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Statistics every social impact professional needs to have

Whether you are building a business case, preparing a presentation for your boss or working on a proposal to a potential partner, it’s important to have the statistics to back up your work. We’ve curated the latest data from research studies and reports to share with you key statistics covering employee engagement, purchasing behaviour, sustainability influences, trends, attitudes on social responsibility and nonprofit.

Employee Engagement

88% of Millennials feel their job is more fulfilling when they have the opportunity to make a positive impact.-  2016 Cone Millennial Engagement Study 

93% of employees surveyed want to work for a company that cares about them as an individual- 2016 Cone Communications Employee Engagement Study 

51% won’t work for a company that doesn’t have strong social and environmental commitments- 2016 Cone Communications Employee Engagement Study 

Employee advocacy increases with societal issue engagement. 82% of employees at a company involved in a broader societal cause would recommend company as an employer compared to 57% of employees at a company not involved. – Edelman Trust Barometer 2016  

Purchasing Behaviour

55% of global consumers willing to pay extra for products and services from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact up 10% from 2011 – Nielsen 2014 Doing Well by Doing Good  

42% of North American consumers willing to pay extra for products and services from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact up 7% from 2011 – Nielsen 2014 Doing Well by Doing Good  

 1/3 rd of consumers (33%) are now choosing to buy from brands they believe are doing social or environmental good. – unilever international study 2016

Sustainability Influences

Among the 66% of global respondents willing to pay more, over 50% of them are influenced by key sustainability factors, such as a product being made from fresh, natural and/or organic ingredients (69%), a company being environmentally friendly (58%), and company being known for its commitment to social value (56%). Sales, and coupons didn’t even make the top five. For this group, personal values are more important than personal benefits, such as cost or convenience. – Nielsen

More than one in five (21%) said they would actively choose brands if they made their sustainability credentials clearer on their packaging and in their marketing.  Representing an estimated €966 billion opportunity exists for brands that make their sustainability credentials clear. – unilever international study 2016


Trend for purpose-led purchasing is greater among consumers in emerging economies than in developed markets. 78% in the US and 53% of shoppers in the UK say they feel better when they buy products that are sustainably produced, that number rises to 88% in India and 85% in both Brazil and Turkey. – unilever international study 2016

 CSR Trends to watch for in 2017 – Forbes article contributed by Susan McPherson

  • A commitment to sustainability regardless of political changes
  • Corporations stepping up as advocates and problem-solvers
  • New, rising expectations of the CSO
  • A shift from “corporate social responsibility” to “social impact”
  • Accelerating the transition to the circular economy
  • More investment in consumer and employee buy-in

Attitudes on Social Responsibility

87% of Millennials believe that business success should be based on more than just profit – Delloitte Millennial Survey 

80% of global consumers agree that business must play a role in addressing societal issues. Edelman Trust Barometer 2016 

75% agree that a company can take specific action that both increase profits and improve the economic and social conditions in the community in which it operates. Edelman Trust Barometer 2017 

Millennials and Work

Millennials outnumber Boomers in the workforce and 75% of the workforce will be Millennials by 2025- Newswire 

71% of Millennials believe that meaningful work is among the top three most essential factors that define a successful career.

76% of Millennials consider a company’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work- 2016 Cone Millennial Engagement study 

64% won’t take a job from a company that doesn’t have strong CSR practices- 2016 Cone Millennial Engagement study 

75% say they would take a pay cut to work for a responsible company (vs. 55% U.S. average)- 2016 Cone Millennial Engagement study 


Top 10 Canadian Nonprofits with best perceived social impact – Nielsen 

  1. Hospital for Sick Children Foundation
  2. Doctors without borders
  3. Habitat for Humanity Canada
  4. Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation
  5. Ronald McDonald House Foundation
  6. Make A Wish Foundation Canada
  7. Children’s Wish Foundation Canada
  8. Tim Horton’s Children’s Foundation
  9. Canadian Red Cross
  10. Alzheimer’s Society of Canada

What are we missing? We want to hear from you if you have other stats that you think need to be included on our list.

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