Elaine Fogel

Corporate Citizenship

Millennials Continue to Influence Workplaces and Causes

millennial-workersMillennials want to engage with their employers through cause work. It’s that simple. And, they are influencing their workplaces and the causes they support.

That becomes even more evident with the latest 2014 Millennial Impact Report from Achieve. Approximately 80 million Millennials live in the U.S. today, collectively spending about $300 billion annually on consumer discretionary goods. And, by the year 2020, they will make up 50% of the workforce!

So, let’s get down to it and see just how influential they are.  Continue reading

Hurray for Starbucks! A Real Paragon of Corporate Social Responsibility

By Eris Siva (Eris the Barista) CC-BY-SA-2.0

By Eris Siva (Eris the Barista) CC-BY-SA-2.0

If you haven’t heard, Starbucks is changing the business landscape yet again. This time, it is offering its employees FREE higher education. Yes, you read that correctly.

In a partnership with Arizona State University, employees (nationwide) can sign up for free online courses to gain their degrees. They don’t even have to commit to lifetime employment with the company!

According to the Arizona Republic, “The initiative will allow any employee who works at least 20 hours a week to receive full tuition reimbursement if he or she enrolls in ASU’s online program as juniors or seniors. Others will be able to apply for scholarships to attend as freshmen or sophomores.”

What’s shocking is that American students are $1.2 trillion in debt! A December study by the Institute for College Access & Success, showed that seven out of 10 students in the class of 2012 graduated with student loans, averaging $29,400. And, imagine how much higher it is for those with post-graduate degrees. Someone making $40-50K annually, trying to pay off a $70K+ loan, is in a no-win situation carrying a daunting weight.   

Eventually, many of these students will marry and have kids. So, now add mortgages, college funds for their kids, and retirement savings, and too many will end up dying in debt. Some legacy for their children and grandchildren, eh? It is a moral crime.

Even though some other corporations offer tuition reimbursement programs, I’m unsure how many can come close to what Starbucks is offering. I really hope this Starbucks/ASU program serves as a paragon for the others, especially those that rely on low-wage workers.

So, now in addition to earning the company’s restricted stock, a 401(k) matching program, free beverages on work breaks, a free pound of coffee weekly, and a 30% discount on food, drinks and merchandise, Starbucks’ employees can earn a bachelors’ degree for free.

It’s an amazing feather in its corporate social responsibility, employee engagement, and brand caps. Big kudos to Howard Schultz and Starbucks!

Looks like Starbucks will never have to worry about employee recruitment.

Are you paying attention Corporate America?

Giving Back is Good for Business

The CECP, in association with The Conference Board, released its Giving in Numbers: 2013 Edition. Based on data from 240 companies, including 60 of the largest 100 companies in the Fortune 500, the sum of contributions across all respondents in the 2012 survey totaled more than $20 billion in cash and in-kind giving!

Some tidbits of information:

  • Median total giving in CECP’s sample was $20 million
  • 59% of companies gave more in 2012 than in 2007, the year before the global recession set in
  • Aggregate giving rose 42% from 2007 to 2012
  • While direct cash donations dominated at 47% of total giving in 2012, non-cash contributions have been growing at a faster rate of 10% or more in each year since 2008
  • Paid-release-time employee volunteer programs were offered by 70% of companies in 2012, compared to just 53% of companies before the global recession

Here’s the infographic that details the report’s result:  Continue reading

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