Millennials Can Help Businesses Put the Value of Profit, Society and Cause on Equal Footing
By Sarah Ford on June 5, 2014
By Sarah Ford
This past week in his article, Where Profits Aren’t Enough, Marc Ross stated, “If we can't step away from short-term economic thinking and take into account the long-term consequences of our actions, our thirst for energy and sustaining a highly wasteful material culture, we must acknowledge that we all will eventually cut into the bottom line of the 7.1 billion people on this planet. We need to strike a stronger balance that puts the value of profit, society and environment on equal footing.”
That last line – “We need to strike a stronger balance that puts the value of profit, society and environment on equal footing” – struck a chord with me. Although his article was particularly focused on corporate America’s role in environmental sustainability, his remark mirrors a movement in the broader spectrum of corporate philanthropy; a movement largely driven by Millennials.
As consumers, employees and entrepreneurs, Millennials are shifting the norms of corporate America’s conduct, ethics and mission. In her blog, “Don’t Ask Millennials to Participate in Traditional Check-the-Box Employee Giving Campaigns,” Heather Lofkin Wright, US Director of Community Service at PwC states, “PwC’s Millennial Workforce studies repeatedly demonstrate that today’s young adults place high importance on corporate responsibility, with over half reporting in the most recent study that they would consider leaving an employer whose values no long matched their own.” It’s not enough that the companies they work for are socially responsible either; the brands they shop at must also meet this younger generation’s expectations.
However, for corporate America, purpose isn’t enough; it’s about return. Companies must be able to define and share the results of those good intentions with their shareholders.
So how can companies refine their corporate culture to engage the Millennial generation and build an all-around better business that returns results, which will make shareholders grin? To echo Marc Ross’ remark, we need to strike a stronger balance that puts the value of profit, society and CAUSE on equal footing. And believe it or not, Millennials are part of the answer to ‘how’ we do that.
On June 18 and 19, Achieve, in partnership with The Case Foundation, is hosting MCON14 - the nation’s premier conference for corporate, cause and public leaders who work with Millennial employees and constituents. During this two-day experience, leaders will examine how the next generation is redefining the ways they tackle community issues, build movements, and use their talents to inspire peers and create change.
MCON14 will take place at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. However, if you can’t make it to Chicago, you can register to attend the event online like I am doing. If you are either a Millennial, a business that wants to work with Millennials and other employees in a philanthropic setting, or if you simply want to help build a culture for the next generation of cause work – you should attend this event. It’s less than 15 days away, so register now. They have a truly fantastic lineup of guest speakers and discussions. Click here to register and learn more about MCON14. And on June 18 – 19, join myself (I’ll be tweeting on behalf of America’s Charities @AmerCharities) and thousands of others in a conversation on Twitter by following the hash tag, #MCON14.