Millennials: A Generation Hungry To Help

Millennials: A Generation Hungry To Help
1 year, 5 months ago 3
Posted in: Blog

With six Charitable Scholars funded and on assignment, this dream of connecting students interested in humanitarian work with nonprofits and common causes in need is becoming a reality.

Hopefully, at least six more will be assigned soon. Our goal for 2013 is to have 18 on the job.

That will provide a critical mass of Scholars alumni. It is hoped they will stay in touch and become an entity unto themselves as a network, mentors to more and engaged and giving humanitarians. There will be reunions and celebrations, possible service projects.

But a dozen or two is just a start. Our dream is to connect hundreds of students with nonprofits in need. It will happen. I have no doubts. I am fearless in my confidence of that.

You see, this is a generation hungry to help. It’s also a generation in need of support to meet the rising financial strains of college. And there are plenty of nonprofits who need help, too.

Today’s college students grew up with the images of wars, 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. But they did not hide under their desks in fear. They went to work. Volunteer rates for ages 16-24 doubled in the 90s through the 2000s, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that oversees Americorps and other programs. Three in five 18-24 year olds surveyed by the Harvard University Institute of Politics said they were interested in public service.

But this is a generation burdened with school expenses. Today’s college students will graduate with an average student loan debt of $26,500. Half face unemployment when they get out of school. The nonprofit sector is underfunded and understaffed, but there’s work to be done in 1 million agencies (100,000 in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana) that represent 10 percent of the U.S. workforce and growing.

A generation hungry to help, in need of support, connecting with nonprofits who need their talents and passion.

It’s a win-win-win.

To win more, Charitable Scholars will need funding to sustain and grow to connect more students to learn and lend a hand to benefit worthy causes.

We are working with lawyers and CPA friends on the paperwork needed for 501c3 tax status, which will allow Charitable Words to apply for grants and donor funding for its Charitable Scholars program. We hope that will be a reality in a few months.

(Update: March 2014: It’s been more than a year now. The IRS says there are no red flags holding up the application. Just a backlog.  We’re patiently optimistic).

Meanwhile, Charitable Scholars: Thanks for the good and important work you do. Host agencies, thanks for nurturing and mentoring them and all that you do for so many in need.

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3 Responses

  1. [...] Today’s college students will graduate with an average student loan debt of $26,500. Half face unemployment when they get out of school. The nonprofit sector is underfunded and understaffed, but there’s [...]

  2. […] Millennials want to do work that matters and makes an impact.  They want to be part of a community or team…as they came of age, the environmental movement was going mainstream; pioneering social entrepreneurs were popularizing the idea of “doing well by doing good,” with forerunners like Ben and Jerry’s popularizing a new ethic of corporate social responsibility. At the same time the excesses of Wall Street and the dot-com boom, the mentality of “greed is good,” turned many of them off. They observed their parents working harder and harder, spending less quality time at home with the family, in order to afford bigger houses, three cars and all the accoutrements of success.” […]

  3. […] few weeks ago, Charitable Words blogged about “Millennials: A Generation Hungry to Help,” noting that current college students (including our three) “grew up with images of 9/11 and […]