PwC Study: Don't Ask Millennials To Participate In Traditional Check-The-Box Employee Giving Campaigns
By Sarah Ford on February 6, 2014
Blog Post By: Heather Lofkin Wright
Heather Lofkin Wright is the US Director of Community Service at PwC. Heather focuses on developing strategies and corresponding programs to help busy people give back in easy and meaningful ways that grow the firm’s sustainable culture of giving. In her three-year tenure in this role, PwC’s Charitable Giving Campaign has doubled in number of participants and dollars raised, and the firm’s volunteer hours have grown three-fold.
As the US Director of Community Service for PwC, my goal is to create meaningful ways for people to give back; opportunities that make them feel good about their contribution while making an impact in the community and shaping the story of the collective generosity of our PwC people. You might then question my sincerity (or sanity) when I tell you to stop asking millennials to fill out pledge forms.
But here’s the thing: It isn’t the ask that needs to go away, it’s the way you are positioning the question that needs to change.
Our PwC 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. Yet America’s Charities 2013 giving culture survey saw participation in workplace giving dropping from an average of 41% of employees in 2006 to 33% in 2012. The desire to give back and make a difference is there, so why the decline in participation? Corporate community strategy has to evolve from a check the box activity to an invitation to contribute to the community in a personally fulfilling way−only then can you achieve a sustainable giving culture.
We celebrate diversity at PwC and recognize that 39,000 different people may care about 39,000 different charitable organizations. They also give back in different ways – when, where, and how it meets their own needs. In our recent CEO Survey, over 50% of CEOs cited changing consumer behaviors as a concern for 2014. If you think donors and volunteers aren’t consumers, you don’t know your audience.
On both individual and institutional scales...
Heather Lofkin Wright: How Companies Can Empower the Millennial Generation at Work