3 Things to Focus on When Developing Gen Z Fundraising Talent
By 2025, Generation Z (people born roughly between 1997 and 2009) will make up around 27% of the workforce. So, whether you currently have Gen Zers on your fundraising and development team or not, now is a great time to think about what these professionals will need to be successful, because chances are you’ll be hiring some soon.
This starts with considering what Gen Z does well already and where they have room to grow. Like anyone just entering the workforce, there’s a lot Gen Z professionals can learn from more experienced members of your team, and vice versa. To help you support Gen Zers joining your nonprofit, here are a few key learning areas to focus on.
Gen Z professionals tend to be highly tech-savvy with a keen understanding of social media. After all, they grew up on the internet. Teaching them how to apply these skills in the fundraising space can be incredibly powerful—and that starts with helping them understand the value of networking.
While social media is a great tool for raising widespread awareness, one-to-one relationship-building efforts are just as important, especially in fundraising. Focus on teaching fresh Gen Z talent how to use platforms like LinkedIn to network, make useful connections, and nurture relationships—and let them teach you a few tricks of the social media trade in the process.
Gen Z is often called the most connected generation, but research shows it’s also the most lonely. While Gen Z professionals have grown up in a hyper-connected world, they may also strive to build deeper connections with those around them, so be sure to emphasize and foster collaboration in your teams.
As a generation that has been exposed to a greater variety of perspectives and viewpoints online, Gen Z tends to readily embrace different ideas, which can make for more innovative, strategic fundraising teams. By focusing on developing everyone’s collaboration skills, you can build an unstoppable team.
Gen Z is a values-driven group. This generation is deeply social conscious and wants to make the world a better place, which may be what attracted your new Gen Z fundraising talent to join your organization in the first place. Teaching these emerging professionals to channel their passion for change into how they communicate will help them become exceptional fundraisers.
To do that, focus on developing their storytelling skills. How can they tell the story of your nonprofit and its work in a way that resonates with other Gen Z professionals and those beyond their generation? With this skill under their belt, they can lead with their values and easily connect with people who share them.
Support, develop, retain
As Gen Z starts to enter the workforce in greater numbers, having a plan in place to support these professionals’ growth and development can lead to more engaged, satisfied, and productive employees who want to stay with your organization for the long haul. But no matter what generation they belong to, all employees can benefit from a robust learning and development strategy.
Our Nonprofit Learning Solutions can help. To find out more, contact our team.
This post was inspired by the LinkedIn Sales Blog article “How to Develop Gen Z Sales Talent,” authored by Cherilynn Castleman.