Nonprofit Radio for February 7, 2022: Influencing Young America To Act

Derrick Feldmann: Influencing Young America To Act

Derrick Feldmann returns to discuss the takeaways of this study, revealing the causes, actions and influences that move young Americans.



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[00:00:10.04] spk_0:
Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti

[00:00:12.93] spk_1:
non profit

[00:00:13.60] spk_0:

[00:01:47.34] spk_1:
big nonprofit ideas for the The other 95%,, I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh I’m glad you’re with me, I’d come down with paraphernalia MMA if you lit a candle to the idea that you missed this week’s show, influencing young America to act. Derrick Feldmann returns to discuss the takeaways of this study, revealing the causes, actions and influences that move young americans On Tony’s take two. Thank you for indulging me. We’re sponsored by Turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c O What a pleasure to welcome back after uh probably too long. Too long a hiatus. Derrick Feldmann, he is a sought after speaker, researcher and advisor for causes and companies on social movements and issue engagement. He leads the research team for influencing young America to act The study of how young adults 18-30 are influenced by and influence others to support social issues and movements. It’s that study that brings him back to nonprofit radio he’s at Derrick Feldmann two Rs and two ends. Well there’s two es also but they’re not these are not co located there, they’re spread across these two names. Eric welcome back to nonprofit radio

[00:01:49.64] spk_2:
tony thanks so much, I appreciate that on the name. You know the two Rs and two ends can throw a lot of people quite honestly,

[00:01:55.54] spk_1:
yes, I don’t want listeners following the wrong Derrick Feldmann, he’s whoever he is. Uh

[00:02:11.04] spk_2:
well you would be shocked there is another one and my mom will ever this person actually, there is a Derrick Feldmann, that is a very well recognized medical professional in europe actually. And so um my mom every once in a while asked me if I’m into medicine,

[00:02:19.21] spk_1:
so she wishes all these years, Why didn’t you be a doctor?

[00:02:25.11] spk_2:

[00:02:28.05] spk_1:
Could have been better than him.

[00:02:30.15] spk_2:
Exactly. My

[00:02:37.24] spk_1:
son, he could have been a doctor. Alright. Chosen entrepreneurship. Alright. Um congratulations on the study. I know you do this annually. Congratulations on the 2021 study coming out.

[00:02:43.34] spk_2:
Yeah, absolutely. I actually, we do this four times a year and the one that we’re gonna be talking about today is sort of a compilation and including the last one in this in December, which is 2021. So yeah, thank you.

[00:02:56.07] spk_1:
You do it seasonally. You’ve got spring, summer, fall and winter.

[00:03:04.94] spk_2:
We do actually. That was born out of the Covid times. We were, we were um We were doing a lot of quantum qual during when COVID in March 2020 and we just sort of stayed with it to be quite honest. It changed a lot of our research approach.

[00:03:35.74] spk_1:
All right, so let’s let’s go to the study. Um I don’t know, it must be the New Year or something and I’m feeling generous with guests. Usually I’m very dictatorial, We’re gonna talk about this and then this and then that and then I’ll give you a chance then if there’s time, what would doug guests like to talk about? But I don’t know, maybe like I said, maybe it’s a new year. I don’t know what you you’re immersed in this, you’re the lead researcher, what’s your headline for the for the study?

[00:06:00.24] spk_2:
Uh you know, I of course have the chance to look at across the whole year. So while there’s some good stuff at the end of the year, I think the number one thing that we are seeing is and I I I have to unfortunately be the bad bearer of news at times around these moments. These issues and movements that say started the pandemic have really sort of lessened a little bit in their participation and interest. And I don’t say that just because of because of our december data, but I say that looking across from 2020 20, and two where we are today. And so things like social justice or racial justice, those have decreased the participation in our panels in general. And I mentioned this a lot in um the upfront of this year’s sort of compilation report which is around moments that we have in general and that once these moments go away maintaining engagement still is a hard thing to do. It’s still is and if you look at in in in this kind of study versus all the other studies I’ve led in the past, we always look at the influences to one’s behavior, right? So it’s not just what did somebody do, but who told you what influenced you? How’d you get there as well? And it follows the cultural media, popular culture narratives and developments that happen in society. And I think this is really really important for movement leaders and and cause leaders, C E. O. S and um even brands that are working on social issues is, you know, if you’re dedicated to your issue, which all of them are, you know, what are you going to do when you’re not in the headlines and when you’re not upfront and everything else? And that’s the hardest part, especially with an audience that’s very digitally native, very engaged in media and so forth. So I think that that was probably, you know, one of the things that I’ve continued, we’ve continued to track and kind of see. Um one other, one other thing to that we I think it’s important to understand one social issue engagement in context with all the other things that they do. I see. And you know, I I’ve been a researcher focusing on young people now for 15 years and I’ll see studies that talk about young adults.

