YOU are the heart of the United Way.
Since 1953, we at United Way Montcalm – Ionia Counties have been connecting individuals, organizations and nonprofits to better understand the needs in our community and tackle them.
In the wake of COVID-19, we understand that employers and employees alike are having to make tough decisions, and our team is here to provide charitable giving support during this pandemic.
Working remotely has frayed some of our connections to each other, especially in our workplaces. United Way giving campaigns are an activity that employees of every level and location can do together to build community and boost morale!
With social distancing, working remotely and a struggling economy, the United Way workplace campaign will look different this year. We are here to help you plan and execute the type of fundraising campaign that makes the most sense for your organization, and we are so grateful for your support of local families in need during this difficult time.
Between leading the COVID-19 Crisis Fund, administering the influx of Emergency Food and Shelter funding, providing schools with PPE through the Sponsor a Classroom program, and running the 21-Day Equity Challenge, our team has been busy creating new ways to share United Way’s impact and connect our corporate partners to the community.
When you donate to United Way Montcalm – Ionia Counties, you can feel good knowing your donation goes further, helping fund local nonprofit programs that are making a difference and providing Basic Needs, Education, and Financial Stability Support.
Is your company interested in running a United Way campaign?
Contact Terri Legg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find the inspiration you need to put on a fun and impactful campaign this year!
With COVID-19, some fundraising activities just won’t be possible this year – but don’t fret! There are still fun ways to engage your team, whether they are in the office, working from home or both.
Below, we’ve compiled ideas for Virtual and In-Person fundraising that you and your team can leverage this campaign season. Explore ideas to discover how you can still effectively and meaningfully raise funds for those in need while inspiring your team to connect during this difficult time.
We have also created a Campaign Leaders Resource Guide to help new and seasoned campaign leaders through this new virtual campaign. Click here to view and download the guide.
Communication during Campaign is key in increasing engagement. We have created a word document with complete sample emails for you to send out to your employees throughout the campaign. Click here to download the word document.
Videos to Share:
Have your fundraising activities become a tradition? Read on to see ways you can modify your tried and true activities to maintain normalcy for employees while following health guidance.
When you’re in the office:
- Ensure employees are practicing proper social distancing during all activities (6 feet apart or more).
- Consider the health and safety benefits of wearing masks during activities.
- Split up activities involving large groups into different time slots so there are less people in a room at once, or hold activities in several different rooms to space employees out.
- Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize! For group games and other activities that may require employees to use the same equipment, sanitize items and spaces between rounds. Consider using disposable materials so employees do not have to use the same equipment.
When possible, consider modifying your event into a virtual version. Explore the Virtual Ideas and Virtual Tools sections below for virtual fundraising ideas you can implement this year.
If your team is working remotely, here are some new, virtual options you can consider this year! Modify these however you please so that they work best for your workplace and fundraising goals. If you have questions or would like to brainstorm, please contact your donor engagement representative. You can find our team members and their contact information here.
- FISHING TOURNAMENT Choose a participation donation amount and a time frame for participants to snatch their biggest catch! Require participants to send in a photo of their catch with its measurement, and have someone review submissions to choose the winner. You can also have different submission categories, such as biggest walleye, bass or catfish.
- STEP CHALLENGE Team members pay to participate in this challenge which can also tie in nicely with your company wellness program. Participants use a step tracker to compete for different prizes or trophies, such as “Most Steps In A Day.”
- SPIRIT WEEK Use this high school throwback for a full week of virtual fun; pay a set amount to participate in things like Crazy Hair Day, Favorite Team/Jersey Day, Hat Day, Company Color Day, Opposite Day, Fun Zoom Background Day…you get the idea! Set a time for a virtual call to show your spirit, or just let it show in video meetings. Raffle a prize at the end of the week for all who participate.
- COOKING LESSON Find team members who have always wanted to host a cooking show; have them record or host a live cooking demonstration and charge “admission” (donations) to join the meeting or view the video link.
- DRESS UP DAY Flip the Dress Down Day and charge a donation to wear your best suit, favorite dress, trendiest tie . . . anything to get out of quarantine-comfy clothes!
