Share #1: Brain Development - 01/12/2016

December 2015

Teen Mom Barrier #8: Communicating the Barriers - 12/16/2015

October 2015

Teen Mom Barrier #7: Homelessness - 10/09/2015

July 2015


June 2015

Teen Mom Barrier Number #5: Domestic Violence - 06/03/2015

May 2015

Teen Mom Barrier # 4 The Challenges of College - 05/12/2015

April 2015

Teen Mom Barrier #3: The Unexpected Bill: Car Repair, Doctor's Visit, Broken Pipe - 04/03/2015

February 2015

Teen Mom Barrier #2: Childcare - 02/18/2015

January 2015

Teen Mom Barrier #1: Society's Negative Expectations - 01/26/2015

December 2014

Teen Mom Misconception #7: Teen Moms Are Completely Self-Absorbed - 12/29/2014

October 2014

Teen Mom Misconception #6: Teen moms drop out of school because they want to - 10/31/2014

September 2014

Teen Mom Misconceptions #5: Success is Impossible - 09/22/2014

July 2014

Misconception #4: Shaming Teen Moms is an Effective Approach - 07/22/2014

June 2014

Misconception #3: Mentoring Teen Moms is Complicated - 06/05/2014

May 2014

Because they want someone to love them? - 05/21/2014

April 2014

Teen Moms - A Persecuted Population? - 04/22/2014

March 2014

Connecting across the Continents: Teen Moms and the People Who Love Them - 03/18/2014

February 2014

Can you break out of poverty with a vocabulary of just 900 words? - 02/17/2014

January 2014

Community - 01/20/2014

December 2013

8 Pennies - 12/18/2013

November 2013

"The most courageous young women I know." - 11/14/2013

September 2013

Our Graduates: In their hands, they hold the future! - 09/30/2013

August 2013

The Cliff Effect and Other Perils on the Journey to Self-Sufficiency - 08/30/2013

July 2013

Breaking the Cycle: Do Poor Teens Have to Become Poor Adults? - 07/30/2013

June 2013

Measuring the Intangible - 06/15/2013

May 2013

Grown-Up Mom - 05/01/2013


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