Though they may be too young to be viable donors or join your board of directors, teenagers still have a lot to contribute to the nonprofit sector. If your volunteer roster consists of even a few teens, you should be looking for creative way to utilize and learn from them.
Have questions about Twitter, Instagram, or Google+? Today’s teens know more about social media than any other generation. Ask for a quick lesson or simply observe your in-house social media genius in action.
It’s no surprise that teens are on the cutting-edge of technology: 92% of them go online every day according to a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center. The online survey sampled almost 1,100 teens, ages 13 to 17 (Sept 25-Oct. 9, 2014 and Feb. 10-Mar. 16, 2015).
Some other interesting findings from the Teens, Social Media & Technology Overview 2015:
- Once is Rarely Enough – More than 50% of those surveyed go online several times a day. 24% said they are online constantly.
- Smartphones Rule – Nearly three quarters of teens have access to Smartphones.
- Facebook is King – The most popular platforms in this sample are Facebook and Instagram (71% and 52%, respectively). Four in 10 teens use Snapchat.
- The More the Merrier – The majority of teens use more than one social network. Girls are likely to use all of them.
- Girls = Visuals – Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr are used far more by girls than boys. Male teens tend to favor Facebook (and video games).
Teens may have preferences, but they still diversify their online communication. They use multiple devices, platforms, and apps. Consider their flexibility and adaptability when creating or modifying your social media strategy.
And they are not just socializing online but also learning “21st Century Skills” like communication, creativity, collaboration, and leadership abilities according to a report from Social Media Week.
So, be sure to keep this group on your radar, as social media might just be grooming teens of today to become tomorrow’s quintessential nonprofit employee.
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About the Author: Aloma Arter is a Media and Professional Communications graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and a writer for New Place Collaborations, LLC. A reformed fashion addict, she now spends her time writing, walking her dog, beating her grandmother at Scrabble, and seeking awesome adventures.