- SPECIAL DELIVERY Beep beep . . . have your company executives deliver lunch to the highest bidder or raffle winner (wave and door drop only, please).
- DEPARTMENT CHALLENGE Challenge internal departments with prizes for the most United Way campaign donors, the highest increase in average gift, or first department to complete donations.
- BABY PHOTOS Have employees send their baby photos to be included in a virtual document or presentation; charge a small amount for each entry and challenge team members to match the photos. Send a prize to the person who matches the most!
- CUTEST PET CONTEST Post pet pictures on your intranet or send via email and have people vote with dollars on the cutest furry friends.
- RECIPE EXCHANGE Have team members submit their favorite recipes to share in an electronic cookbook. Charge a set amount to “buy” the book.
- CANDY COUNT Send a picture of a packed candy jar and charge a small donation to guess the count. The winner will come back to their office with a big jar of candy!
- HOME DATE NIGHT RAFFLE Enter to win gift cards to GrubHub/local restaurants and Red Box. Maybe add a delivery from a local winery or brewery, too!
- VIRTUAL VACATION Have people submit their favorite vacation photos and a brief description for a virtual tour around the world. Charge “travel fare” to view. As an added bonus, offer a drawing for a timeshare or vacation home rental for use at a later date!
- TIKTOK CHALLENGE Senior leaders offer to make TikTok videos if company fundraising goals are met or between departments as a competition (dept. leader with smallest % of fundraising goal makes TikTok); the virtual equivalent of doing a dunk tank or other fun in-person activity.
Finding the right tool to pull off a virtual campaign or fundraising activity can be tough, but we’ve compiled some resources to get you started! Please message your donor engagement representative directly if you have questions about utilizing one of these tools for your campaign. You can find our team members and their contact information here:
- Duo by Google
- Facebook Live
- Youtube Live
Click here for the PDF version of the paper Pledge Form and here for the Workplace Campaign Report Form.
While COVID-19 has changed a lot of workplace environments, we understand that many teams are still working in the office. Because of this, we wanted to share some classic fundraising ideas that you can modify for your needs. Please be sure to read through our “Staying Safe During COVID-19” section above to ensure you are prioritizing the health and safety of your team while fundraising. If you have questions or would like to brainstorm, please contact your donor engagement representative. You can find our team members and their contact information here.
- TAILGATE PARTY Hold a pay-per-plate cookout during lunch. Cook brats, burgers and hot dogs with condiments. Have chips, pretzels, soda and other tailgating items.
- CHILI COOK-OFF Participants pay to enter their chili into the contest. Choose judges and determine prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. After judging, employees can pay to sample each chili. Remember to supply cheese, sour cream, crackers, TUMS, etc.
- COMPLIMENT GRAMS Design notes of thanks or congratulations for co-workers to buy and send to each other.
- CHANGE BANDIT A co-worker dresses as a bandit and visits employees to procure spare change.
- SPARE CHANGE JARS Place empty jars near vending machines or gathering places. Ask employees to deposit spare change throughout the year for United Way. This can be a competition between departments.
- WHITE ELEPHANT SALE Employees donate odd items for the sale. Co-workers have the opportunity to buy items and can pay to display items in someone’s workspace.
- SPELLING BEE Hold a spelling bee and charge an entry fee. Have galley observers place bets on their favorite participants.
- DONATION DRIVE Employees donate new or slightly used books, videos, DVDs, board games, puzzles, etc. and hold a sale to benefit United Way.
- HAUNTED CUBICLE Offer the opportunity to “lease” an empty office or cubicle space that employee teams can decorate. The final day of the campaign, have employees vote on the best cubicle space by donating to the one they like the most.
- OFFICE OLYMPICS Have a plaque, medal or stuffed animal as an incentive for the department that wins the highest per capita giving award or raises the most money at a particular fundraiser. They keep said item until next year’s campaign.
- EMPLOYEE 5K FUN RUN Have employees and family members participate in an informal 5k run/walk and charge a fee with all proceeds going to your campaign.