Yes& General

Membership Dilemma: Reaching Gen Z

Lara Mandell

A new generation has arrived, and it’s time to welcome them into the workplace. They’re socially conscious, creative, want their voices to be heard, and love a good bargain. If you haven’t guessed it by now, we’re talking about Gen Z.

Associations are beginning to shift their focus to targeting members of Gen Z. Members of Gen Z are finishing up their time in higher education. Now they’re beginning to enter their careers and explore the different paths they can take. They are searching for the best learning opportunities, the best networking, and the strongest professional development path.

As associations are scrambling to connect with the next generation of members, they should consider the unique perspectives Gen Z can bring to the workplace. Associations can accomplish this by partnering with colleges to activate the next generation of members while they are finishing their time in higher education.

Offer career development and learning opportunities.
It’s time to bring Gen Z into the fold. Associations can learn from this generation by inviting them to participate in the conversation while they are still in college and share their voices regarding what matters to them. By offering internship programs and partnering with students in higher education, you can provide mentorship for the next generation, while also working towards building a pipeline of potential members.

Be authentic.
Gen Z wants to be part of an organization, or a community rather, with shared values. They are loyal to their beliefs and can easily detect if you aren’t being true to your organization's mission. They value advocacy and activism, and aren’t afraid to hold organizations accountable if they aren’t upholding their beliefs.

Take advantage of social media.
Gen Z’s virtual content consumption and creation is unlike other generations. Associations can use social media as a resource for Gen Z to find information quickly about the company culture, recent news, and available internships and full-time positions. Start by exploring and getting involved in new channels and testing out different marketing tactics to reach and engage Gen Z.

Gen Z can help fill in gaps of learning, networking, and connections that many have lost due to the pandemic. Gen Z is ready to have their voices be heard—and it is an opportunity your association does not want to miss.

Yes& is the Washington, DC-based marketing agency that brings commercial, association, and government clients the unlimited power of “&” – using a full suite of branding, digital, event, marketing, public relations, and creative capabilities to deliver meaningful and measurable results.

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Lara Mandell
Lara Mandell
Marketing Intern