[00:06:03.51] spk_1:
You’ve been doing this work since you were 12,

[00:08:19.94] spk_2:
practically right. Um you know, when we look at these studies today, I’ll often find an organization would come to me and say we did our own research on what young americans want or something. And we found out that they’re really interested in our programs? We found out that they’re really interested in these kinds of things and so forth. And I asked them, I said I want you to share with me your questions and when they share those questions with me Tony I see as if we’re asking about social issues in a complete vacuum constantly and the person who takes those surveys will consistently say the ideal state. We always do that. That’s the ideal, right? That’s the path of least resistance are our brain goes into. And one of the things that’s very apparent in our studies is that we move beyond just social issues and triangulate that with other things that are really going on. And I will say this over the since we’ve started tracking things heavier and deeper when we started this research project four or five years ago to where we are now. And even through the pandemic, there is one consistent rising issue in addition to their social issues and that’s mental health and it has not slowed. It has increased over time, not only because our panels and are individuals who are in them are affected, but they know a lot of peers and young people who are also affected. And I I think this is important because we all want as leaders, everybody to do everything for us and with us in some way, shape or form that’s the constituency side. Let’s get everybody active for the issue help our beneficiaries and so forth. But what happens when the constituents are also challenged with many other things? And where does our issues sit in that? And I think we have to recognize the challenges, especially if you’re working with younger demographics like 18 to 30 year old, the challenges that they face in addition to the desires that you want them to to hopefully perform. And so we did a special call out in this one because it’s just been consistently concerning and rising not only as just being affected by it, but also one that they see should be addressed as well as a larger social issue within America. So I, I bring those 23 points to to hear because I think it’s it’s a time we must recognize that as leaders as well.

[00:09:30.04] spk_1:
And we’re going to talk some about the mental health issue, how it’s how it’s evolved and how consistent it’s been. Um, I think bearing out your, your first point about moments and shifts in shifts in interest. I thought very interesting Across 2021, um, animal rights, spring summer and fall, We’re the # one issue of interest. But then in winter they dropped off. They weren’t even one through three and, and civil rights took the place of of number one in the, in the winter, but but also interesting in that is that, you know, all three of those are our, well, the concern for others just shifted from animals to in the first three quarters to two people in the, in the fourth quarter, but also civil, but civil rights Was civil rights remained in the top three all year. It’s just in the fourth quarter it became the number one, the number one area of interest, but civil rights was the only one that was throughout the whole year.

[00:11:49.64] spk_2:
Exactly, exactly. Now I will say what’s interesting Tony in addition to civil rights and we were shocked about animals. If you actually look at 2022 now, animals and animal rights is always no matter how we randomly, by the way, we randomize the list for every person that’s taking it and our panels were like, there’s no way animal rights is gonna come out and it’s surely it does every, every single time. So I want to go back to something that we started to see, I will say probably latter part of 2020 into the, into 2021 and but it shifted a little bit further now and that is, is that a lot of the social issues that they were being engaged with were very personal issues as well. Um, in 2020 and into 2021, we would consistently see things like wages, jobs, employment issues that they were wanted, that where they were going with it, health, by the way, healthcare and premiums and health in general has always been an issue of interest And um, and into 2021, it was kind of there, but not it was, you’re seeing the top three, but it was in the top 45 and six. And she’s kind of hovering around there and when we see civil rights and those kinds of pieces coming in, we’re always looking for were there moments as well and that was kind of going back to that there would be maybe heightened things that occurred in moments or that there was something in the media, there was something that in culture that was also happening. Um, but what’s, what’s intriguing about, say, a gun safety or gun rights coming in there are the conversations, is, is that some of those will be momentarily types pieces when I think about it, I look at it and say, what are the things that that young americans are personally being affected by and how has that changed? And when I see things like healthcare still getting in there and wages and employment in the top five and six, that’s an issue when I look at things in which that they may personally, but also just social issues in general, animals, civil rights and sort of the gun space tends to be consistent over the last couple of years and it wavers now in october Climate was in the top five, but again, I only listen to the top three

[00:11:53.98] spk_1:
climate was I was gonna, I was gonna ask about climate, where where’s because I’m, you know, I’m seeing the top three in the,

[00:12:01.56] spk_2:
in the report,

[00:12:02.31] spk_1:
where’s where’s where’s climate change? The climate crisis?

