• David Mancuso
    David Mancuso
  • 10

Understanding Millennials – The first step to growing The Hamilton Rotary Club’s Membership

A current lag in Rotary membership is due, in part, to the lack of Millennials joining service clubs in numbers great enough to help support ongoing projects. We must find ways to draw Millennials to what we have to offer. Operating programs supported by our Rotary Club requires membership and volunteers to staff and run our fundraisers and local projects. Without membership growth from the millennial population of Hamilton, there will not be large enough support for our service commitments and fundraising projects in the coming years.

The Millennial Mindset

  • Millennials were born between 1980 and 2005.
  • They are the first generation to grow up with the internet at their fingertips, giving them access to a world only dreamed of several decades ago.
  • Millennials are slated to overcome the numbers of baby boomers as the largest living generation by the end of 2015.
  • Millennials are technologically savvy and accustomed to electronic media of every kind. Don’t leave a message on their home voice mail, if they even have a landline, they won’t pay any attention to it. However, if you send them a text or post to their Facebook or Twitter account, you can expect a response very quickly as they are 56% more likely to find content through social networks, and they want content directed to their interests.
  • Millennials are often thought to be a selfish group but eighty-seven percent give to charity, which is a higher number than the generations that preceded them.
  • Millennials are eager to join and give their time and resources to not for profits and charities, so the issue is not their willingness but an issue of getting their attention with a cause that resonates with them. This is good news for our Club.
  • One thing that Millennials don’t have as much of as past generations is money but what they lack in funds they are more than willing to give in time. In order to get a commitment from them, though, you will need to build a relationship with and feed their interests. Find out what their preferred method of communication is so that you can contact them to inform them of events.

What can Millennials bring to the Rotary Club of the Hamilton?

  • Fresh ideas about the direction and future of the Rotary Club and the methods necessary to draw their peers through social media will be needed for continued growth. The best way for us to recruit Millennials is with Millennials.
  • Appeal to the passions that are held by Millennials and you will get their attention. If the projects are hands on, service oriented, and a benefit to Hamilton, getting their buy-in into the program will be much easier, as they find satisfaction in giving back.
  • Millennials are aware that older generations have much to teach them, and are willing students if you take the time to communicate with them, get to know them, and learn their perspectives.

The Survival of our Rotary Club Depends on New Members

  • The challenge of new membership is not exclusive to Rotary clubs, all service clubs are vying for new members. If we align our message with issues that appeal to this generation, we will be able to draw new members from their numbers.
  • They are hesitant to make commitments, therefore, new ways to involve them without annual memberships will need to be found in order to get and hold their interest in Rotary’s causes.

What we can do to grow our membership?

The way to overcome any challenge is to understand the obstacles and this group must be targeted where they live, which is online. An appeal for their help with Rotary’s causes that align with their own will influence their mindset and help gain membership.

Understanding what motivates Millennials and how to communicate with them will bridge the gap between their need to do good and the opportunity that Rotary provides for them to do just that. It will connect them with established business leaders and aid Rotary’s need for fresh blood and new ideas into the future, while offering them the mentorship and guidance that many of them seek.

David Mancuso

David Mancuso

David James Mancuso has been a proud member of the Rotary Club of Hamilton, Ohio since 2002. He was sponsored by the late Denny Walsh, who convinced him that he needed to be a Hamilton Rotarian.