Millennials Favor Companies That Give to Charity, Survey Finds

Millennials are more likely than Gen Xers and baby boomers to say it matters whether American businesses give back to society, a poll conducted by Morning Consult for Fortune finds.

The survey found that nearly two-thirds of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 were at least somewhat more likely to want to work for a company that gives to charity than a company that did not — compared with 59 percent of those between the ages of 35 and 44 and 47 percent of those between the ages of 45 and 64. Millennials also were more likely than older respondents to say they would buy products from a company that gives to charity or to recommend that business to a friend.

Not surprisingly, corporations are attempting to capitalize on young people's interest in giving back. Goldman Sachs, for example, where two-thirds of employees were born after 1979, has launched a competition for young analysts through which they can win grants for their favorite nonprofits, while a growing number of firms are offering their employees meaningful volunteer opportunities.

At the same time, a brand index developed by Fortune with Morning Consult found that giving money to good causes doesn't in and of itself enhance a company's brand. Indeed, the top five corporate donors in 2015, as determined by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, weren't all viewed favorably by the public, with Gilead Sciences, the top corporate donor, earning a D- in the Fortune index, followed by Walmart (A-), Wells Fargo (B+), Goldman Sachs (C+), and Exxon Mobil (B).

Caroline Preston. "New Poll Shows Millennials Prefer Companies That Give to Charity." Fortune 08/11/2016.