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Hawai‘i Nonprofits Try Youth Boards

ITU Pictures / Flickr
ITU Pictures / Flickr
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Some of Hawaii’s biggest nonprofits are using a new way to fundraise and groom future leaders — youth boards.  Pacific Business News Editor in Chief A. Kam Napier has more. 

Millennials aged 18 to 34 this year became the largest share of the U.S. workforce.  It’s definitely a group businesses and non-profits alike want to tap into as both customers and future leaders.  Our reporter Eleni Gill spoke with four non-profits that have taken as interesting approach – they’ve created youth boards, in parallel to their regular boards.

Aloha United Way for example – A 72-member “society of young leaders” has, since 2007, raised more than $280,000 and contributed nearly 26,000 hours of volunteer work.  The “SYL”, formed a decade ago, was one of the first such auxiliary groups formed in Hawaii.

The Chamber of Commerce – Hawaii’s “Young Professionals” group is just four years old, but already had more than 200 members.  They benefit from networking with each other from a series of events at which they get some mentoring from established business leaders.  They also get a say in the chambers evolution – The head of the Young Professionals Group also sits on the chambers regular board.

At Hawaii Opera Theatre, A new 10-Member advisory board of young executives, called “Gen-Hot”, helps extend the nonprofits marketing to a new generation of opera fans.  It also supports the organization financially with a $500 a year commitment and the creation of new events.

These and other non-profits we spoke to say they’re also benefiting from the digital-native savvy of these younger members. 

A. Kam Napier is the editor-in-chief of Pacific Business News.
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