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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve no doubt been inundated with ice bucket challenges galore on social media over the past few weeks.

The purpose of the challenge is to raise awareness – and money – to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. And it’s gotten mixed reviews. Some are annoyed that, instead of donating, people are wasting water. Others think it’s a publicity stunt. But, the impact can’t be denied – the challenge has raised over $41 million for the ALS association.  In my HR mode, I wonder two things:

  1. How many of those dollars come from Millennials? Millennials will soon make up the majority of our workforce and the vast majority of Millennials, 87% in fact, have reported donating to a cause that is important to them.  Millennials also want meaning in their work, and want employers who support that.
  2. How much came from matching employer donations? An easy way for employers to show they care is to offer matching dollars for employee donations. This is a simple, low effort way to offer support to employees who want to make a difference; and it’s a method that 65% of Fortune 500 companies use.

With the recent success of the Ice Bucket Challenge, it’s clear that now, more than ever, our current and future employees want to rally around a cause and make an impact. Employers can easily show they care by offering a donation match, of any percentage. Doing so will ultimately benefit the company by attracting employees who care about others and want to make a difference – sounds like a good deal to me!

Catherine Schmidt
Catherine Schmidt
Catherine Schmidt is Purple Ink’s Director of Client Services and is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Catherine has a special interest in career coaching and recruiting and finds joy when she can connect the right person to the right opportunity.

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