After recently interviewing several candidates to fill two entry-level positions at our company, I learned that social responsibility is a key factor in a person’s decision to work for a company. I had always felt that giving back and doing good were important, but it was not until recently that I understood that it had become important to many who are new to the workforce, namely Millennials. I'm also a Millennial, but I have not been interviewed nor had to interview anyone in quite some time. I was astonished and pleased to find out that so many young people hold social responsibility so highly.
In the newly released 2015 Cone Communications Millennial CSR Study, it was revealed that “more than nine-in-10 Millennials would switch brands to one associated with a cause (91 percent vs. 85 percent U.S. average) and two-thirds use social media to engage around CSR (66 percent vs. 53 percent U.S. average).”
Does your company do enough to keep top Millennial talent? The companies listed below do. In fact, they give all year round and have integrated charitable contributions into their business models.
Tom’s is probably the most well-known for integrating giving into its business model. The shoe company operates under what they call the “One for One” model. It started out by giving one pair of shoes away to someone in need for every pair of shoes sold. The company now does this with sunglasses by giving money toward sight-saving surgeries and eyeglasses for every pair of sunglasses sold, money towards the training of birth attendants for every bag sold, and the giving does not stop there.
Wildings Yoga Mats
Wildings Yoga Mats has built its product around art, nature, and health. A portion of all of their products sold support different charities and organizations. The charities vary from local to global, and they support unique causes. For instance, a yoga mat may have a national park printed on it and a portion of the proceeds will go to maintaining the park, or to a local arts initiative in that area.
Yoobi sells school and art supplies for school children. For every supply purchased from them they will give the exact same amount of supplies to children and schools in need throughout the United States. Yoobi has successfully supplied more than 1 million children in the U.S. with school supplies.
Twice as Warm
Twice as Warm’s business model is similar to Tom’s. However, the company currently only gives within the United States and donates clothes for cold weather. For every hat, glove, and scarf sold, they will give one away to someone in need of warm clothing in the United States. Many people throughout the U.S. go cold every winter and Twice as Warm is out to end this by giving warmth, one purchase at a time.
Better World Books
Better World Books is partnered with Feed the Children and Books for Africa. They support increasing literacy worldwide and for every book purchase through them, they will donate one to someone in need. They get most of their donations from community college and schoolbook drives, public and academic libraries, and they allow for people to upload books that they have written. When they have more copies than they can sell, they will donate the books to their partner organizations.
Hand in Hand
Hand in Hand is also similar to the Tom’s business model “One for One.” However, Hand in Hand not only matches every purchase of soap with a bar of soap, but they also offer a month’s worth of clean drinking water with the bar of soap to children in developing countries who are in need. This company takes the giving model a step further and offers what most of us take for granted, water.
As you can see, there is a growing need for companies that support social causes, and many talented potential employees are seeking out employers who meet those needs. The list of businesses that support social causes is much larger than the one here and ever-growing. There are several ways for businesses, both large and small, to join the social giving movement. Find a cause, and create a way to give.