When many first think of hosting a charity fundraising event, they often think of it on a huge scale. They think about getting the general public involved and accepting donations from people they’ve never met before or are unlikely to ever see again.
For most small fundraising events, once it takes place, the likelihood is that the majority of people who make donations are going to be friends, family or work colleagues. Although you can pretty much guarantee donations from your nearest and dearest, work colleagues may be a little more reluctant at first, but the truth is you could raise a small fortune relatively easily by reaching out to everyone within the organisation.
And it’s for this reason why if you’re considering creating an event for charity, doing it in the workplace is always a great idea. Aside from the fact you’ll know, to some extent, a large portion of the audience, you don’t have to worry about the potential struggles faced when gaining donations from complete strangers.
Although there can be a few pitfalls, it’s a lot easier than most first realise and there are three simple steps to ensuring you create an effective charity fundraising event at work.
1. Have a unique idea
Charity fundraising events in the workplace aren’t new. Speak to your parents – or even your grandparents – and you’ll hear stories of them donating a couple of pounds regularly to various different causes throughout the year, every year.
Although great in one sense, as it means people have become accustomed to making donations at work, it also means they have seen most of the traditional events more than once and are likely to just make the same size donation as they did last time.
Obviously any donation is welcomed, but if you bring something unique to the table – or even simply a unique twist on a traditional event – you’re likely to see increased donations in terms of both the actual amounts and the volume of them.
Take something traditional such as getting slimed. We’ve all seen it before (even if it’s just been on a children’s TV show) and if you volunteer to do it at work, chances are most would donate a few pounds. But what if you mixed it up a little bit and got 100 colleagues to do it all at once, outside of the company’s offices? Or perhaps if you got all of the company’s directors to do it instead as part of a charity dare – would that raise more money?
2. Understand your audience
Audiences vary massively and this applies in the workplace, too. Even if you’ve always worked in the same industry, one company’s view of charity could be completely different to another’s.
For example, the slime event above might work in one company, but in another they may think it’s completely pointless and prefer you to be dared to abseil off a local landmark (mix this up a little and dare someone to abseil with you, for instance and you’ve got yourself another unique twist on a popular charity fundraising event).
You don’t have to do a huge audience analysis, but take the time to work out people’s interests – and pet hates – and develop your charity fundraising event from there. Dare someone your audience knows and give them their own angle on it. It doesn’t have to be something massive, but a slight change could be the difference between raising a few hundred pounds and a few thousand.
3. Know how to promote it best
You’re at work. The purpose of you – and your colleagues – being there is to carry out your job role. Chances are you’ll get at least half hour for your lunch and perhaps a break or two. These times are valuable, as it gives you chance to get away from work and relax for a little while.
You therefore need to understand two things when it comes to charity fundraising in the workplace – it shouldn’t detract from your, or your colleagues’ work and you shouldn’t bombard them on their lunch and breaks. How would you feel if every free moment you had you were being asked to donate money?
Instead, it’s always recommended to try and work in conjunction with your organisation. If you can do this, you may be able to take a bit of time out during the day to walk around the different departments and let people know what you’re doing – your organisation gets the kudos for helping a charity and you can tell people about the event without bothering them on their lunch or distracting them too regularly from their roles.
You could even try to find a way for them to interact with your event, such as sponsorship or simply hosting!
Charity fundraising at work can be a great way to raise substantial funds for your chosen cause. You’ll know at least a good portion of your colleagues and they’ll know another good portion and so on. For a particularly large organisation, you could practically guarantee donations from 10, 25, 50 or 100+ employees!
Although the aim of any charity event is going to be the same whether it’s in the workplace or not, the actual approach to the event needs to differ to ensure it’s as successful as it can be in terms of raising money. By following these three simple steps, however, you should be able to have one of the best charity fundraising events your workplace has ever seen! Good luck!