For me, charity is practical. It’s sometimes easy, more often inconvenient, but always necessary. It’s the ability to use one’s position of influence, relative wealth and power to affect lives for the better. charity is singular and achievable. – Scott Harrison
People are hardwired to do more and more good while going through the course of their lives. I believe we as humans are hardwired to help and to facilitate change but we do not always know where to begin. This desire for change is the reason I am so excited about the rise of Millennials, they are driven to have consistent impact, not just a couple times a year but daily, and not simply by writing a check.
Millennials, more than previous generations, want their jobs to be part of something bigger than themselves. They want their purchases to be both ethical and environmentally sustainable. They want to know that the company they buy from stands for something greater than just profit. The organizations that best embrace these desires will be able to grow into the future and have a much more accretive impact.
We have seen a lot of social benefit companies pop up over the past few years, and I believe it will absolutely be the way of the future. These are companies selling products, that in the course of your life, you were already going to purchase, but now also benefit others. Through these companies, you can get high quality products that are important to you while helping people you don’t necessarily know, but whose cause you believe in. Social entrepreneurs allow consumers to have their cake and eat it too. They provide an outlet, they have taken the guesswork out of making a difference.
[bctt tweet=”Social entrepreneurs allow consumers to have their cake and eat it too.” username=”ronkitchens”]
Who would ever believe that an old key on a chain would become a national and fashion phenomenon through The Giving Keys? The Giving Keys was created by Caitlin Crosby, a woman who saw a need and said: I think if I make these and sell them, I can employ the homeless and fill a gap for people who need a second chance.
We can also look at Warby Parker: the idea that a consumer can buy a pair of glasses that will in turn give a pair of glasses to a person in need. People feel good about buying from Warby Parker because they have a great quality product and you know that there is a child, or a mom somewhere in a less fortunate situation who receives access to sight. Who wouldn’t want to buy into the cause?
As a business leaders, we need to embrace this concept. Those organizations that continue to stick to the old models will simply not be relevant 10 years from now. The philanthropic models, the big foundations will continue to do well because they have invested well, but to gain new contributors they too must embrace the new mindset of today’s Millennial marketplace.
I am so excited by the Millennial generation, for their drive to be great citizens and to lead social change, I look forward to seeing how their passion and commitments continue to change and shape the charitable and philanthropic landscape globally.
Question: As an individual, what philanthropic causes are closest to your heart? What can you do as a consumer to support them?