Why Social Impact Experiences Should Cater to Millennials (And How to Do It!)
The corporate world is quickly catching on to the needs and values of the growing millennial workforce. In order to attract, engage, and retain employees of this generation, Forbes.com says that businesses must be aware of their desire to be involved with philanthropic causes. This means that orgs, like yours, already have an entire generation of customers eager to support your mission.
What is important now is to make sure that they are aware of who you are, what you do, and how they can get involved. Here are our tips on how to do just that.
1. Be present on social media
Because millennials rely heavily on peer recommendations, user-generated content is one of the biggest influencers on their purchasing decisions. This means that your activity will garner more interest, credibility, and customers if there is buzz about it online.
One way to help this buzz get going is to produce content — videos, photos, blog posts, etc. — and file them under relevant hashtags and geo tags. This way, millennials can interact with you and share your content with their friends. Also, if they share their experience with you, and you are tagged in their post, it will drive even more potential customers to your account. Being present on social media is a must for those seeking out millennial customers.
2. Emphasize your cause
Millennials’ spending habits are unlike their predecessors’. One of the biggest differences between generations is that younger people are willing to spend more on products and experiences that are sustainable and ethical: each dollar they spend is a vote for their values. So, if revenue from a product goes towards making a positive impact on the world, it is worth buying.
As a do-good org, the best way to make it known that you are providing exactly the kind of experiences that millennials are interested in, is to always highlight the cause you support — and how your work makes an impact on it. Remember to be specific and simple. For instance, if the revenue from one visitor can provide a pair of shoes to a child in need, say 1 Visit = 1 pair of shoes.
Millennials especially love when businesses are transparent and forthcoming. So, use this as an excuse to brag — on social media, your website, and other public materials — about the good work you’re doing!
3. Clearly show how to get involved
No doubt millennials will be interested in the experiences you offer when they find out that they are both fun and for a good cause. So, it is important to have a call to action attached to your content, whether it’s a video, a blog post, or a response to an online comment.
For instance, in NYC, one of our partner orgs funds charities that support people in need. However, due to the sensitive nature of their work, it’s best if visitors do not interact directly with the charities or beneficiaries. Instead, the org offers a cocktail mixology class, where visitors can have an enjoyable night out — for a cause.
So, in order to clearly show interested people how they can make an impact, orgs like the one above should avoid using vague terms like “support us” or “get involved.” Rather, be precise: describe both the cause and the activity. In the case above, a clear invitation would be to “Help break the cycle of poverty in NYC when you join a class on creating mixed drinks.”
To be even clearer, link people to your org’s Visit.org tour page, where they can easily learn about the cause, understand the activity, and book an experience!
4. Think beyond volunteer activities
While millennials are interested in engaging in do-good work, volunteering is not the only way to have hands-on involvement in the community. In fact, there are more fun, interactive, and responsible ways to give back than with volunteer work. With some creative thinking, any activity can make a real impact on your org’s cause.
For example, one of our partner orgs hosts a workshop that teaches guests how to create simple, solar-powered phone chargers. Not only does the revenue from the activity help the org sustain their mission to preserve the environment, but the product of the workshop also provides added impact, while giving the guests a tangible reminder of their contribution to the cause.
Of course, you can opt for simpler activities such as walking tours, cooking classes, wellness programs, etc. Even without a tangible product or straightforward result (as with the solar chargers), these other experiences have the opportunity to be engaging, memorable, and impactful simply because they’re fun and generate revenue.