Why The Millennial Impact Report Matters

I have Millennial envy. It seems that although we Generation X’ers are busting our tails, working hard and giving back,  marketers could care less. But, I digress. Let’s get on to the results of Case Foundation’s recent Millennial Impact Report. 

Case has again partnered with next-gen thought leader and creative services agency, Achieve in support of their third annual Millennial Impact Report. The report identifies new findings using survey responses from more than 2,600 millennials. This year’s edition touches upon peer engagement, design, messaging, and what encourages millennials to act in the moment — and analyzes the data through the lens of how organizations can apply the information. connectinfograph

To date, more than 14,000 millennials have responded to the survey over the last four years — making it one of the most comprehensive and detailed reports of this generation on engagement.

Here are some key findings: 

#1: Cause vs. Organization

“Seventy-three percent of millennials surveyed volunteered for a nonprofit in 2012. Their motivations: More than three-quarters were passionate about the cause and 67 percent felt they could make an impact for the issue they cared about.”

When it comes to engaging with a nonprofit organization, the report revealed that millennials are drawn to the broader cause and issue — not the organization itself. This learning is critical for understanding how organizations can improve their approach to engagement. In particular, consider this framework when crafting messages, programs, or events with millennials. 

Takeaway #2: Did Your Organization Make the Cut?

“Millennials are highly selective about what organizations they follow in a crowded and noisy media landscape… Nearly half of respondents (48.8 percent) follow one to five organizations on social media.”

Despite the 24/7 flow of information, significant amount of time spent online, and near constant presence online for many millennials, the report confirms that most millennials actually only follow one to five organizations in social networks — even though they are hearing from so many more online. This emphasizes the need for tailored messaging so that when your content is seen by this influential audience it will have a better chance of resonating with them and breaking through the social media clutter.

Takeaway #3: Turn Every Opportunity into a Networking Opportunity

“Respondents tended to be more interested in intrinsic benefits such as networking (51 percent) and gaining professional expertise (61 percent) than intangible discounts or gifts (though they wouldn’t sneeze at free food!).”

This offers a good insight for anyone trying to rally a group to action or organize an activity around millennial involvement. In other words, frame the event or function around the opportunity to meet and work with others — specifically peers.

More of the report can be found here


@MTV and @catchafire Helps an NPO Tell its Tale

Years ago, I had the pleasure of working alongside of MTV’s very talented Public Affairs team as part of a strategic partnership I created between the infamous channel and the national, Americorps program, City Year. When I tell you, it was some of the most fun that I had in my career – I am being modest.

At the time, MTV was launching a new Facebook-like site in BETA called, “Think” and needed to test it out. City Year NY was having a huge brand awareness issue. It was a match made in heaven. The CYNY corps members ran the site through its paces and Think emerged bigger and better than ever. In turn, MTV allowed us to run our PSA on their jumbotron in Times Square for two consecutive days.  The activation increased brand awareness and return on recruitment. Further, it allowed for MTV to collaborate with the organization for future projects.


CYNY Corps Members Take In The MTV Goodness.

Fast forward to 2013…

MTV and skilled volunteerism-match platform Catchafire partnered to find a nonprofit in need of a “makeover,” for which MTV would lend its expertise in marketing, branding and social media.

The idea originated with MTV President Stephen Friedman, who wanted to fully leverage MTV’s creative talent and storytelling capabilities to benefit an especially worthy nonprofit in a meaningful way. Catchafire issued a call for submissions and MTV chose to work with The Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), a nonprofit that offers comprehensive job services to the previously incarcerated.

Nonprofits of varying missions and sizes applied for the opportunity to have MTV in house to revamp their marketing, communications and creative assets like videos and brochures. Catchafire helped identify and streamline interested nonprofits, and MTV ultimately had to choose one organization from the extensive candidate pool to work with.

Founded in 1996, CEO specializes in employment services for those released primarily from NY prisons / detention facilities – in the last decade CEO made more than 10,000 job placements. CEO’s mission and work really struck a cord with the MTV staff, as the brand’s pro-social strategy seeks to engage audiences and create conversations about critical issues like recidivism.

Inspired by the organizational vision and the staff’s commitment to create opportunities, MTV’s makeover team gained a lot from meetings, onsite visits, sitting in on job training classes and connecting with program participants.

This collaboration really inspired MTV and there is an appetite for more projects like this in the future. With skill matched volunteerism trending, employees at companies around the globe are looking for ways to give back and plug into organizations to make an impact.

Watch the video below:

What’s All Of The Chiming About?

For the past few days, I have been taking in news stories that feature glossy and celebrity packed images of Beyonce, her Boo and her buddies for the Sounds of Change concert to benefit the Chime for Change initiative. Not one of the stories has gone beyond the glitz to really explain what all of the chiming is about.

Shoot, even Beyonce’s website simply states, Chime for Change, founded by Gucci, is a new, global campaign focused on girls’ and women’s empowerment. It serves to convene, unite and strengthen voices speaking out for girls and women around the world, and to raise funds for non-profit organizations pursuing change.

She then directs to the Chime for Change Facebook page.

Girl Power?

Girl Power?

I did some more digging and found that even Gucci’s website doesn’t do a good job explaining what the campaign actually is or what the goals are.

Well after much research, I found out Sound of Change was broadcast to more than 150 countries across the world. Aside from raising over $4m, which will fund approximately 200 projects in 70 countries (please don’t ask which ones), the concert, attended by more than 50,000 people, was meant to put issues such as genital mutilation, domestic violence, maternal death and adult illiteracy on the news agenda.

Chime for Change was  founded by Gucci’s designer Frida Giannini, and her friends Beyoncé and Salma Hayek, focuses on improving education, health and justice for women around the world.

