Survey Results Show Millennials Driving Corporate Social Responsibility

BOISE, ID (July 23, 2014) – Research released today by brand marketing firm Oliver Russell indicates that millennials are increasingly drawn to companies that actively demonstrate positive social impact and are heavily influenced in their purchasing and career choices because of it.

“There’s a lot at stake here for companies and their brands,” said Russ Stoddard, Oliver Russell founder and president. “Millennials are the largest generational group in history, and they are spending roughly $600 billion annually – that’s projected to rise to $1.4 trillion in the next six years.”

The research was conducted with the predominantly millennial (age 17 – 34) audience of Treefort Music Fest, a four-day music showcase for emerging local, regional and national bands.

Highlights of the survey showed that in the past year, most of the respondents (85%) said they purchased a company’s product or services because of its commitment to social responsibility, with 41% saying they did so sometimes and 44% saying they did so often.

Most respondents said it’s either very important (41%) or important (30%) to work for a company that proactively creates social impact.

The greatest influences on trust in a company’s commitment to social or environmental causes were personal research (40%) and friends and family (20%), followed by employees (12%) and third-party certification (9%).

The most important measure to this group in determining a company’s social impact was “transparency of company information and reporting.”

About 60% of respondents volunteered for, donated goods to, donated money to and promoted or shared information about a nonprofit organization in the past year.

“We have definitely entered as phase where this generation is using its influence to reshape corporate responsibility in the most powerful place of all, the marketplace,” said Stoddard.

For purposes of testing, corporate social responsibility was used as an umbrella designation for a category in which many terms, including social impact, corporate sustainability, purpose-driven, or social responsibility are used.

Complete survey results are available in a white paper covering the topic of millennials and corporate social responsibility, which can be accessed here.


Oliver Russell, a Boise-based brand-marketing firm founded in 1991, builds brands for purpose-driven companies and causes.  The company counts Hewlett-Packard, Allegro Coffee/Whole Foods Market, and Mountain Health Co-op among its clients.  It is a certified B Corporation, part of a growing movement of companies that believe in using the power of business to help solve social and environmental issues.  Since its founding, the company has donated more than $1.7 million in cash and resources via social impact grants to nonprofit causes and social enterprises.  More information about these Social Impact Grants can be found here.

Russ Stoddard
Oliver Russell

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