Integrate with Important Causes

Holiday Lesson in Speaking Millennial 101: Breathe a Daily Dose of Contribution

Tis the season! Though most holidays lessons surround consumerism, including the inane Black Friday extravaganzas, and fighting with family, it is also the season of volunteering, charity work, and giving.  We call it Contribution

And with those themes in mind, it was is important to once again defend the next generation and remind business leaders of one of the most under appreciated Millennial traits: their need to give back: Contribution.

You may not know it, but Millennials are big on donating both their time and their money.

In 2013, 60% of Millennials donated in some way and on average supported three charities. In terms of donations, Millennials donated on average almost $500 that year.

And remember, this is the generation with the worst financial prospects in recent history. Yet, Millennials are finding ways to give on top of student loans, stagnant wages, and rising costs of living.

Not only that, they truly believe their time, effort, and money will make a difference. According to the 2017 Millennial Impact Study,  70% believe they can affect positive change in the world.

Though Millennials want to assume the responsibility of fixing the world, they know they can’t do it alone. And that comes through in their approach to employers and their brands. They push hard and demand their Contribution efforts to be supported by both their employer and the brands they love.  And if hey don’t Millennials jump ship, and quickly, and with their friends. And that my friends cost businesses big bucks.

Millennials Need their Employers and Brands to Join Them in Contribution

Millennial’s believe they can change the world through their actions and they want their employers and favorite brands  to feel just as passionately and act socially conscious through yes,: Contribution.

The Harris Interactive study discussed above showed that 55% of Millennials said that a brand’s CSR reputation  sometimes affects (34%) or has a strong effect (17%) on their decision to make a purchase. Another study found that a staggering 80% of Millennials wanted to work for a company that cares about how it impacts and contributes to society.

Making the connection between Millennial’s emphasis on feeling engaged at work and their desire for their work to be meaningful, companies have increased their investment for developing and increasing their CSR policies in an effort to attract Millennials as professional talent and consumers.

How Brands and Employers can Meet the need for Millennial Contribution

Employers and brands can’t just talk-the-talk when it comes to CSR:  Millennials and Gen Z expect concrete and authentic examples of ways that companies and brands are thinking about the environment and their communities.

And this is a great thing! There are several different ways to get your brand involved with nonprofits and provide the opportunities to give that Millennials love.

Become a Corporate Partner
Becoming a corporate partner with a non-profit is a total win-win. With a partnership in place, your employees will have far easier time knowing how and when they can help, a big barrier to volunteering for 45% of Millennials. And for the non-profit, it means a bit more stability, resources, and visibility, all which help them further their mission.

Organize Team Building Around Giving
Happy hour isn’t the only team building activity out there. Encouraging and supporting volunteer groups is a great way of getting people spending time with each other outside of the office. Whether co-workers form their own giving coalition or it is a once a year get together, helping others is a great environment for bonding with colleagues.

Get them Involved
Millennials don’t just want to give money.  They want to be part of the change and actually feel they made a difference.  They measure themselves based on that giving and it means something real to them.  Provide them with opportunities to lead through direct impact and the doing.  They want to become leaders in Contribution.  They need to be able to have a tangible relationship with Contribution that is derived from an experience.  Make sure your Contribution plans include real experiences they can touch and feel and are memorable (video and social media won’t hurt) and make sure they are authentic and transparent.

Integrate with Important Causes
Whether you are a company like Intel that can donate 141 million dollars to energy conservation projects or a small coffee shop offering free coffee for a bucket of plastic picked up off the beach, there a thousands creative ways that you can integrate giving into your business model. Pick a cause that matches well with your company and begin brainstorming what you can do everyday to support your cause.

Millennials want to be engaged in meaningful work that impacts and they want to see, hear feel, and taste that they are impacting the world in a positive way.  Integrating giving, volunteering and outreach opportunities is a great way to provide a sense of working for a greater cause in the office.  By the way, please let them lead that charge they will not let you down.

And plus, a workplace where everyone is focused on helping other makes for a pretty stellar work environment.