Besides Beyoncé,  Jessie J, Rita Ora, Haim, Ellie Goulding, Jennifer Lopez and Florence Welch took to the stage to champion the cause. Other celebrity endorsements came from Madonna, Katy Perry, Halle Berry, Jada Pinkett Smith, Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow and Cameron Diaz, who all are featured in videos explaining why they support the movement, making Chime for Change seem like a grown-up version of girl power.

I ask: What about the organizations involved? The programming? How can people really be inspired to change things beyond ‘liking’ pictures and then downloading a popstar’s latest single?

I can’t help but feel that a huge opportunity to truly engage people beyond a donation or a concert was and is sorely missed here. But, I will assume that there will be plenty more chiming on the way and I just might be proven wrong.

Allstate’s @giveitupforgood

It’s funny – despite all of our means to stay in the know, good is often hard to find. You can hear about celebrity gossip, political scandals and ratchetness at the click of a button. But to find, good? Well, good luck.

Now Allstate is helping to make that easier, thankfully.

The company believes that good is being done all around you. By just opening up your eyes you can discover many great people, events, and things are happening all around you everyday in every community.

To help get us all to co-sign, they have created a pretty sweet social media platform which broadcasts good. Give It Up For Good is a multifaceted  website which aggregates a ton of good news. Everything from inspirational quotes, to lists of celebrity do-gooders, to local charities that are changing communities, to “Good of the Week” videos are featured and we all can get in on the act by sharing our good via Facebook and Twitter.

Check out the promo video below and the platform here.




My 100th Blog Post.

It was on July 26, 2009 that I started this blog with the post, “(My) Journey for Change.” Ninety-nine posts later, what amazes me is not only how much I’ve grown since then, but also how I have remained the same. People who have very little but give their all, still inspire me  and I still adore Anthropologie.

In July of ’09, I only had three weeks of social media ‘training’ under my belt and still didn’t understand why all of it mattered. However, I knew it would change the face of the world of marketing as we knew it.

I had no clue how much it would change my life. 100th_Birthday

Today, I am still on that journey for change and oftentimes, I cannot lie, I get frustrated. I wonder will I ever reach the end of the road and achieve the ultimate satisfaction once I reach the destination. That’s the logical me speaking.

The me that is an adventurer, who loves to learn (and teach) knows that when the journey is over, I’ll stop being excited about life. She prays not for the end, but to have a blast and soak in the beautiful lessons all along the way.

It is an honor to share my experiences via this blog and I hope that I can continue to inspire and teach for another 100-plus posts.

In the meantime, take a journey back in time with me and look at what I was speaking of way back when….

Finding Nemo.

The first major snowstorm of ’13 came and went. Although the occurrence, christened, Nemo, was major, he wasn’t as scary as anticipated. At least, not in the humble borough of BK.

I look at Nemo as a metaphor of how my colleagues in search of the next big professional thing will approach what remains of the year.

I’m no Sam Champion but let me offer this advise as you weather your professional storm.

My View.

My View.

1. Be prepared for it – flashlights, wine, cupcakes, Stevie Wonder dowloads, Sex and the City Deluxe DVD set… You stocked up and devoured it all, New Year’s resolutions be damned.  When it comes to your professional network, have you stocked up? Who do you need to reconnect with? Where are the opportunities to get new individuals to be in your corner? Don’t wait until you really need to tap into your network to build it up. By then, you may be too late.

2. Listen to the experts but trust your gut – I chose to ignore the weather forecasters and head into the city Friday at a time when the storm would, ‘really be escalating’. Instead, I found some light snow-ice and an eerily empty Times Square. Even today, I took advantage and headed out. And I’m glad I did. A quiet, empty(ish) NY is a rare and beautiful thing. So where am I going with this? Yes, the economic climate is tough. Yes, jobs are limited. When everyone is assuming just because the pundits say it, it’s Bible, there’s more opportunity. Take the chance and put yourself out there. Showcase your skills. You’ll stand out because others listened to ‘experts,’ they followed the rules and they fell back.

3. Enjoy every moment – some people sneer and suck their teeth when they hear of snow approaching. I don’t mind at all. In fact, the more major the storm, the better. There’s something about the falling flakes and drifts after that make me keenly aware of my surroundings and the beauty in it all. Sure, a job search can be tough as hell. There will be ups and downs whether you’re employed or not. I challenge you to take the time to notice all of the interesting characters along the way and relish in it.

The Backyard.

The Backyard.

Storms come but the sun is destined to shine after one. In the light of the day, how would you have taken advantage?

Challenge Slavery. Win $5K.

Tech is being used to solve some of humankind’s most pressing problems. I am always impressed when it’s used for good.  That’s why my interest was piqued when I discovered The Challenge Slavery Community’s Campus Challenge.

The competition has been opened since last November and includes a contest for students to propose the best technological solutions to help end trafficking in persons in the developing world.

The  Challenge also includes a research grant competition for graduate students, professors, and scholars at think tanks in the U.S. and overseas to conduct innovative and rigorous research on trafficking in persons. The research grant competition will be held in the spring of 2013.

Last October,, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah launched the Challenge at Pepperdine University, where a panel of experts convened to share insights on the role technology can play to prevent trafficking in persons and provide assistance to victims and survivors. The event was live streamed online and publicized globally with the goal of ending human trafficking. ChallengeSlavery

What’s in it for contestants?

Well, in addition to  the cash prize,  winners will receive an invitation to showcase and discuss ideas with USAID, other donors and organizations focused on combating trafficking.

Interested? Enter here.

Hurry, you’ve only got six days!