Agency Partner session focuses on how millennials engage with charities

Millennial giving panelists from left: Jonathon Baltzell, Erin Danastacio, Zach Swartz and Stephanie Shadwick.

Millennial giving panelists from left: Jonathan Baltzell, Erin Danastacio, Zach Swartz and Stephanie Shadwick.

Several members of the millennial generation offered suggestions during a CFO agency partner seminar today on the best ways to engage and inspire them to donate their time, talents and dollars to nonprofit causes in the Ozarks.

The panel discussion was part of a broader look at national and local survey results on how millennial giving differs from the ways their parents and grandparents support charities. Some of the differences are stark and obvious – the younger generation uses social media, likes to attend events, and gives online more often because they are less likely to use a checkbook. But in other ways they are very similar to more mature donors – they still want to be inspired, want to hear their stories and want their time to be used well on volunteer efforts.

Architect Stephanie Shadwick offered a “best practice” from her experience on the young advisor’s group for the Child Advocacy Center. “They gave us a lot of room to grow and also a lot of responsibility to build the organization with a sense of empowerment and engagement.”

Erin Danastasio with American Dehydrated Foods said she appreciated when the Foundation for Springfield Public Schools queried her about what strengths and skills she felt she could offer to the board.

The panelists all agreed with Jonathon Baltzell, who works at Jack Henry & Associates, who said that when he offers to volunteer for an organization, he expects it to be well organized with clear direction and enough work for the number of volunteers.

“We want meaningful experiences and responsibility,” he said.