Survey Findings

Finding Seven: Millennials Want To Contribute

The Millennials’ strong ethic of teamwork goes beyond their own social circles. Millennials feel a strengthened connection—and civic obligation—to their communities, to their nation, and to their world. And they want that community spirit to be reflected in the place where they work.

On our survey, nearly two-thirds of Millennials agreed that they like their employer “to contribute to social and ethical causes” that they think are important. Young Xers (who in some ways are closest to the Millennial persona) agreed at the same rate. By contrast, barely half of Boomers and older Gen Xers felt strongly about corporate responsibility.

Millennials’ commitment to social causes is part of their broader community focus. Record-high shares say they want to help “others in need” and are signing up for community service in high school and in college. Youth voting rates have surged ever since the oldest Millennials reached age 18, reaching the highest level in decades in the 2008 presidential election. Surveys show that today’s youth are strongly attracted to “helping” professions like government, teaching, and nonprofits.6 Many surveys have confirmed they want to work for a company that cares about how it affects or contributes to society.7

To attract the best and brightest young workers, organizations of all stripes, even those not generally associated with public service, will need to emphasize their positive impact on the community and offer greater service opportunities.

6. For example, on a 2009 Universum “Ideal Employer” survey, college seniors put five service-sector careers (the U.S. Department of State, FBI, NASA, Peace Corps, and Teach for America) on their top 10 list of ideal employers.  When Gen-X college seniors were asked the same question in 2001, not a single service-sector career appeared on their top 10 list. See

7. For example, see “Cause Evolution.” Cone Inc. 2010. Web.