According to Australian census data, only 30% of millennials have undertaken voluntary work in the past 12 months. Meanwhile, the property-hoarding Baby Boomer and GenX parents are leading the charge of goodwill, with more than 40% of them donating their time. So, for a generation that is so passionate, so ethical, and so driven by purpose, why aren’t they volunteering?
Millennials Don’t Work That Way
The standard volunteering model is still based on the very same career model that Millennials are leaving in droves: turn up, do a job, go home, come back and repeat indefinitely. It’s a model that works for Boomers and some GenXs, but like it or not, Millennials aren’t comfortable committing to a long-term working arrangement for their career, let alone pro bono work!
Millennials Are Changing The World Differently
Millennials are driven by purpose, which means that their behaviours and values are often contrasting with those of GenX and Boomers. The rise of Thankyou and Who Gives a Crap are a testament to the fact that millennials (and others) will choose to pay extra to social enterprises instead of donating to charities. With the line between “work” and “life” getting blurrier by the day, too, millennials have insisted that their jobs and careers become more meaningful: if you’re going to be expected to answer emails at 10pm, at least make it for a worthwhile cause! But the point remains: despite having a genuinely benevolent outlook, Millennials still aren’t finding the time to volunteer*.
The Model is Outdated for Millennials
Millennials want to “change the world”, but what does that mean? Small actions like choosing to buy ethically, donating to a charity, or volunteering your time every weekend are just as important as large actions like dedicating your life to a cause like Nelson Mandela, Susan B. Anthony, and Eddie Mabo did. Millennials, unfortunately, do not necessarily have the time or desire to change the world on a grandiose scale, nor do they have the time or desire to commit to long-term “small change” projects such as routine community service. So what do we do? We have all this intent to do good, but no vehicle with which to turn that intent into action….
Vollie: A Solution for the Millennial Mindset
As students and professionals, Millennials are used to having access to more information today than a U.S. President or Australian Prime Minister would have had 20 years ago. The capability to perform to a high level and connect with almost anyone around the world has made Millennials an enviable asset to the workforce, and the skills and expertise that they can bring to volunteering is no exception. Vollie is an online platform that recognises the capabilities of Millennials and provides exclusive volunteer opportunities for users to donate their time and expertise to. Our platform also acts as a volunteer matching service, with a variety of projects from different volunteer organisations that suit different skillsets and causes that our users may be passionate about.
Can I Just Keep Buying Recycled Toilet Paper?
We’re here as an addition to the world of volunteering and social enterprise, not a replacement. Vollie may not be for you, and that’s ok, we’re not for everyone. If buying ethically and donating to a charity is easier for you, then keep doing it. If you love doorknocking to collect money or heading out into the country to plant more trees, then keep doing it. If you’re not satisfied with how you can make the world a better place, however, then sign up to Vollie and see if it’s right for you.
Change. Your Way.
*In an interesting twist, Millennials are outperforming all other generations in community volunteering efforts.