Young Association Members: Myths vs. Facts

image of young worker scratching head

“The greatest asset our country has is not oil or gold,
but the minds of our young people.” – Irving Fradkin

This generation is sure to determine the future of associations, making the participation of young professionals critical to the vitality and longevity of member-based organizations. So how do you take advantage of this demographic shift to attract young professionals to your association?

Developing a SWOT Analysis doesn’t have to be complicated.
Download How to Create an Association SWOT Analysis to get started.

Myths & Facts:

Myth: Millennials are “Generation Me,” the self-centered generation.

Fact: Nothing can be further from the truth. Young professionals volunteer more than any previous generation. A recent survey showed that 47% of Millennials had volunteered in the past month.

Myth: Young professionals are not willing to join or take an active role in an association.

Fact: They’re willing, but participation needs to be a win-win; it must benefit others as well as benefit them personally. In order for survival, associations must learn to reach young professionals and adapt to their culture.

image of torn paper with monday motivation5 Simple Concepts to Engage Young Professionals

    1. Younger generations care about causes and want to be involved
    2. Focus on what you can do to help young professionals succeed
    3. Stay in tune with issues they are facing
    4. Provide a path to leadership
    5. Don’t delay recognition


Engaging with young professionals is important because they are energizing, creative, and innovative. They delight in making positive systemic and organizational change.

Which begs the question: Can you afford not to engage them?

Face the young professional challenge head-on.
Download The Changing Membership Landscape for 10 tactics.


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