NPC Chair Carole J. Jones identified six trends arising from generational change that will provide new challenges to our organizations’ ability to attract new members and retain volunteers.
- Financial stress: Tuition costs continue their steep rise. Students will need to borrow more for educational expenses as their parents are unable to fully pay the costs. As a result, financial obligations will remain an obstacle to sorority membership.
- Diversity: The racial and ethnic makeup of college students is rapidly changing.
The good news is women continue to outnumber men in incoming freshman classes. The expected increase in students of color provides opportunities to broaden the appeal of sorority membership.
- Technological acceleration: Our expectations for and use of technology will continue to grow. Yet members of each generation view technology with different utility. NPC and our member organizations must recognize each generation’s technological needs and preferences and identify where we can use technology to our benefit.
- The redefined family: The definition of family continues to change, with more divorces, remarriages, single parenting and same-sex relationships. Families also are more mobile. These changing family dynamics will affect the behavior and needs of our members as well as impact our ability to attract and retain volunteers.
- “Me” branding: Many Gen Z students have put personal brand building into overdrive. The expression of their personal identities is central to the world in which they live. They harness social media to build an online brand to help them get that first job or prove their potential worth to employers.
Still, this generation came of age during the Great Recession and have already faced life’s setbacks. Many care about social causes, but they might express their passion differently. Rather than joining organizations, they often first turn to the digital world to promote change.
- Changes in work/life balance: Baby boomers are rethinking their “work, work, work” mentality as they grow older, while younger generations say “no way” to working 24/7. Knowledge workers want to work remotely, a trend enabled by technology. These changes impact what we ask of volunteers and challenge us to create meaningful, rewarding volunteer experiences.