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Ford’s ‘Thirty Under 30’ Charity Leadership Program Underway

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Ford has pioneered a new leadership program for young millennial employees called “Thirty Under 30,” and it’s now underway, teaching Ford’s under-30 workforce how to run and connect with charity organizations to create the next generation of philanthropic leaders.

“We only are as good as the people in our organization and in our community,” said Executive Chairman Bill Ford, who announced the program last year. “Millennials are the future. To spearhead change, we must help younger generations thrive, which includes cultivating their growing comprehension that it is not about what you get for yourself, but what you do for other people.”

The Thirty Under 30 fellows are taking time away from their work as engineering, marketing, financing, and IT professionals to engage in a year-long course intended to teach how to run a successful charity organization, as well as how to reach younger generations. Younger generations are more likely to donate time than money, according to Ford, with a 2015 Achieve study finding that 70 percent of millennials volunteered for at least an hour last year, and one-third volunteered 11 hours or more of their time.

The problem is that in addition to human effort, non-profit organizations require monetary donations to keep afloat.

Ford Motor Company pioneered the idea of charitable payroll deduction, but that might not fly with today’s financially-strapped youth generation. “What’s the next payroll deduction?” Stephen Nacarato, Corporate Development Director at United Way, Southeastern Michigan, asked the fellows. “How do we sustain it? How do we maintain it? How do we launch it?”

Perhaps Ford’s Thirty Under 30 program will produce a workable answer.

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Aaron Brzozowski is a writer and motoring enthusiast from Detroit with an affinity for '80s German steel. He is not active on the Twitter these days, but you may send him a courier pigeon.

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