by John Trybus, Managing Director

Kyle Taylor has literally crisscrossed the globe observing, documenting and advancing the cause of youth development. From Vietnam to Tanzania and everywhere in between, this social strategist has traveled to more than 12 countries in the past year alone.

I first heard about Kyle because of his work with Ashoka’s Youth Venture, an organization that strives to “plant that seed of social change in young people,” as Kyle puts it. As Youth Venture’s youth ambassador, Kyle took to the road for a year to see how young people were creating their own socially benefiting organizations.

“The older you get the more jaded you are to how successful something can be, how far something can go…what’s really possible. But with young people there’s none of that doubt and there’s a lot more positive energy and level of hope,” Kyle explains in the interview.

But how do you engage with young people in an effective way?

“I think there’s this big myth that young people can’t have an ordinary conversation, like they’re almost inept. [But] when you work with young people they are an open book,” Kyle counters.

“The key thing to remember is [engagement] has to be local, it has to be relatable, and it has to be an asking instead of a telling culture.”

Kyle currently serves as the manager of business development for Australia’s Inspired Adventures, an innovative organization that works with charities to create trips for donors to directly see – and interact with – the projects their money helps to support.

“It’s about delivering the hard cash, at one element, but it’s also about educating donors in a more comprehensive way about what the organization does,” he says.

This donor engagement model has created brand evangelists along the way, and Kyle speaks about how some of the trips have done just that.

“That level of intimacy and level of positive communication [when supporters visit projects] you cannot buy. Those people now go back to Australia [and] are 18 new ambassadors for your cause,” says Kyle.

Listen to my interview with Kyle Taylor to learn more about his suggestions for engaging young people and donors around causes in sustainable and inspiring ways.