[00:12:05.24] spk_2:
Because yeah, the expectation would be this population is very interested in reminder

[00:12:11.31] spk_1:
Reminder. Listen, we’re talking about 18-30 year olds, exactly. They’re gonna be around blowing, they’re gonna be around a long time.

[00:12:26.84] spk_2:
And you know, I was at cop 26. So we, and by the way, every quarter besides our regular battery of questions that we have, we asked, um, questions that are most likely going to happen or moments and things that are gonna happen in that quarter. So in october when we fielded, we focused on climate. So for anybody who’s in the environmental space, make sure you look at the, the october release of last year. So in preparation for cop 26

[00:12:43.94] spk_1:
my folks went top 20, let us know cop 26 there in

[00:15:11.14] spk_2:
slider Yeah. The Global Conference on Climate, Yeah. It’s technically called the Conference of Parties, but you can go back to what that all means in general later. But essentially, everybody got together in Glasgow to talk about the commitments that were made out of paris and then commitments forward and where the country is really stood and and there’s a lot of policy and a lot of other things that need to occur. So in preparation our partners and others asked us to make that October one focused on climate and the environment and climate and the environment throughout the year has always been and maybe it’s it’s always in the top 10, sometimes it’ll pull in the top five in the top five, but never in the top three, it’s always five or six. And so forth. The assumption is, and this is something that I talked about actually in in I was referencing climate as well as many other issues at times that sometimes the media narrative about very active young americans generalizes the general population’s perceptions of what young americans are really involved in. Right. And so when we see that, and this is the same thing that happens in maybe high states of polarization where you have the pro and the anti side there, you know, voices become louder and louder even though their numbers may not be as loud in general too, because, you know, we we actually did research for an organization that’s involved in the gun space and the thunder. And one of the things that were quite shocked about is they didn’t know things they didn’t know the individuals from March for our lives and in the climate space, they didn’t know Greta thunberg either. But there’s an assumption because our media kind of takes that perception that they’re young people being incredible movement leaders, therefore they’re garnering people involved and they are, but that population tends to be those that are active already. So they’re not skewing the rest of the data consistently. So what you end up having and this is what we have in climate in ours is we have a large swath of young people sitting in kind of this middle position, which are not necessarily incredibly overly active, but they’re, they’re what I would call probably more their climate conscious, but they’re not climate active and they’re, and they’re sitting there and that’s what happens on these issues when they sometimes rise to the media attention that they get, is is it doesn’t necessarily equate to participation, but we perceive it is because we’ll see a march rally or protest and assume that that’s what all young people believe.

[00:15:18.94] spk_1:
Yeah, right? There’s a, there’s a bias around the moment

[00:15:22.44] spk_2:

[00:15:23.05] spk_1:
because it’s now it’s now it’s in our, it’s in our ken it’s been brought to us. So, you know, it’s an enormous moment, not reflecting the larger context over time. Alright.

[00:15:40.04] spk_2:
And, and in climate is one of those that consistently is in the top 5-10, but it, but it hasn’t even in october it barely made it into the top. So our top five. So I would say that if you’re getting national representative samples really spending time making sure that you have a good set subset of the american population, you’re gonna realize some of this stuff happens this way.

[00:17:01.64] spk_1:
It’s time for a break. Turn to communications thought leadership, do you or your nonprofit want to not only participate in conversations around your work, but lead them lead the public dialogue. Wouldn’t it be fulfilling to have media call you to get your opinion on breaking news. It takes time to learn that credibility, no doubt. But turn to, can get you started and can get you there. Thought leadership, turn to communications, your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o Now back to influencing young America to act you, you focus too on actions that, That the uh, 18 to 30 year old set take. And I see signing a petition is very common. That’s a, that’s sort of an easy, that’s a pretty light lift action to take. But it’s pretty consistently and in, uh, it’s pretty consistently number one, at least in 22 and 2021. It was

[00:17:10.24] spk_2:
so, so

[00:17:11.26] spk_1:
signing petition, you know, it’s very likely you can get somebody to do that.

[00:18:05.14] spk_2:
And we, and we have to think about this. And I mentioned the phrase, the path of least resistance. We have to recognize our brain is an economic system, right? It’s always, I’m gonna do the least to get the most in general. Right? And so if I was to say to you Tony, you know what, I know you care about this. I want you now to go out and volunteer 30 hours a month, are you in your brain is gonna be like, well how can I do something, but maybe not go that far? That’s, that’s their model of our head and how it works. I always enjoy saying, well, we wanted, I hear young people want to be on board and I’m like, I can show you the national panels that that’s not the case. You might have very active young people are surrounding yourselves, clouding that perception and judgment. So that might be the case, but the vast majority are not ready to be on your boards and nor are they asking too in general.

