Millennial workers drawn to causes, study finds

  • Article by: Jean Hopfensperger
  • Star Tribune
  • September 1, 2014 - 5:37 PM

Volunteer and giving opportunities can help companies attract workers in their 20s and 30s, a new survey finds.

Fifty-five percent of the millennials surveyed said their company’s “cause work” influenced their decision to take a job. Nearly 40 percent researched a company’s volunteer and giving programs before they even got dressed up for the interview.

The results come from the 2014 Millennial Impact Report by Achieve, an Indianapolis-based fundraising agency. It is based on interviews with 1,500 workers ages 20 to 34 at 300 U.S. companies.

Learning what motivates these community-minded workers is important, the report said. “Forward-thinking companies are looking at the future of corporate social responsibility and how employee cause work, company-branded volunteering and pro bono programs … can play a role.”

“For a company desiring to build a culture that resonates with this growing demographic of current and future employees, leveraging their passions is crucial.”

Among its findings:

• 63 percent of female employees said they were motivated to take a job by company giving programs, compared with 45 percent of the men. In researching job options, 42 percent of the women said company volunteer and giving policies were a factor.

• 78 percent of millennial employees preferred volunteering on projects with co-workers, as opposed to doing so alone. And they prefer to work with co-workers from their department, rather than with employees they don’t know.

• Millennials prefer working on volunteer team projects to donating cash to a companywide giving campaign.

• 88 percent said they donated to a nonprofit in 2013, with 28 percent giving $100 to $500.

The study found that the top three factors that motivated millennial employees to apply for their jobs were: 1) what the company specifically does, sells or produces; 2) the company’s work culture, and 3) the company’s involvement with causes.


Jean Hopfensperger • 612 673-4511

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