Volunteer Pioneering: Gain Millennial attention!

How to win the battle for volunteer engagement

Volunteer Pioneering: Gain Millennial attention!

Millennials want to make a social impactthrough their work. The above companies know how to attract millennials by capitalisingon this desire with the opportunity to volunteer. Moreover, the many provenbenefits of volunteering in all aspects of work and life are a welcome additionto the appeal of corporate volunteering to those new to the job market.

With corporate volunteering, if measuredand reported correctly, your company hits the millennial three-pronged targetfor committed employees and consumers: attracting the millennials (employerbranding), actively engaging them in the company's social mission (employee engagement)and retaining them as loyal customers (purpose marketing).

Battle 1: Employer branding

Whereas 66% of university alumni volunteer,an astounding 91% of millennials say they want to make a social impact withtheir work. That's how prominent the role of 'doing good' is within the latestworking generation.

Red Bull has filled this role in a creativeway. You probably know Red Bull's strength: marketing, marketing, and moremarketing. So they decided to use their power by doing good, a fine example ofskilled volunteering. Red Bull's Brand Team helped Cordaan, Amsterdam's careorganization, by developing a communication and distribution plan for the newproduct line of Bijzonder Amsterdams.

The latter is an initiative that letsAmsterdammers with mental disabilities make special products. Jorien Zuur ofRed Bull says that this wonderful experience not only helped the charity, butalso strengthened the team spirit: "It was particularly fun to apply ourexpertise in a totally different field.

This example shows that it is veryimportant to find initiatives that fit the DNA of the company. By applyingexpertise from work, one gets the feeling of being able to offer help moreeffectively. Moreover, the volunteer activity and the relationship with the charityare not immediately forgotten, but are integrated into the employee's personalsocial mission. It creates a strong sense of purpose inside and outside theoffice walls, and this is exactly what millennials are looking for in theirwork.

Another organisation that understands howcorporate volunteering should be handled is UPS. You know them: those logisticsall-rounders with countless vans around the world. They have been able to helpthe Voedselbank by collecting goods and giving personal logistical advice.

But Rabobank has also used the knowledge of its employees to providetutoring at various schools in Amsterdam where this proved necessary. Is thereany better way to make a social impact with your work than by skilledvolunteering?

Battle 2: Employee engagement

Corporate volunteering puts your company onthe map within the labour market. Moreover, it contributes to various healthbenefits, which together result in less absenteeism and more effective workingdays. Research by the UnitedHealth Group shows, for example, that of thevolunteers recently surveyed:

·      76% feel healthier as a result of volunteering.

·      78% feel less stressed by volunteering.

·      94% feel in a better mood because of volunteering.


In addition, research by the University of Exeter Medical School has shown that volunteers have a 20% lower risk of dyingthan comparable individuals who do not volunteer. So corporate volunteering is away to ensure a motivated and healthy workforce.

ADG Services Group, one of the largestemployers in the Netherlands, is an example of an organisation that cares forits employees in its own way. The company noticed that wage garnishments werebeing imposed on employees with (too) much regularity. That is why ADG servicegroup developed fiKks: a debt platform that helps people with money mattersbefore they become money worries.

Also, 6 out of 10 employees indicate that asense of purpose was part of the decision to work for their current employer.Thus, corporate volunteering involves employees in the social mission of yourcompany.

Management Team explains that corporatevolunteering is essential if your goal is to become the 'Best Place to Work'.Here, it's important to highlight the example of Atlassian, a company thatstands out with its social strategy. By organising various team activities,employees are personally involved in Atlassian's social mission. This socialmission - Pledge 1% - consists of the company donating 1% of its annualprofits, 1% of employee time and 1% of its equity to the Atlassian Foundation.One of the Foundation's activities is to cook together for lonely elderlypeople.

Employees indicate that this voluntary work not only puts them in agood mood, but also creates a strong team spirit. After all, what could bebetter than cooking with your colleagues and putting a smile on the faces oflonely elderly people?

Battle  3: Purpose marketing

Not only as an employee, but also as aconsumer the millennial is attracted to a good corporate volunteering strategy. For example, 55% of millennials say they are willing to pay extra for productsand services that serve a higher purpose. Companies are cleverly responding tothis by means of so-called purpose marketing: selling more than just a product.As previously spot-on, companies such as Coca-Cola, ING and Nike no longer sellsoft drinks, banking services or sports shoes. They sell happiness, advantageand self-transcendence.

Corporate volunteering fits in perfectlywith this CSR strategy. Coca-Cola employees can create moments of happiness forsick children, ING employees can supervise projects to educate illiteratepeople, and Nike sports enthusiasts can organise events for disabled sports.When these corporate giants get down to work on such projects, they start amovement that makes a big impact for the charities they help. This happens boththrough hands-on projects by employees and through extra awareness for thecharities.

Especially with purpose marketing, there isone condition that is very important to make the millennial triumph. A systemmust be set up that properly measures the impact that the organisation makes byvolunteering. This includes determining the sector of volunteering, settingshared goals, and tracking the hours of social impact made. Without thissystem, it is not possible to communicate how much and in what way the companyis 'doing good'. This is a common shortcoming in organisations.

Although voluntary work is sometimesencouraged with money or working time, these initiatives are not recorded andbrought together within a social mission that matches the company's DNA. Thus,a great opportunity is missed to attract millennials, actively involve them inthe social impact the company is making, and retain them as loyal customers.

Get going!

The millennial triad can be of immensevalue to a company. Especially if there is difficulty attracting young talentedstaff or the customer of the future. The message that is important to take awayfrom this is therefore threefold:

1. Join the first-movers

Draw up a strategy for corporatevolunteering. Find out what fits your company's DNA and involve your employeesin your social mission.

2. To measure is to know

Make sure you have an effective system inplace to measure and communicate what your company means to society. Withoutthis part of your strategy, you have nothing to present to the millennials.

3. Lead by example

You help other people and work on your ownhealth at the same time. Corporate volunteering is great and will become evengreater. Pioneer as a volunteer, roll up your sleeves and get to work!

More info about our corporate volunteeringsolutions can be found here!

Boudewijn Wijnands

Founder & CEO

Boudewijn is the founder and CEO of Deedmob.