Reaching Out to Millennials to Experience Rotary

With only 11% of Rotary members under age 40, the future of many clubs may depend on their success in inviting millennials to experience Rotary. Worldwide, there are about two billion millennials — variously defined, but identified by the U.S. Census Bureau as people born between 1982 and 2000.
As millennials become the dominant demographic in our communities, the rest of us strive to better understand them in order to improve our relationships in the workplace and beyond. For Rotary, the millennial era could mean an influx of young, energetic members. The bottom line: they have a great deal to offer Rotary.
Having grown up in a time of rapid change, head-spinning technological advances, and expanding access to the world, Millennials are uniquely equipped to keep pace with global trends and to meet community needs. They are also generous and willing to volunteer. According to the Case Foundation’s 2015 Millennial Impact Research Report, 84% of survey respondents had made a charitable donation the previous year, and 70% had spent time volunteering. So how can you make your club more appealing to millennials?
Millennials cite three factors that are important to members of their generation.
LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES In the Impact Research Report, 77% of respondents said they would be more likely to volunteer if their talents and expertise could be used for a purposeful cause.
AFFORDABILITY Many millennials find that many clubs are simply too expensive. They are at an age where they are just beginning their careers, which means they don’t make much money. They also are starting families and buying homes. Millennials’ disposable income is minimal.
FAMILY ENGAGEMENT Involving millennials’ families in club activities is crucial for them. They like to share their experiences with others. 
The Pew Research Center has found that millennials do tend to share certain traits. A 2014 report characterized them as “unattached to organized politics and religion, linked by social media, burdened by debt, distrustful of people, in no rush to marry—and optimistic about the future.” Millennials are also the most ethnically diverse age group and the first generation of digital natives. And, yes, more than half of them have shared a selfie.