[00:18:38.74] spk_1:
You see, there’s the bias. Again, we have to be aware that it’s very hard to overcome this. What we see is not representative of what’s happening nationwide. It’s just, it’s just, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s in our face. So we think, you know, we, we see a car crash and all of a sudden, you know, we elevate the likelihood of of ourselves being in a car crash we see and we see a tragic airline disaster and all of a sudden, you know, the risk of flying on a plane rises in our minds, but, but it’s still, uh, exponentially safer than driving a car. Exactly. It’s, it’s very hard to overcome the bias of what you don’t, I forget. I have a book called alternative interpretations of data based conclusions college, but it’s still on my rival hypotheses. So there’s a name for this, but it’s like consciousness bias or something. What exactly that, Is that what it is? Okay, Okay,

[00:19:02.74] spk_2:
well, and, and tony here’s the interesting thing because, um, I’m often invited to speak, you know, you know, I’ll go to a board or something, you know, big organization, big brand

[00:19:08.85] spk_1:
that’s in your, it’s in your bio, you start after, it must be true.

[00:19:20.34] spk_2:
It is, it is. And and what’s interesting about that is I’ll often get the um, I know all young and I’m like, oh even starting out, starting out, I can’t

[00:19:26.08] spk_1:
even agree with your premise, let alone your

[00:21:27.34] spk_2:
Question. And you’re always going to hear me say according to our sample, according to because even though we have a representative samples constantly, you know, we’re fielding literally in this moment, Tony is supposed to end in about 15-20 minutes after we get off the call. Like I’m going to look at that my team will too and be like, here’s what this sample is recording as well. And I think when you look at our action because I want to get back to this because this is very key, especially for organizations that desires say funds, they desire heavier volunteerism, high expectation enrolls from young people. They are interested in those there is no doubt and so is the american public. Everybody is right. Are empathetic desire that’s coded within our brains to is saying you should that’s a good, you should be doing that as well. But we don’t start there. We usually ease into it after we overcome the path of least resistance and I talked about this a lot in both my book and some other stuff that we’ve done, which is that the first part of engagement is historically the path of least resistance. Where the brain says you should stand up for this or do something because it’s wrong, right? It conflicts with values and beliefs signing a petition is that way right? It’s telling the brain is saying at least you put your name to something, you can at least be honored in that way. Right? Then the second part of that really kind of comes down to that you see others who believe like you and are a part of it. And that is where peer engagement is very, very key because they don’t create relationships with the organization, they create organisms, they create relationships with the others and people around in the community, the movements, the constituency and so forth. Once we get some past some of that, then we start to get into heavier and deeper engagement and so on. But organizations really love to circumvent all of that and go right to the front and for some reason. And this is sort of my little uh um challenge to those that have an opinion around small passive acts because signing a petition

[00:21:29.21] spk_1:
to the collectivism argument

[00:21:56.14] spk_2:
and I have heard every argument about it and I always, when I’m sitting there listening content, li about it, I often say to them, it may not mean anything to you, but it means a whole hell of a lot to the person doing it. And it is a step in many steps to get involved. You should take that as an invitation to do more and and not expect that people have to be a donor immediately in order to be relevant within the organization because they don’t do it that way. They think any action I do for you. You you value it and you believe it’s important and you’re inclusive with it. And that is super key that we have to reinforce.

[00:22:42.34] spk_1:
Yeah, that’s very good looking at it from from the perspective of the person who took the action that was requested. Look, you asked me to do something and I did it. You know, I’m committed, I’m committed, you know, exactly in their mind, I’m committed to the cause. Now, all right. Now, if you want to convert that into volunteer time or come to come to a march or donate, you know, that those things are possible. But in the person’s mind, they’re they’ve they’ve they’ve taken a commit, they’ve made a commitment to the organization. And, and now it’s up to the organization. If you want to try to leverage that beyond, you know, beyond what some considered, uh, an insignificant act.

[00:23:28.04] spk_2:
And that’s the hard part. Right? So, I mean, that’s the hard part of digital marketers engagement and constituency managers who have to and sometimes I find haven’t done the hard work to take somebody who raises their hand and says, yeah, I align with you petitions are alignment, right? Yeah. It allows you to pick somebody out of a crowd and say these people align with the belief that we shared. So it’s our job now to develop the journey, go through it and so forth. But I find we spend so much energy in the intrigue awareness phase of many campaign efforts that we fought, and it’s like, oh, you know, that’s the wind. And I’m like, no, no, no, no. That was just successful to get to the wind, which will be later. That was the moment their milestone.

