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Why the Next Generation is Creating Disruptive Change in the Not-for-Profit World

Heather Turnbull, of Turnbull Consulting Group and co-facilitator of Think Camp 2016, spoke with one of our experienced panelists, Daniel Francavilla. As a seasoned Not-for-Profit professional, Daniel reveals (below) why the next generation is creating disruptive change in Not-for-Profit world.

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With virtually every organization these days obsessing over the youth talent pool, not-for-profits face particularly stiff competition– but not from the usual sources.

As one of the two featured panelists at SB Partners' Think Camp 2016, Daniel Francavilla discovered that today’s under 30’s – keen to drive “meaningful change” – are bypassing the traditional NGOs in favour of starting their own charities. It’s no snub to the establishment, but rather a natural evolution toward the heady cocktail of inspiration and social entrepreneurship.

Born out of his very personal experience as a student volunteer in the Dominican Republic, Francavilla founded “ACCESS” (Allowing Children a Chance at Education with School Supplies) Charity. What began as a debrief distillation of his encounters with youth in that country, he quickly formed a revolutionary, social entrepreneurial response to assisting all young people globally – a journey ten years in the making.

“I share my story to help inspire and motivate youth to not only start but continue their projects. These students have found their inspiration and have their talents and skills to apply to a cause, paired with their interests”, says Daniel. This thinking reinforces a healthy dose of autonomy, especially in decision-making and overall leadership.

Combined with his self-described activist and entrepreneurial talents at the Now Creative Group agency, Daniel makes the case for greater flexibility and accessibility by ‘traditional’ Not-for-Profits in their courting of young professionals, including making room for more collaboration on new ideas and approaches for fundraising, campaigns, and events.

“To remain competitive and popular in a highly consumerist, self-obsessed and media/celebrity focused world, the Not-for-Profit sector should focus on offering more options to engage with a younger demographic, rather than simply the ‘Make a Donation’ or occasionally ‘Signup to Volunteer’ approach.”

What is required, Francavilla advocates, are the “right social media platforms, user-friendly application processes, and impactful, meaningful content” to engage this next generation of talent. If your Not-for-Profit organization isn’t regenerating, making these investments in youth engagement, just how will it compete successfully for ‘share of heart and wallet’? In our current climate of abundant choice, the length of any attention span for your message is as short as the flip of an App.

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