10 Secrets for a Successful Employee Giving Campaign
Invest in Your Employees and They’ll Invest in Your Organization
Employee giving campaigns are a crucial part of many organizations’ fundraising goals—they mobilize philanthropic efforts from the inside out (because who better to promote and support your efforts than the people directly involved with your organization every day?) Employee giving campaigns utilize internal outreach strategies to get employees to donate to a certain cause or organization (in most cases, their own). By starting internally, you create a ripple effect outward where your employees become fundraising champions and encourage others to join the cause.
According to Forbes, about 85% of campaign administrators say that keeping their employee giving campaigns fresh is one of their top challenges when administering their programs. But how do you get—and keep—your employees motivated to give?
To keep your employee giving campaign from falling flat, consider these 10 tips to increase engagement and get more employees to support your cause.
1. Host a Kick-Off Party
The best way to get employee attention is to make giving back both fun and interactive. Starting each new giving year, quarter, or campaign with a kick-off party or special event gives employees the chance to learn more about the cause they’re supporting, interact with their colleagues, and have fun, all while creating a contagious energy for giving. Use games, giveaways, and raffles to encourage attendance, because more attendees equal more potential new donors.
2. Offer Donor-Only Benefits
Donors love to feel a sense of appreciation for their generosity. Offering “donor-only” events and privileges like happy hours, dinners, designated parking spots, or Casual Fridays gives your donors a sense of prestige for their contribution while also enticing those not giving to want to participate to receive their own rewards.
3. Organize Opportunity Drawings
Some employees may not be so eager to commit to reoccurring giving or devoting a certain percentage of their paychecks back into the organization. To engage these folks, it’s important to also provide one-time options for donating. Consider opportunity drawings. They work similar to raffles. For example, employees can buy one entry for $5 or three for $8 to win prizes like gift cards, technology, vacations, or extra PTO days. The more enticing the prize, the more money you’ll raise!
4. Get Leadership Involved
No one will feel motivated to give to a cause their own boss doesn’t support. Employee giving campaigns always work better from the top down. By mobilizing those higher up to participate, you increase the chance that others will join. Encourage leadership to attend events, send appeal emails, and (of course) donate, to set the precedent for all employees to give.
5. Create a Culture of Giving
The best way to promote giving is to make it second nature. This ensures that employees will be eager to give. Provide consistent resources for your cause to your employees. You could even go as far as mentioning giving during the interview process or in your mission statement to attract the kind of employees who are eager to give. By ingraining charity into the company culture, you’ll remove the question of whether or not to give and instead focus on how much to give.
6. Start a Point System Competition
A little bit of friendly competition never hurt! Encourage departments to work together to win prizes like team lunches, PTO days, a week of wearing jeans, etc. through a point-based competition. Here’s an example:
- 6 points for giving during the campaign
- 4 points for increasing gift from last year
- 3 points for first-time donors
- 2 points for volunteering during the campaign
- 1 point for attending a campaign event (i.e., kick-off, meeting, etc.)
7. Implement Online Platforms for Giving
Adding convenience and ease to your giving campaign is essential. A mobile-friendly, online platform allows for customizable accounts with options for where, when, and how much to give. Plus, by providing ways for donors to share their giving on social media through the platform, you can reach their social networks as well.
8. Recruit During New Employee Orientation
What better way to institutionalize your employee giving campaign than by making it known to your employees on the first day of the job? Take time during new employee orientation to show new hires how they can support your organization. If they understand early on that charity is a major part of what it means to be an employee at your organization, they’ll be more likely to join in.
9. Advertise Where Employees Are
Internal emails can get overwhelming. To avoid getting rerouted to the trash folder or overlooked altogether, try to catch your employees’ attention in areas other than their inboxes. Post banners or posters in common places such as bathrooms, break rooms, cafeterias, and clocking in and out stations. The likelihood of an employee seeing and reading these signs as they stop to wash their hands, for example, is a lot higher than when they’re swamped with work at their desks.
10. Create Testimonial Videos
Video marketing is hot right now, so why not use the approach for your employee giving campaign? Create video content with testimonials from frequent givers or those impacted by your organization, which can be shared in marketing materials or played on TVs in common spaces. This personal touch will amplify your cause. These testimonials show employees that the people who donate are the same people they walk by in the office everyday—and it’s one more way they can support people in need.
To increase employee engagement, make sure your campaign is fun, feels personal, offers rewards, and is supported by strong marketing materials. In the end, giving back simply feels good—the more you emphasize that, the more your employees will want to give back, and the better they’ll feel about giving back to your organization.