9 in 10 Millennials would switch brands to one associated with a cause, survey finds

Comprehensive survey from Cone Communications sheds light on millennials charitable engagement

Kayla Gross
Oct 4, 2015 · 2 min read

A recent survey of 1,003 millennials from Cone Communications provides the most comprehensive snapshot of how Millennials engage with CSR efforts in the U.S. The data reveals some important findings with serious implications for institutions and those that manage student-athlete community outreach efforts.

Two findings are especially relevant:

  1. More than nine-in-10 Millennials would switch brands to one associated with a cause (91% vs. 85% U.S. average)

Millennials — the demographic our student-athletes belong to — want opportunities to engage with causes they care about. Providing quality opportunities to volunteer and make an impact can be another point of differentiation when recruiting and retaining quality student-athletes.

2. Two-thirds use social media to engage around CSR (66% vs. 53% U.S. average).

We already know that millennials love technology. What’s newsworthy is that they’re using it for social good. The report found that although most Millennials turn to social channels to share and learn, there is also a portion that uses it as an avenue to communicate with companies or contribute to CSR efforts:

  • 38% share positive information about companies and issues they care about (vs. 30% U.S. average)
  • 33% learn more about specific companies and issues (vs. 27% U.S. average)
  • 26% share negative information about companies and issues they care about (vs. 21% U.S. average)
  • 18% directly communicate with companies around issues (vs. 14% U.S. average)
  • 17% contribute directly to an effort led by a company (vs. 12% U.S. average)

If millennials are utilizing social media to engage with CSR, we need to enable them to do so and join the conversation. Educate them on how to use their platforms to encourage others to volunteer and share information relevant to causes they care about. More importantly, entice them to volunteer using social media and graphics. As the study found:

“Millennials want to be entertained and engaged with CSR content — this group prioritizes videos (36% vs. 29% U.S. average), infographics (26% vs. 16% U.S. average) and games (15% vs. 8% U.S. average) when learning about company CSR commitments.” — Cone Communcations Millennial CSR Report

The study breaks the findings down into different Millennial segments, including the young Millennial, mature Millennial, Millennial female, Millennial male, affluent Millennial and Millennial mom. This data may be especially useful when targeting specific groups within your fan base.

Read the entire report here: http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/38312-New-Cone-Communications-Research-Confirms-Millennials-as-America-s-Most-Ardent-CSR-Supporters-But-Marked-Differences-Revealed-Among-this-Diverse-Generation

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