Handy tips for making your fundraising campaigns a success from the start:
- Think about fundraising ideas that will appeal to as broad a range of people as possible. For example, sports-related fundraising alone will appeal to some but not all. Similarly, alcoholic/social fundraising events may not be as appealing to everyone.
- Engage your employees in coming up with ideas, such as with prizes for the most original idea or the one which raises the most money – the more ownership they have of the ideas, the more engaged they’ll be.
- Make sure there’s some visible leadership supporting the campaign. For example, you could launch the campaign through an email from a CEO (perhaps with a personal pledge to match the amount raised by the best fundraiser!), plus ongoing visibility for senior level fundraising efforts throughout the campaign.
- Think about matching funds raised generally – for example if you’re thinking about making a corporate donation to charity, why not announce to your employees that the company will match what they raise up to a certain amount? Employees will feel that their efforts produce bigger results and they’ll be proud that work is supporting a good cause.
- Pull together a calendar of events for the whole year (including links to any fundraising events which your chosen charity is holding for its general supporters) so you can keep a sense of momentum and plan accordingly. We’ve made an awareness days calendar for 2020 that might inspire you!
- Think about branding your charitable effort so that any posters, intranet pages or newsletters you have are easily recognisable as fundraising-related. Keep the tone informal and fun – even though there’s a serious underlying message, employees need to feel that it’s enjoyable as well as rewarding.
- Set yourselves a target at the outset and ask the charity you’re supporting to provide you with emotive detail about what the funding will achieve (references to human beneficiaries will make it all feel tangible for your staff). Perhaps the charity could come and present to your employees and explain why their work is so important. They should also be ready to provide you with stories to support additional fundraising if you’re getting close to achieving your target and want to raise the bar even higher. So instead of thinking “let’s raise £5,000”, think “let’s raise £5,000 and help people like Claire to get the medical support they need to go on holiday for the first time in their life. And if we raise £6,000, Claire can receive…”
- Make sure the charity you’re supporting is keeping a running total of the amount you’ve raised so you can keep your employees posted. However, you might also want to keep a record of things like ‘best individual fundraiser’ or ‘best fundraising team’ to introduce an element of competition – setting teams off against each other could inspire better results!
- If you work in a high rise building you could introduce a ‘lift toll’ for the day – charge everyone £1 every time they use the lift. If you work in a large tower block just think how much you’ll raise in a day.
- Form teams and sell tickets for an office quiz night. Someone will need to lead on curating the questions, and someone else on scoring. Draw in the crowds with food and drinks and have someone senior as the MC!
- A skills auction works really well at work – get your colleagues to donate their skills, from dressmaking to tea making and everything in between. Get your boss to offer to make the tea or wash someone’s car and watch the bidding really shoot up!
- Hold a baking competition with senior leaders as judges and charge people at work for slices of the tasty treats.
- Sponsored shave. You or a willing volunteer gets sponsored to do a head/moustache/beard shave or a leg/chest wax.
- Office olympics. Create a schedule of activities and host a tournament at the office. Be sure to include a diverse set of activities that will appeal to the whole office, like Wii tennis for aspiring athletes, a taste test challenge for foodies and a spelling bee for the academics. Charge people for entry and randomly split participants into teams. Get medals for the winners and someone senior to lead the awards ceremony!
- Bring in your old clothes, vinyl or other fashion and home items to work for a swap shop. Swap with other colleagues and make a donation
- Look out for local events such as summer fetes or local dances where you can hold a tombola, raffle or cake stall to raise money.
- Charge everyone £2 to come to work in casual clothes – or you could have a theme like ‘green day’ where everybody has to come in wearing something green.
- Get sponsored to play your favourite tunes in the office – ask everybody to donate to play their favourite song, and you can decide who’s the best DJ in the office!
- Guess the baby. This is particularly good if you can get the boss involved! Get everyone in your office to bring in a baby photo and charge people £1 to guess who it is. The person with the most correct guesses wins. Extra bonus for spotting the boss in nappies.
- Stars in your eyes. Laugh at your colleagues miming their favourite tunes in your very own stars in your eyes competition. Everyone makes a donation for taking part, whether enjoying as part of the audience, entertaining or voting.
This was updated in March 2019 by Heart of the City. We’ve created these resources for individual SMEs to use. None of our content is to be adapted, reused or repurposed for commercial use.