Here at Lovin’ Spoonfuls, we love office fundraisers. They rally people around a meaningful cause and position them to make an impact in the process.
But how do you go about starting an effective fundraiser in your workplace? Look no further. Whether your company is in-person, remote, or hybrid, here are some of the best tips from Spoonfuls’ very own fundraising team.
Choosing a nonprofit
First things first, if you don’t have a nonprofit in mind already, you’ll need to pick one to fundraise for. Here are some questions to ask yourself: What are you passionate about and why? What organizations are doing this work local to you, your coworkers, and your company? Does this organization align with your company’s values and mission?
For example, those who’ve organized fundraisers for Lovin’ Spoonfuls tend to be people who are driven to do something to curb food waste, respond to the climate emergency, and fight hunger. Identifying a cause that everyone can get behind is step one!
Make it personal
As you go through the next steps of setting up your fundraiser, here’s another important thing to keep in mind: Make it personal. Highlighting how the nonprofit’s work aligns with your company’s values and mission and what kind of impact it has on your colleagues and community is important.
For example, if a company in the MetroWest is fundraising for Lovin’ Spoonfuls, the organizer might share how Spoonfuls delivers food to 26 nonprofits in that region.
It’s also a great idea to share why you personally care about the nonprofit, too. If you can, tell a story about a personal experience that relates to its mission. Storytelling is a great tool to move people and engage them in a cause.
Fundraising for Spoonfuls? Start here.
Connecting with your company
How you rope in your company and colleagues depends upon your workplace. Do they have a fundraising or corporate social responsibility committee? Have they hosted employee-driven fundraisers in the past? If so, a great next step is to bring the idea to the committee and make your pitch: Here’s why I want to start this fundraiser! Explain how the organization you want to support aligns with your company’s values. Highlight it as a good opportunity for employee camaraderie and engagement, which is top of mind for many companies, but especially those navigating a remote workforce.
If this type of committee does not exist at your company, ask your supervisor for guidance or try pitching the idea at a team meeting and offer to take the lead.
No matter your company’s structure, be sure to ask if they’re willing to match your fundraising efforts. For example, if you and your coworkers raise $500, they might donate an additional $500 on the company’s behalf. This type of match doubles the impact of every dollar you and your coworkers donate.
Planning with your coworkers
Once you have the approval to execute your fundraiser, it’s a good idea to get some of your coworkers in on the planning process. Engaging them from the beginning will help them feel more connected and motivated to make it a success!
Set up a meeting with those interested in helping and ask: What type of fundraiser do you want to try? What ideas have been tried before? What special skills do you have that could help? What feels like an achievable fundraising goal?
Tell the nonprofit
As a team of professional fundraisers, trust us when we tell you that most nonprofits like to know what you’re up to. Not only does this enable us to be prepared, but it also positions us to provide assistance (think: meeting with your staff or sharing our toolkit to help you better market your fundraiser).
Once you have all agreed upon a fundraiser and connected with the organization, it’s time to get started. We suggest sharing weekly progress updates with your coworkers throughout the duration of the fundraiser. Slack channels or office whiteboards – anywhere people see and engage with updates – are good! You can even incorporate impact statements from the organization or graphs/visuals if they provided any. If your fundraiser involves any friendly competition, like Superbowl squares, having a virtual or in-person leader board can be fun, motivational, and engaging.
Once your fundraiser is over, it’s time to share the results with your coworkers and the nonprofit. If the nonprofit has impact metrics you can include, those are always impactful. For example, at Lovin’ Spoonfuls, we discuss how every dollar donated to our organization enables our team to rescue and distribute roughly three pounds of fresh, healthy food.
Now, just because the fundraiser is over doesn’t mean that you or your coworkers can’t stay apprised of the organization’s work! One thing you can do is ask your team if anyone is interested in signing up for the organization’s email newsletter and encourage them to follow the organization on social media. This can help extend the life of the fundraiser by helping those interested stay connected to the nonprofit. You could consider making the fundraiser annual, too! Since your coworkers would already be familiar with the organization, they may be motivated to reach a higher fundraising goal the next go around.