Cox Automotive group in front of Christmas Tree

10 tips for creating a successful workplace giving campaign
Making a difference doesn't have to be hard work

Post Danielle Henderson

A workplace giving campaign is an opportunity to involve your staff in making a difference while having fun, getting to know one another, and enhancing your organization’s community presence. 

But, where do you start? Here are 10 tips for creating a successful workplace giving campaign:

1. Connect with Your Local United Way

Running a workplace campaign can be a daunting task, but you’re not alone. Connect with your Local United Way staff representative. We are here to help every step of the way from brainstorming ideas and staffing events to staff presentations. Visit the workplace campaign website to get started with United Way California Capital Region

United Way staff at pancake breakfast at UPS

2. Goals and Timelines

Set clear and realistic objectives so your staff knows your donation goal and stays motivated. Create a visual representation of your goal for all staff to see such as a thermometer chart that tracks how close you are to your goal. To hit your goal, create a timeline of important dates and deadlines for your campaign. Examples include the kick-off event, donation pledge deadline, special event dates, volunteer projects. 

3.  Recruit Your Champions

A campaign is most successful when a person or a group of people take the lead—like you are! Create a committee or pick team/department captains to bring ideas to the table, organize special events, encourage participation, and be a campaign cheerleader. 

4. Communication

Your staff will get involved if they know what’s going on! Send out reminder emails, calendar invites, easy-to-follow donation pledge instructions, and put up posters in the breakroom. Need some examples? Check out our example emails here

5. Leadership Buy-In

A campaign is most successful with the support from your organization’s leadership. To engage staff, have your leadership team email or send a letter of support as a part of the campaign’s kick-off communication. Keep them engaged and encourage their attendance at events.

Nationwide at Boys and Girls Club with paint brushes in air 6. Fun, Fun, and More Fun! 

Who said running a meaningful campaign isn’t supposed to be fun too? First, ask your champions what they are looking for in a campaign. Is it a raffle for a day off or prime parking spot, silent auction for gift baskets, volunteer project, team lunch, or an afternoon of fun games like cornhole? There are so many ways to create special events that get staff pumped to get involved in their community and donate to causes they’re passionate about. Your United Way representative is a great tool for planning out a fun, meaningful campaign.

7. Incentives

Create fun incentives for staff to boost participation. Some examples include raffles, the first 5 donors, silent auctions, etc. Or think outside the box with casual clothes days, gift cards, company swag (t-shirts, water bottles, and reusable bags), prime parking spots, or extra days off! 

8. Capture the Moments

Don’t forget to take pictures throughout your campaign. Use the pictures to display in the break room and in emails so staff feel connected to the campaign and each other at work. Share the photos in a newsletter or update for your leadership team to communicate the value of the campaign to the staff, company, and community. If you are sharing on social, don’t forget to tag us at @UnitedWayCCR along the way. We love seeing your campaigns and are happy to share. Eli Lily Company at Front Street Shelter organizing pet food pantry

9. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Our trained staff is here to do some of the legwork for you. Through our nonprofit partnership program, we help connect you with the best speakers, volunteer projects, and can even set-up site tours so your staff can see their campaign at work. 

10. Debrief

Gather your committee or champions for a campaign closeout meeting. Discuss if goals were met, what worked, what didn’t, and what you’d like to see for next year. Transfer this information into a campaign summary that lives on a shared drive or intranet so you or your successor will be able to hit the ground running for next year’s campaign. Be as detailed as possible so the notes are easily understood by someone unfamiliar with the campaign. 

A workplace giving campaign is an opportunity for staff to give back to their communities while having fun! Being the lead may seem daunting, but United Way California Capital Region is ready to help you not only during the campaign, but year round too. Your communities and nonprofits are grateful for your support. We look forward to working with you!

If you have any questions about starting your own campaign at work or are inspired to improve your give your current campaign, give us a shout. Contact Danielle Henderson, Resource Development Manager, at dhenderson@uwccr.org or (916)856-3943.