The Pros and Cons of Engaging Young Volunteers

What are the pros and cons of engaging young volunteers?Does your nonprofit organization work with high school-age volunteers? What about even younger kids? For some groups, younger volunteers are a great fit, while for others they might create too much additional work and complication.

We thought we’d kick off this debate by listing some of the pros and cons of engaging young volunteers in nonprofit work. Take a look, let us know what you think, and join the debate here, on LinkedIn or on Facebook!

Pros of Engaging Young Volunteers

Cons of Engaging Young Volunteers

They are really passionate about the causes they care about.With school and extra-curricular activities, their availability may be limited.
They are very socially oriented – so they’ll bring their friends!There is a risk their social natures might distract them from the work at hand as they spend time with their friends.
Their youthful energy can be contagious, infusing existing supporters with new “oomph.”Since they can’t drive, they probably have a curfew and they might need a chaperone, they won’t have as flexible a schedule or as much freedom to move around as an adult volunteer.
The young ones who need chaperones will bring their parents along, increasing your community of adult supporters, as well.Their lives are changing very quickly, and it might be tough for them to commit long term to helping out.
If you get the connected in a meaningful way now, you can engage them for the long haul and turn them into super-volunteers, champions and donors as they get older.

Obviously this list will be a little different for each organization. What do YOU think – what are the pros and cons of engaging young volunteers?

(Photo from Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco.)