[00:24:26.54] spk_1:
I see a lot of interest in uh, I’m I’m not I don’t think I’m using the the uh the caption that you use the type. But I see a lot of interesting human rights, you know, Black Lives Matter, um, a woman’s choice, um uh housing, mental health, mental health, This is sort of transitioning into what, you know, you talked about at the outset. Um, I see a lot of interest in human rights and and I consider mental health and treatment for mental health, of course, you know, a basic human right? So I see a lot of interest there, I was gonna say sympathy, but, you know, you’re a researcher, so you might not like the word sympathy, but I see a lot of interest in basic human rights

[00:25:56.84] spk_2:
throughout, and I will say that if you pick up any of our reports, you’re not going to be shocked by seeing any of that, it’s consistent and it’s not just with this, your others. And what’s interesting too is that our social issues become our political issues and political issues become our social issues consistently and it’s not just in this year’s throughout right. If you were to look at and in the report, we talked about, what do you think needs to be in the biden plan that he proposed, which is to build back better or what was even asked what’s missing or what was necessary. And the things you mentioned are always kind of not just in this. I mean that was the one set question that we asked in the fall, but we’re always asking the question, what do you think the country needs to focus on? And they tend to be the same social issues and political issues around the human rights, the condition in which that the person isn’t right, mental health, affordability, employment, and wages, because these are the things that they see themselves when they see their peers also challenged with in general. Um and we have to remember the 18 to 24 year old, right, this will be your older gen z um and versus your 25 to 30 year old, which is in our sample. So we got both young millennials and older gen Z ers in here. Alright, if you look at wage, you look at all the other challenges that they’re dealing with in the formative years which includes now having for those 25 to 30 year olds, now having to pay for health care or hopefully getting it subsidized to companies for the 18 to 24 year old jobs wages, employment college.

[00:26:02.08] spk_1:
These, these folks graduated in the pandemic.

[00:26:48.54] spk_2:
Exactly, exactly. So again, this is one of those where I’m often saying, we have to understand the contextual, social, cultural, economical and political setting in which the person is taking this questions these questions from us because social issues don’t live in the vacuum and they become our issues, they become our politics, they become our values and our beliefs and so you’re going to see that thread consistently and someone said to me, I love, you know, we, we share this with them, I’d love to see all the social issues, like I got everything in there, from medical research to health care to you name it, because if we say, well, no, that’s a political issue I’ll say. But you’re not looking at it from their perspective, in their perspective, they see these as issues affecting them and there are places that they can go to to address it,

[00:27:07.74] spk_1:
let’s dive in a little more to the, your mental health findings. Um you know, you said at the outset, it’s because people have experienced their own Incident of depression or or you know, some other mental health issue or experienced it personally or they know someone who has it is it isn’t like uh is it one out of 10 is has been personally affected or know someone?

[00:27:27.34] spk_2:
Yeah, 56 actually, yeah, yeah, it’s substantive and this again was

[00:27:30.79] spk_1:
50, I’m sorry, do I, 56,

[00:27:33.04] spk_2:
56 had personally been affected or know someone who has affected 56%.

[00:27:37.10] spk_1:
So it’s over half I was

[00:28:58.64] spk_2:
confused. Okay, okay. But here’s here’s the thing that uh as I mentioned at the up front and I’ll reinforce here, which is that this has, this has been growing and it’s been consistently growing because this is not the first, we’re just now calling in a special section at the end of this year because we we we are looking at the researchers back pre pandemic. I mean we started our studies five years ago and now we’re in our fourth or 5th, 4th to 40. I’m sorry for you. We published four years ago, we started five contests a little bit of time and then um you know where we are now and it’s it’s just continuing to go up in general and I think this is something that we have to recognize and what I also find interesting because this is the first time that we asked, what do you think? Because this we sometimes never ask the people who are being affected what they think the solution should be in general. Right. So we asked them like what are the top solutions and you see here one of the top one, if you remember earlier, tony we talked about what we’re one of the issues health care premiums. One of the key things that they said, 46% of them of our sample, overall ensuring adequate mental health insurance coverage and treatment options for the uninsured and underinsured. That is, that goes to tell you something about a group of a cohort of, of a generation in the middle of a pandemic, you know, going through this and I think that that’s really key for our leaders to understand

[00:29:11.64] spk_1:
And then right behind that at 45% requiring insurance companies to cover drug and alcohol addiction treatment.

