Rethinking "Young Leadership"
A lot of organizations have young leadership groups or membership categories. The purpose of these is to educate people and engage folks about the organization when they are starting off in their careers and lives and allow them to become members or make donations at levels that are appropriate for their stage of life. The hope is that as they progress their involvement and capacity will increase. The cut off for young leadership divisions is usually 35, or in some cases 40, because when these groups were conceptualized between 35-40 most people were settled in their chosen professions and well along their way to successful careers.
Fast forward to the world we live in today. Most couples with graduate level or beyond education levels are not even finishing school and getting married until their late twenties for women and early to mid-thirties for men.
It follows that we need to either rethink the classifications for our young leader groups and expand them until 45 years old or we need to offer a category in between young leader and regular giving or membership expectations.
If we don’t, we run the risk of having people disengage after they pass the young leadership cut-off point. As we know from the for- and nonprofit worlds, it is much more difficult to get a new customer/member/ donor than it is to keep an existing one.