Our communities could not run without the work of charities. However many important charities face the decline of members, member-aging problems, and the need for more young people to join their organisations. This research project sets out to increase the awareness and support of charity organisations by New Zealand’s Generation-Y. This group born 1980-1996, are the face of the future. Charitable organisations need the participation and input from this sector as much as social engagement is an essential part of community identity for Gen-Y.
This project aims to develop a new online platform that will draw together the work of charitable organisations with the vision and energy of Generation Y. As Fine (2008) has noted “Generation Y’s are fascinating for how they work (collaboratively); what they believe (that they can make the world a better place); and how they are living (immersed in causes)” (p. 22), although “their passion and skills combined with their digital dexterity create challenges for more traditional non-profit organisations” (p. 22).
From observing the traits of Generation-Y it is apparent that organisations are missing key strategies to engage Generation-Y in their services via digital spaces such as web and social networking. These challenges are a result of; the generation gaps causing differences in knowledge, values, priorities and visions; traditional methods of operations; and top down hierarchical dictatorship of when and how volunteers can participate. These challenges mean many young New Zealanders restrain from being a part of many charity organisations.
This project proposes that communication design can be used to create a new online platform to increase the appeal and support for charity organisations by New Zealand’s Generation-Y in this digital age. The space will be built by engaging contemporary social media, communication, dissemination and collaboration components. The development of this platform will draw on research through design methods supported by contextual and precedent research.
Fine, A. (2008, August 21). It’s Time to Focus on a New Generation. Chronicle of Philanthropy, p. 22.