[00:29:23.84] spk_2:
Exactly courtly. That’s the fact that health and healthcare premiums were a major issue concern. Yeah.

[00:29:24.64] spk_1:
So this, this is a very compassionate group and, and has been for years as you, you know, you, so I like that, I appreciate you bringing in the larger perspective beyond you know, the year that I’m looking

[00:29:35.16] spk_2:
at this

[00:29:36.56] spk_1:
is this is uh these are, these are tender, compassionate folks.

[00:29:41.14] spk_2:
Yeah, absolutely. I well, very

[00:29:44.82] spk_1:
Uplifting to me at, at 60 years old. It’s very uplifting.

[00:32:01.94] spk_2:
I think that every generation is obviously going through their unique cultural, social political moments in which shape their values, right? And beliefs in what’s happening this generation is, you know, our younger gen z, our oldest gen, z’s are 18 to 24 year olds are getting out of high school in the middle of a pandemic going into college, you know, having these kinds of experiences that we’ve all had over the last 2 to 3 years. I think that what you are seeing here, especially in the 2021 compilation here, is that there there’s some struggles and they want, they want to help others because they’re personally affected by a lot of this stuff. And I think that if you look at this and say, well I don’t see things like other nonprofits are working on, it’s because this is the situation they’re in and that shapes one’s perception of what needs to be helped because they’re the ones also in the same camp of ones that need help in general. I’d also make another kind of comment around the compassion pieces that, you know, when we did the 10 years of the Millennial Impact project with the Case Foundation that I led that research for, we would consistently see patterns like this too, But wasn’t what was interesting in that one, although we didn’t ask things around mental health, although it would have been very nice. Now, looking back, you know, as a researcher, like it would have been great if we would have tracked that for 10 years, but we always tracked actions, participation issues and so forth. And the issues have always been somewhat similar somewhat. There’s some differences, Social justice versus civil rights were often in that sort of top three and so forth. But what hasn’t changed is sort of this desire to help their fellow appear because of them going through a situation like I remember there were 2 to 3 years the millennial impact project. This is probably studies like six years ago, seven years ago, eight years ago where it was debt getting a job and employment because they’re trying to come out if you look at it, you know, millennials are trying to, we just have retirement issues that we have a big boomer generation that still hadn’t retired. So you get forces that challenge employment and then you have millennials who are the one of the largest generations coming out of university, you know, Underemployment and then unemployment as well. Right, So these things affect when social issues and I don’t think that we’re, we’re kind of to our point throughout this conversation is that when you look at the perspective the person is going through, it’s not surprising to be seeing them say I want that person to have either what I have a little bit of or when I’m being affected by two

[00:33:57.74] spk_1:
very uplifting. It’s time for Tony’s take two. Oh, thank you for indulging me over the past several weeks, I’ve been promoting my plan giving accelerator class, the class starts this week all is well with the class very fulfilling and next week I’ll start promoting the next class through july No, that’s not true. So, but thanks for listening to plan giving accelerator commentary by me, um, I love doing the accelerator, I like seeing big robust classes and that’s why I promote it so much. I want there to be a lot of peer learning in which there always has been and there will be in this class too. So, so thank you for for that indulgence that’s all. And that is Tony’s take two. We’ve got boo koo but loads more time for influencing young America to act with Derrick Feldmann. I gotta ask about um, I’m gonna caption it preserving democracy. Does that, does that appear? It’s, it’s not in the, it’s not in the top three that, that this report talks about. But is there, is there that, and I’m aware of your admonition, you know, that’s not a political issue. It’s a, it’s a larger, there’s a larger context to to it, but does something like that appear as an as an interest, the concern about political polarization, democracy,

[00:34:39.14] spk_2:
it’s, it didn’t hit in the top. Um, I will say that we, uh, in the fall of last year, if anybody wants to take a look at our reports at the beginning, all the way up until the election um, are reported because we, we had, we were asking questions around voting, democracy, participation, civic and so forth. There’s some stuff in there, but it was isolated a little bit, but when, when it’s in, when it’s in the rest like democracy voting and other issues, the large battery to select from. It’s, it hasn’t been in the top, it hasn’t. I know,

[00:35:24.94] spk_1:
uh, you know, it’s okay. I’m, I’m not, well, I’m a little disappointed, but I’ll be all right. You know, it’s, it’s still the compassionate I dubbed them uh, I was taking my notes that the compassionate cohort. So I’m, I’m still, I’m still largely upset. Okay. Goes to the older, yeah, the the older set. Well, well, we’re working at it too. Alright. I don’t like to go too far into politics. I just, I had to get my own personal question. So what about what, what can we say for, for nonprofits that work in spaces that you and I haven’t even talked about. Uh, I suppose they work for a medical cause. Um, anything that we haven’t, you know, we haven’t, we haven’t touched on, Do I presume your advice is don’t surrender 18-30 year olds. It’s just that you’re not among their top three or five issues, but don’t surrender the cohort or or what, what is your advice? I don’t want to.

