Future Fundraisers Show Amazing Promise

This semester, I'm teaching Technology and Marketing Trends in Fundraising at Rockhurst University through the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

I have eight of the brightest students I've ever encountered. Most have had multiple internships, and already at their tender young ages, have volunteer experience that puts me to shame.

As much as they're learning from me, I'm learning from them. For example ...

1. They love face-to-face interaction. In their papers and in person, they tell me that nothing replaces a real interaction, and they don't want it to.
2. Technology doesn't rule them. I gave them a big speech the first night about not having their faces buried in phones or laptops. Turns out they didn't need the speech -- they aren't obsessed with their phones (unlike their instructor).
3. They're savvy givers. These students won't be waiting until they hit baby-boomer age to give ... they give what they can now and hold those nonprofits to the highest ethical standards. They participate in runs, adopt children in developed countries, help local youth.
4. They've got heart. That same beautiful spirit of giving found in today's fundraisers is alive and well in this new generation.

Much is said, and written, about the apathy of millennials, their weak work ethic and flagrant sense of entitlement. It's true in many cases -- I've seen it.

But that label doesn't work on these students ... they got this.