Non Profit Leadership: The Next Generation

by Emily Yancey

At ABBA we have noticed an up and coming trend as we meet up with local community leaders: how young they are! In fact, more often than not we see young adults, particularly single and under 30, stepping up in the community as non profit leaders.

What spawns this trend one might wonder? Why are recent grads and those young in their career drawn to a job that often ensures less pay? Here are a few of my thoughts, and I’d love to hear about your experiences:

Purpose is Priority

For many young adults, or Millennials as the culture refers to them, it is more rewarding to work for a cause they believe in rather than an extra dollar. Though many have the education and skill potential to progress in a corporate environment, many feel so strongly about their particular passion that they are willing to make the sacrifice.

Rewards are Heartfelt

Often times in the nonprofit sector, there is tangible fruit to be had for the labor. Whether it be helping someone in need or building a community garden, the rewards are often motivation enough to keep these leaders going, whereas a corporate job might see a different kind of progress over time.

They Follow Their Passion

Statistics have shown that this generation of young adults is less afraid of risk, and many will switch careers up to 15 times in their life. This is starkly different from Baby Boomer generation who raised them, and rarely made career shifts. On one hand, one could say Millennials feel more entitled to enjoy what they do as they were well provided for from their hard working parents. Yet on the same coin, many watched their parents day after day work at jobs they did not love-and they wanted something different for themselves.

Whatever the reasons might be, we are excited at the work being done by young adults and inspired by their choice to make a difference in their careers.

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