[00:39:30.82] spk_2:
Yeah, I had somebody I was thinking this is pre pandemic, big conference speaking engagement. Somebody raised their hand and said, you know, I work for a cancer support organization and basically you’re saying I’m, I’m done and I’m like, no, I’m not, no, I’m not, I, you know, we have to recognize that this is the formative years that somebody is going through and what I always say to people to is When I think about an 18 to 30 year old in their social issues is that it’s it’s like going into a big, large space with so many options to choose from and there’s so well in tuned to get to any of those options and they’ll participate here and there and so forth. But what you see here is sort of the underlying interest in general, those things change. And by the way, we know this from our research, both millennial impact project and now those things change when someone is responsible at work for other people meaning their own management, those things change when we have spouses and partners and families and people that we have to support those things change when we make more money in advance and careers and those things also change the more educated we are in general. And so what we see right now is the interest that underlying a lot of this participation with both of those cohorts that I talked about, but it but it changes, it changes over time and as we, what we do know, even when you look at say, a boomer or a greater generation, the greatest generation or others is that it starts to narrow over time, right? It’s not so big in general participation. But what I would say is is that that, you know, I look at the mental health space and I know that there are a lot of organizations that address and touch on mental health, like there’s youth empowerment and youth organizations that do address mental health in general. And I also know from the guns issue that they the gun rights issues and you know gun safety, they work in the mental health space at times too, and for those that are wanting to attract and engage an audience, I always say to is that to what end is it just because because and this is what happens with those that might be infatuated with trying to get younger demographics because they see a data point like, you know, everybody is retiring and the transfer of like all this stuff that’s in the data point section of um, an article about older people and where the money is going to go and so forth, and I say to them, well before you focus on an 18 to 30 year old, do you have a, how effective are you with a 30 to 40 year old? How effective are you with the 40-50 year old? And what I find is is that we’re always looking for the silver bullet to engage young people, but I before that every organization has to figure out if their engagement model really works and people are really engaged regardless of age. And then you have a second thing to look at that and say, okay, if this is the case and we know their participatory, they’re taking actions are doing digital actions, doing somewhat of a passive activism and some other ways they’re getting deeper involved in things. We probably have roles for those kinds of people within our community. And so let’s create those and we may focus one or two times throughout the year to target that audience to help us out. But I’m not gonna make it about them, I’m gonna connect them to our larger thing. You know, for example, if I’m an organization that wants to get attention for something that we’re doing with our beneficiaries, with our donors have come together, you know, make it around the policy policy and activism style piece and get that we’re gonna get that population to engage with many other generations on it. It’s when we start to create siloed pieces that we get ourselves a little bit in trouble or like we’ve got this young person thing over here where I’m like, well, You know, no one looks that they are not going to say I’m doing this because I’m a young person. They’re doing it because they believe and regardless if you’re 18 or 80, you can still do and believe in the same thing and perform the same actions.

[00:39:44.42] spk_1:
Thank you. Okay. So it’s an encouragement and but don’t be, you know, don’t be chasing data points.

[00:39:51.42] spk_2:
I don’t Yeah, I mean

[00:39:57.02] spk_1:
don’t have don’t have board meetings. Look, you know, there’s research that says 18-30 year olds are interested in in a piece of what we do. You know, let’s create a program.

[00:40:02.61] spk_2:

[00:40:03.48] spk_1:
stay true to where you are. Look for points of overlap.

[00:40:19.51] spk_2:
And there’s some great consultants out there that love to pick up on this thing. Like they’ll probably look at my report which I know who they are. They look at the report and say, look, we’re pretty he’s promoting young engagement. Actually, that’s not the case. I am promoting that we engage people as you should be engaging anybody, anybody. And you need to master that before you start knitting segments. Because it would be the same thing to say if I read a report and said, you know, 50 to 60 year old people from this state are going to give more. You wouldn’t say in a board meeting, let’s create a strategy to go get that. No, no, no. Like what is our overarching plan and how do how does anybody fit into that in general?

