Five Ways to Engage Millennials in Corporate Giving

Five Ways to Engage Millennials in Corporate Giving

By Vitiello Communications Group

Last week, Mark Zuckerberg became the face of philanthropy when he and his wife pledged to donate 99 percent of their financial worth over their lifetime. In an announcement that came shortly after the birth of their first child, the Zuckerbergs said that they would use the money “to advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation.”

While some pundits are criticizing Zuckerberg’s generosity, one thing is clear: millennials believe in donating their time and money to the causes that matter most to them. According to a recent Millennial Impact Report, millennials are more influenced by their peers than their supervisors when considering what charitable organization to support. And, more than 75 percent of those surveyed said they are more likely to volunteer when they can use a specific skill or expertise.

Business leaders need to heed this seismic shift away from the I-Gave-at-the-Office mentality. Gone are the days of using the traditional top-down approach for corporate giving programs. Instead, managers need to involve millennials in the development of their organization’s philanthropic strategy. Here are five ways to get started:

  1. Let your people lead. Offer employees the opportunity to set your company’s giving agenda. In lieu of holiday presents, Vitiello Communications Group (VTLO) made a donation in honor of the people on its team to a charity of their choice. Earlier in the year, our team created and deployed VTLO’s own volunteer program, 25 Points of Light.
  2. Incorporate technology. Crowdsourcing sites––such as––are a testament to the impact Smartphones and other electronic devices are having on millennial giving.
  3. Designate a companywide Volunteer Day. Then, let your employees pick the organization they want to help. Expedia Inc. sponsors a Global Day of Caring, which gives 14,000 employees around the world the chance to make a difference by volunteering at a local charity. The VTLO team chose November 13, National Kindness Day, to run a company-wide activity to address hunger in the communities where we live and work.
  4. Harness expertise. Skills-based volunteer programs such as Points of Light or Hands on Network enable organizations to match employee skills with a non-profit organization that can benefit from their talent.
  5. Engage ambassadors. Despite millennials’ likelihood to become involved in philanthropic causes, they still may need motivation. That’s where employee ambassadors come in to play. These individuals can energize employees to take the first step to do a world of good.

To learn more about engaging employee ambassadors, download VTLO’s white paper, Bringing Power to Your People: How to Create a Dynamic Employee Ambassador Program.

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