Gen Y . . . empathetic or pathetic?

Pollster John Zogby reports that that Gen Y is engaging like no other generation before it. They’re eager to change the system and protect people in developing nations from unfair economic systems that leave them in poverty.

But aren’t they just a generation of slackers?

Gen Y “discovered” Myspace, Facebook and Twitter. Their tunnel vision doesn’t extend beyond their monitor as they make tiresome observations about the latest pizza they ate or the way their romantic relationship ended . . . even though it never really got beyond email. Not so fast. That was Gen X. But seriously . . . that may be true for a small portion of Gen Y. But we shouldn’t write off the whole generation. In an article about Zogby’s research, Jeffrey Jensen Arnett reports that “this is a generation who is volunteering in record numbers for organizations like the Peace Corps, Americorps, and Teach for America.” Why? Because they consider themselves global citizens. They don’t have to be sold on helping the starving child in Darfur because they already believe she’s their neighbor.

But will they give money?

Yes, if you choose to authentically engage them in what they can do now. Will you give them meaningful opportunities to volunteer, advocate and use their unique talents to transform the world? That way, when their income catches up to their heart, they’ll be willing to give it away as well. Then, they’ll truly be donors for life.

We want to hear from you.

What’s your experience? How have you seen the passion of Gen Y in action in your organization? How are you making them donors for life? Let’s start the conversation.