Money talks, and with millennials representing $2.45 trillion in spending power, corporations are paying close attention to this generation’s financial interests. Having grown up with globalization and economic disruption as the norm, millennials are interested in investing towards a more equitable future for all. One recent study found that the average millennial donates nearly $600 per year to charitable causes. This social responsibility extends beyond what millennials purchase to how the companies they support are choosing to spend their profits.
Here are a few ways social enterprises can find success among millennials:
- Open up an online shop with a purpose
Millennials like supporting small businesses that are less likely to exploit their workforce or cause damage to the environment. Online stores can appeal to this demographic by weaving social responsibility into their platforms. The eyewear company Warby Parker capitalized on this trend by offering stylish yet affordable prescription eyewear and committing to donate a pair of glasses for every pair sold. They also train men and women in developing countries to perform basic eye exams and sell glasses as part of their program. Since launching in 2010, the eyeglasses company has grown from an online shop to 61 retail showrooms in the United States and Canada. The Australian family-owned company Bottle 4 Bottle has a similar business model and donates bottle of premium formula to orphaned or abandoned children in need for every lotion or spray tan bottle sold.
- Make a significant social impact through your corporation
According to Cone Communications, 70 percent of millennials are willing to spend more on brands that support causes they care about. In order to capture this segment’s attention, companies should conduct research to find causes that fall in line with their business interests. Millennials expect transparency, so the cause should be something that business owners genuinely feel called to address.
Retail giant Target lets customers choose the cause with their Target’s Bullseye Gives Program. They invited their sizeable Facebook community to vote on ten nonprofits over a two-week period and portioned out $3 million based on voting percentages. Since then we’ve seen corporations like Pepsi and Chase Bank launch similar social media giving campaigns.
Meed is working to redefine financial mobility with our SocialBoost program. Through this initiative, our users have the opportunity to earn funds by referring friends and family, who sign up with one of our Member Banks. And as Meed rolls out across more countries, SocialBoost will help every Meeder who is working towards financial security, whether they live in Latin America, Asia or North America.
- Expand volunteering programs for employees
As a whole, millennials are more generous with their time than previous generations. They appreciate working for companies that provide volunteer opportunities and seek employees’ input on how to engage in social causes.
Rachel Hutchisson, vice president of corporate citizenship & philanthropy at Blackbaud, a leading technology company that provides solutions to the philanthropic community, advises that, “Social responsibility and HR should work together using data gained from engagement and volunteerism surveys — to determine what programs are most compelling for each audience.”
Not only will this strategy appeal to the millennial workforce (which is estimated to grow to 75 percent of the American workforce by 2025), but it will emphasize your commitment to social causes and draw more millennial customers.