How are purpose-driven millennials changing the CSR scene?

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a term referring to a model for sustainable business practices. It implies that companies should take active responsibility for the imprint they leave on society and nature.

In this spotlight series, I would like to share my thoughts and experience of CSR.

Here’s part I, hope you enjoy the read! Part II and III are available here and here.

A story by Jasminejit


I am a millennial who, as often seen by others, has taken a big leap moving from a non-profit organization into the corporate world. In fact this was not such a big leap after all, as I ensured that the corporation I joined had a good reputation in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) scene. I had to know if they support any causes, have regular programs in place and are open to do more for the society. I wanted to ensure that my leap to the corporate world wouldn’t result in one person less fighting for a cause.

What was a pleasant surprise to me was to discover that other millennials, friends, colleagues, and counterparts looked for similar features and became involved with CSR upon joining a corporation. Some ended up very actively involved in causes, while others were happy enough knowing the corporation is doing what it can for society.

Millennials from both these groups play a significant role in both driving Corporate Social Responsibility forward and in how NGOs function. This situation simply boils back down to the fundamentals of economics – Supply and Demand!

Millennials are more engaged in opportunities to advocate via sharing

Involvement of millennials in CSR differs from the traditional model of donations or voluntary participation. Millennials are more engaged in opportunities to advocate via sharing of information on social media, for example. The impact of this extends beyond which corporation they choose to join; for some it influences the brands they choose, products they consume, stocks or mutual funds to invest in and products or services they recommend to others.

This is opening a whole new perception towards CSR! As the corporate world banks in on this new perception to their advantage, it is nonetheless a working model for NGOs too. The NGO world could use this opportunity to learn and keep up with the demands.

In Part II, we look at how NGOs can do exactly that.