Millennial Impact

The 2015 Millennial Impact Report
The Millennial generation (those born between 1980 and 2000) is growing in power, wealth and influence. So what does this mean for the Third sector?

The US-based Millennial Impact Project emerged in 2009 to gather knowledge and understanding of Millennials as donors, volunteers, employees and advocates. Their most recent Millennial Impact Report released in July 2015, specifically looked at factors that influence the Millennial’s behaviour when it comes to giving and volunteering in the workplace.

The report revealed that when encouraged and influenced by their company, Millennials as employees actively give and volunteer in and outside of the workplace.

Based on its findings, the Millennial Impact Project makes the following suggestions to encourage greater levels on engagement in workplace-led giving and volunteering:

Utilize peers and direct co-workers to influence participation.
Peers and direct co-workers are the most likely individuals to influence Millennial employees to participate in company cause work. Managers also influence participation, and direct managers carry much more influence than higher-level executive employees. 27% of Millennial employees said they are more likely to donate to a cause if their supervisor does; while 46% of employees are likely to donate if a co-worker asks them to. Interestingly, only 21% of Millennial employees said they are more likely to make a donation if the CEO or a top-ranking executive asks them to.

Offer episodic, short-term volunteer opportunities.
Most Millennial employees volunteer between 1 and 10 hours a year. These are employees who will get the most from programs like company-wide days of service. Millennial employees are more likely to volunteer if they can leverage their skills or expertise, so companies should incorporate skills-based volunteering to increase participation and maximize the value of the volunteer experience.

Leverage competitions and incentives.
Millennial employees, in particular, respond to incentives and competitions as motivators. While they are often interested in and even passionate about a cause, cultivating a sense of competition around a giving campaign or volunteer project through promotions will increase involvement. Tangible incentives such as name recognition, prizes and additional time off will encourage Millennial employees to participate.

Show how participation makes a difference.
Today’s donors – and Millennials in particular – want to know that their involvement means something. In this study, 79% of Millennial employees who volunteered through a company-sponsored initiative felt they made a positive difference. Over time, managers and Millennial employees are less influenced by the issue or cause itself. Competitions and incentives can inspire short-term engagement, but managers should always show employees how their donation or volunteer hours made a difference in a person’s life or benefited a community.

Match donations.
One of the top ways of motivating both managers and Millennials to give, was donation matching. 74% of managers said they would be more likely to donate to a company-giving campaign if their employer matched at least some portion of their gift.

Identify causes that your employees care about.
Millennial employees will give to causes they care about. If you don’t know what these causes are, ask them. Companies have an opportunity to engage employees through cause work: 79% of Millennial employees who did not participate in a company-wide giving campaign still donated to a cause outside of work.

Encourage unsanctioned giving.
On average, more than half of Millennial employees have made a donation to a cause their company isn’t associated with in response to a co-worker’s personal solicitation. Looking further, Millennial employees from smaller companies and the representative sample were especially more likely to make donations to causes that their company wasn’t associated with than employees from larger companies. In general, Millennials are more likely to give when their peers ask them to on a person-to-person level.

The information contained in the Millennial Impact reports is gold for any Third sector organisation wanting to expand their donor base and create stronger, more fruitful relationships with younger generations of donors. The reports are available to read at If you would like help determining how the information in these reports applies to your organisation, please feel free to give OKP a call on 1300 721 799.


Contact OKP on:       1300 721 199

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