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Millennials Like Volunteering

September 12, 2011

One day after the 9/11 National Day of Service seems like an appropriate time to reflect on the status of volunteering and community service with young people. A new study from Deloitte suggests there is a link between frequent volunteer activity and employee engagement that contributes to employee perceptions of positive corporate culture.

The 2011 Deloitte Volunteer Impact Survey was commissioned to explore the connection between workplace volunteerism and employee engagement. Specifically targeting employees between the ages of 21 and 35, Deloitte used indicators such as workplace satisfaction, pride and loyalty to compare responses of Millennials who frequently volunteer against those who infrequently or never volunteer.

According to this study, Millennials who frequently participate in workplace volunteer activities are more likely to be proud, loyal and satisfied employees, as compared with those who rarely or never volunteer.

Millennials who frequently volunteer are:

  • Twice as likely to rate their corporate culture as very positive, as compared to those who rarely or never volunteer (56 percent versus 28 percent)
  • More likely to be very proud to work for their company (55 percent versus 36 percent)
  • More likely to feel very loyal toward their company (52 percent versus 33 percent)
  • Nearly twice as likely to be very satisfied with the progression of their careers (37 percent versus 21 percent)
  • More likely to be very satisfied with their employer (51 percent versus 32 percent)
  • More likely to recommend their company to a friend (57 percent versus 46 percent)

While Millennials are generally civic-minded and motivated to volunteer in their communities, they see workplace volunteer programs as a two-way street – they want a return on their investment. In fact, 51 percent of Millennials surveyed say that they want volunteerism to benefit them professionally.

At American Express, we promote volunteerism through our Serve2Gether program, and we’ve been actively working to expand our skills-based volunteer offers. This study suggests that there is an opportunity for leaders to incorporate volunteer activities – particularly skills-based volunteerism – into training and development programs for their teams – especially for Millennials.

Does this research ring true to you? Let me know what you think here.

Kate Olsen
Congratulations on the new CSR blog for American Express. It’s an insightful addition to the conversation. We featured the blog here at Network for Good on Companies for Good and noticed many in the Twitterverse also excited by the blog.

Nicole Heidbreder
Nice post. After seeing the statistics you sited it reminded me of how true that is for other things in the same way- ie- volunteering at a conference has made me get more out of it and love it more. Volunteering as a hospital Doula for immigrants made me more passionate about maternal health and learn more about health care.
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