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The holiday season tends to bring quite a whirl of sensations, including the impulse to be generous. Unfortunately it can also bring a heightened awareness of how little cash you have left after all that gift-shopping – and resolutions to “spend less next year”. We all need to live within our means, but there are so many good causes that could do with our help. One solution is to get together with colleagues and persuade them to join in with workplace giving. This way, your favorite causes still benefit but your bank account is under less pressure.
Here are some tips for getting everyone on board:
Know how corporate fundraising can benefit your employer
If it’s a large organisation, your employer may have a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) department that’s already working with charities and good causes. Find out what charitable work, if any, is already going on, and ask how you can help.
If there isn’t anything, you’ll have to start the ball rolling yourself. Corporate giving is an excellent way for companies to raise their public profiles and support their communities. Sponsored activities (bike rides, marathons, moustache-growing), charity events (like sports tournaments, galas and auctions) and personal endurance (mountain climbing, hill walking) are all popular ways to for companies to raise money for charity. Suggest that your employer offers to match whatever funds are raised by your colleagues with a donation of their own – this often inspires the fundraisers to see how far they can raise the bar!
Make some noise
Of course, fundraising won’t go far if nobody else hears about it, so be fearless and make sure that the company’s charity work is advertised on its intranet, website, social media channels, toilet walls – anywhere that will get more people involved, and donating. Get in touch with your chosen charity and ask if they’re willing to join in some mutual press opportunities. Work with the marketing departments in both organisations to send out press releases, and make sure customers, clients and peers are involved as well.
Multi-company events which invite teams from several companies (usually within the same industry) to compete at bowling, table tennis (anything you can think of, in fact, although tap dancing might not be too popular) can be especially good fun. The added sting of playing to beat industrial competitors can really inspire people to give it their all – and raise even more money in the process.
Put it to the vote
Rather than marching into the office and saying “right, we’re donating to Charity Y”, try giving colleagues a choice of charities – they can either do individual activities for their favourite cause, or you can put it to the vote and donate everything to the most popular one. Make sure everyone knows that they can vote again next time. Anyone who flaked out this time round – and then ended up feeling disappointed with the result – should be more likely to get on board when it happens again.
Make fundraising easy
Create donation pages, set up text codes for easy donation by mobile, print out sponsorship forms, posters, and easily understood information about the event. Hand out leaflets about the charity or community cause that will benefit. People are keen to help, but making things too long-winded will often put them off. Make fundraising easy for your colleagues, and they’re more likely to step up to the plate.