Mobilizing Millennials

June 30, 2012

Can you guess the average age of a member of The Nature Conservancy?  65.

Now, take a gander at guessing the average age of a new member of TNC.  62!

Last question…and this is the kicker: what percent of TNC’s members are under the age of 40?  A paltry 5%.

We won’t blame you if you say, “Houston, we have a problem.” Who will be doing the work 20 years from now of protecting our bedrock environmental laws?

Membership rolls, especially among younger demographics, have been shrinking at many environmental nonprofits. Communications and development staff are struggling to engage new generations that consume information and interact with causes differently from their parents. At the same time, savvy corporations are selling their products and ideas with completely different, but entirely relevant, techniques and having no trouble garnering the loyalty of young consumers. They are masters at shaping consumer trends and shifting public opinion. They understand the latest cognitive research—and are tracking new revelations about how the brain works, and how we make decisions.

This spring Resource Media made presentations to several foundations who are trying to think ahead to how this will affect their investments. In our Mobilizing Millennials presentation, we discuss the most important takeaways for the environmental community and explain how these insights will help us to reel in the biggest generation in American history, the Millennials, to our causes and sustain the environmental movement over the long haul.

Liz Banse