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Intergenerational Engagement. A Meeting of the Minds VCM Annual Retreat April 4, 2008. Overview. Generations: The Challenge of a Lifetime for your Nonprofit (Peter Brinckerhoff) Do you understand generational differences? Can you address generational differences?

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Intergenerational Engagement

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intergenerational engagement

Intergenerational Engagement

A Meeting of the Minds

VCM Annual Retreat

April 4, 2008

  • Generations: The Challenge of a Lifetime for your Nonprofit (Peter Brinckerhoff)
  • Do you understand generational differences?
  • Can you address generational differences?
  • Are you being left in the dust by generational differences?
five generations
Five Generations
  • Greatest Generation (1901-1924)
  • Silent Generation (1925-1945)
  • Baby Boomers (1946-1962)
  • Gen X (1963-1980)
  • Gen@, Gen Y, Millenials (1981 – 2002)
greatest generation 84
Greatest Generation (84+)
  • Group size: 20 million
  • Greatest tech event: rural electrification, commercial radio
  • Emphasis: tradition; helping others; being part of a large-scale, valuable change
silent generation 63 83
Silent Generation (63-83)
  • Group size: 30 million
  • Greatest tech event: private auto ownership; use of early office machines; mass industrialization
  • Emphasis: tradition, loyalty to a key issue, value of joint work ethic
boomers 46 62
Boomers (46-62)
  • Group size: 80 million
  • Greatest tech event: Television
  • Emphasis: their value to team, your need for them; their ability to improve services; young/cool workplace; public recognition; they can change the world
gen x 28 45
Gen X (28-45)
  • Group size: 45 million
  • Greatest tech event: PC and cable
  • Emphasis: their value to the work of the org; value of independent thinking; work-life balance
gen@ 6 27
Gen@ (6-27)
  • Group size: 75 million
  • Greatest tech event: everything is on the internet
  • Emphasis: the good that they can do with their peers; challenge of doing good in the community and doing it well; need for new perspectives and ideas
four big impacts
Four Big Impacts
  • Boomers Coming in the Door
  • Boomers Going Out the Door
  • Whatever Happened to GenX and Gen@
  • Unintended Consequences
a balancing act
A Balancing Act
  • Boomers are currently the focus of most products, services, systems
  • If we ignore GenX and Gen@, they’ll go on without (in spite of) us:
    • They move and act in groups (power in numbers)
    • They will check you out online first (what will they see?)
    • They will ask their peers second (what will they hear?)
    • Then they may come to you directly…
  • So what will our community look like when Boomers are gone?
trends that matter
Trends that Matter
  • Financial Stress
  • Technological Acceleration
  • Diversity of Population
  • Redefining the Family
  • MeBranding
  • Work-Life Balance
what is this mebranding
What is this “MeBranding?”
  • The desire to have services and products delivered in the exact, unique way that an individual wants them.
    • MeVolunteering
    • MeBenefits
    • MeServices
    • MeScheduling
    • Etc…
six big actions
Six Big Actions
  • Include generational issues in planning
  • Mentor and discuss among generations
  • Target market by generation
  • Age down
  • Meet techspectations
  • Ask
from a volunteer standpoint
From a Volunteer Standpoint
  • Organizations need to bridge the great divide of generations
  • Boomers and Gen@ are the focus, but very different
  • Most orgs are designed to meet needs of Boomers
  • To engage Gen@, consider these strategies:
    • Ramp up your web site
    • Create volunteer opps that suit them
      • Move in groups
      • Believe in opinions of peers
  • Generations: The Challenge of Lifetime for your Nonprofit (Brinckerhoff)


  • Generations at Work: Managing the Clash of Veterans, Boomers, Xers and Nexters in Your Workplace (Zemke, Raines, Filipczak)
  • Geeks and Geezers: How Era, Values and Defining Moments Shape Leaders (Bennis, Thomas)