Ten tips to make them a success

Each year, approximately $5 billion is raised through employee giving. Employee giving campaigns require a fair amount of effort but usually result in big dividends. Employee giving is an excellent way to enhance employee engagement and establish a connection between the employee’s work and your organization’s mission. Research has shown that employees that give feel more positive towards their employer. It’s also a great fundraising initiative and can boost your overall income. Revenue growth is even more likely if you establish a robust monthly giving program that utilizes payroll deduction.

With that in mind, here are 10 tips that will help you establish a successful program:

Recruit a planning committee and find “champions” in key departments. These campaign representatives can be assigned to their department to help track employees and support the campaign on the ground.

Secure the support of leadership. Ask the board, senior leadership, and management-level employees to give first and strive for 100% participation. Personalize the messaging to your leadership team for a better response rate.

Host a kickoff event and make it high-energy and fun (when your workplace is back in person). Bring in a speaker that has been impacted by your mission to share their story. Offer lunch or other food if possible and consider giveaways for those who attend.

Have a set time frame for the campaign. A too-long campaign will lose steam, and a too-short campaign will likely miss some employees. 2-4 weeks is an excellent timeframe to consider.

Personalize your solicitations. Consider hand-delivering campaign materials to employees. It is an effective way to make sure employees receive personalized attention and tends to have better results. Personalize all mailings and emails and consider segmenting messages based on which department the employee works in.

Communicate effectively and consistently. A marketing adage says a message must be seen at least seven times before viewers take action. So, plan a communication campaign with multiple messages to your employees, using a mixed media approach including emails, personalized letters, and social media. Also, post flyers and posters around the office (again, when you are back in-person). Create short videos with testimonials from donors or those impacted by your mission and share through email or on TV monitors if that is an option.

Offer donor-only benefits or perks. For example, enter employee donors in a raffle for a free or preferred parking spot for a year. Another example is offering a branded umbrella or coffee cup to donors. Finally, if applicable, you can list employee donors on a large poster in the dining or public area of the organization.

Accept gifts through various methods. Encourage payroll deduction and be willing to accept credit cards, cash, checks, and if applicable, gifts of cashed-in PTO (paid time off).

Create a culture of philanthropy in the workplace. Make sure communication is year-round about giving – not just during the annual campaign. Introduce employee giving during new employee orientation and regularly during leadership meetings.

Celebrate success. Talk about how employees’ generosity has created an impact based on your mission. Showcase participation rates and dollar amount raised after the campaign ends. But be sure to put a positive spin on the story whether or not the amount raised, and participation goals were reached.

If you are interested in learning more about employee giving campaigns, reach out directly to Colleen Murphy at colleen@givingcollaborative to schedule an initial consultation and receive a free copy of our white paper on employee giving.