[00:41:04.81] spk_1:
Yeah. Stay. Stay true to your mission. Always take a breath, your mission, your values. You know, center those maybe some there may be some things you can learn here, but let’s not pivot based on on the influencing young America to act.

[00:42:01.80] spk_2:
Study. Alright. No, but you should say is you know what we’ve got an upcoming event, our campaign efforts. How do we create in a way that also invites them in to be participatory that’s different than saying we’re doing it for them to say. And that’s that’s where we got it. Well, that’s the strategic thinking that we need back in place. I mean I work with brands in America that you all that, you know that our youth consumer brands that this is there like they are squarely in this space. They they have to I also work with large nonprofits or global nonprofits that this is also their target audience. They don’t do work outside of this. They focus on the formative years, you know, and I’m like got it. But for those that are very big that have all generations that they are, they’re not to appeal to one or the other. I mean, who’s going to say? I appreciate, I I don’t want your money versus this money, you know, you desire to get any dollar that kind of comes in as well. Okay,

[00:42:03.70] spk_1:
let’s uh let’s leave folks. Well, first we gotta say, where do you get, where do people get the influencing young America to act?

[00:42:12.10] spk_2:
Study? Yeah, you can see all this report that you’re talking about, which is the culmination piece from 2021 as well as all of the last four years at cause and social influence dot com and dot org. Either one will bring you there

[00:42:23.24] spk_1:
cause and social influence

[00:42:25.71] spk_2:
you dot

[00:42:26.20] spk_1:
com or causing

[00:42:27.57] spk_2:
social influence

[00:42:28.43] spk_1:
dot org

[00:42:29.70] spk_2:
either way. It’ll work out, You’ll get there either way.

[00:42:32.40] spk_1:
Okay, causing social influence. Alright, yeah. Alright. Derek, what? That was pretty inspirational, you know, I’d like to end on a upbeat note, thank you. But is there anything we, we haven’t talked about that you’d like to, you’d like to mention?

[00:45:20.69] spk_2:
Um I would say one thing and we touched on a little bit and this is something that we are spending a lot of shoot Alright, tony um please pretty good. Um and that is uh and this kind of goes to the bubble that sometimes we live in in general and especially when it comes to the spaces of like who’s engaged with us, who isn’t, who’s involved and so on and the word engagement is so fluid, everybody has to define it for themselves. But and I wrote a recent article about this is that a lot of people, young americans, all americans um are kind of sitting in this a place where they need nudging, they need nudges, they need that that piece to get them involved in something. And they’re also not sitting there attending rallies that we think they are going to every protest, you know, doing all of these kinds of things that sometimes we perceive them to be that that if you look at at the end of the day, we have empathetic, compassionate, interested people in the social issues that personally affect them and the people around them. The real question becomes is how do we get past those that make the loudest noise and participate the most to get to the people that are sitting a little bit outside on the sidelines, waiting for that right moment in that right nudge. And that’s where you should be spending your time creating the campaigns and the efforts. And we have been specifically looking at, you know, and and even we’re talking about in the, in the next year to to next year, this year to um start to exclude those that are overly active. They skew the way we think about data as well. Uh you know, we’ll report on them, but say, you know those that are performing tons of actions a month is your Uber involved person. And once you throw that in there, just like you wouldn’t throw in the $100 million donor on your analysis of all the people that gave 0 to 100 it’s gonna skew things the way we look at it in general and so you have to do and be incredibly diligent to take out those that are overly involved and really center where you’re trying to go to, you’re gonna find that those people are are want to be informed, they really don’t know you, they probably have never heard about you and are looking for that moment in that nudge to probably do something that’s different than what those people who are surrounding you. Tell you.

[00:45:41.39] spk_1:
Terrific, good and great insights. Thank you, I am too. Thank you. Thank you for terrific ideas. Derrick Feldmann. He’s at Derrick Feldmann. Remember to ours to ends. Thank you very much Derek.

[00:45:42.52] spk_2:

[00:46:14.78] spk_1:
absolutely. I will. Thank you next week. We don’t have any more Derricks. We had to Derek’s in a row. No more Derricks. But how about AmY sample ward visits To talk about the 2022 nonprofit technology conference which is coming up in March. Many support visits, visits. Sounds like mr Rogers, I’m too Who writes this copy? I I need an intern so I can blame for this visit copy. It’s there. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. I do need I do need an intern to blame. We’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o.

[00:46:49.08] spk_0:
Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. The shows, social media is by Susan Chavez. Marc Silverman is our web guy. And this music is by scott stein. Yeah, thank you for the information scotty. You’re with me next week for nonprofit radio big nonprofit ideas for the The other 95% go out and be great.

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