The millennial generation gets a lot of flack for being lazy, overconfident, arrogant, self-centered, and much more. But if you look deeper, we may be seeing a generation that is more community focused than any before it.
If you ask a millennial what they value in companies that they choose to work for often times community involvement will be listed at the top. When it comes to companies they buy from, the answer is the same. Millennials want to work for an organization that is invested in bettering the world. That can mean donating employees time to causes in the towns they have offices in. Or it could mean donating a portion of their revenue to charities around the world or within their individual communities. That is why products like Toms and WeWood have seen success with a young market. Or campaigns like Apples (PRODUCT)RED or Amazon Smile increase sales for the big tech companies.
This is a generation that believes in giving back and doing good. They may not always have the money to donate to organizations…yet, but someday they will. For now, they would rather work and support businesses that can donate resources that they can’t. And when they have spare time, they want to give back in whatever form they can.
If you are a millennial looking to get involved in your community consider some of these ideas:
- Organize a charity race in your community for a cause
- Become a local zoo member and make it a family activity
- Donate to your local parks society
- Join a nonprofit board, this could be for a beautification committee, a school board, or art group. There are many nonprofits that you may not even know about in your community
- Reach out to the local food back during a non-holiday time and see what they need
- Become a hospital or nursing home volunteer
There are so many different things you can do to get involved in your community and give back that don’t cost anything but your time. When you are young and have fewer commitments, this is the perfect time to find your passion and how you like to give back. As you get older, you may find you have less time to donate and are more willing to give in financial ways. The choice is yours but when everyone comes together in a community, a lot of amazing things can happen.
So the next time you look at a millennial and think they are self-centered, ask them what they are doing on their weekends. They may be giving back to their alma mater, coaching a youth sports team, running a local 5k for a cause or spending time at the local food bank. This may be the best time to stop stereotyping a generation and start seeing how you can get involved.