View Full Version : United Way - fundraising
08-26-2002, 10:55 AM
Many years ago, I used to be very involved with the United Way campaign at my former employer. We used to make it fun...we used to provide numerous opportunities for giving/contribution/volunteering, etc. I'm now at a place where the United Way campaign fund goes sort of like this:
DeptChair: <mumbled..in a whispered voice> it's united way fund time-here's your card-give if you can.
<and slink back out the door.>
In other words, it's not a good thing to give (even though our president wants us to have a successful campaign.) It's not even about whether United Way is a terrific chance to give back to the community or not. It's STRICTLY "give because here's a card and it's that time of year".
This year, there are some people involved with leading the campaign that are actually friends of mine. It makes me want to be involved again. Back in the dark ages when I was involved the last time, we used to have all kinds of activities during the campaign period. It wasn't just "sign your card and give"...we made it fun! We gave the employees various ways of participating and donating. Now that it's been more than a dozen years, I'm sitting here racking my brains trying to remember the things that we did.
With the number of people we have in so many areas of the country and in so many different places of employment, I'm hoping you guys can give me some ideas. I haven't completely volunteered...but I did talk to one of my involved friends. If I can talk to them armed with lots of ideas, we could actually have a great campaign were people are even a little excited about it.
Thanks so much for any ideas/suggestions!
08-26-2002, 11:08 AM
I work at a rather large company so a little goes a long way for us...
I think we had a week dedicated to the United Way drive.....
one day we could pay $5 to wear jeans to work
and the big fund raiser was each department got donations from other companies (gift certificates, promotional items etc) and we made themed baskets....then we all could buy raffle tickets for whatever basket we wanted...all funds went to the United Way drive. Haven't heard the final #'s yet but I bet it was pretty successful!
We did something else but can't for the life of me remember what it was! And it was only last week!!!!
08-26-2002, 11:10 AM
At my work last week, we had an ice cream social for United Way. It was $1 scoop with any toppings you wanted. There also were raffle baskets that were $1 per chance. We usually make extremely good money on this event and they have it every year. Everyone loves it!
08-26-2002, 12:33 PM
I was involved with United Way at a previous job, and while my memory is a little fuzzy, here's a few things I remember we did:
Car wash with executives washing the cars
Root beer float sale (something like $2 each, sold from a cart that went into each department)
Raffle with prizes (everyone who pledged more than X amount had a chance to win)
Something with cutting neck ties, like you could pay $ to clip the tie of one of the execs
United Way Day fair with entertainment, raffle and a dunking booth
Popcorn sale at $1/bag
We didn't do all of these in one year, but I'm sure there are more I just can't think of right now. Good luck!
08-26-2002, 01:26 PM
I've been the chair of our UW campaign several times....all of the above has worked well. Especially the pay for jeans and ice cream stuff. We also have had bake sales and chili cookoffs....pay to eat...and give the lump sum to UW. For the jeans we have done both pay $5 to wear jeans for a week and also (separate year) a completed card with minimum donation gets to wear jeans every Friday for a month or whatever. Ours is now online and very low key.
08-26-2002, 01:54 PM
My old agency gave people who donated (don't remember the level, but it was pretty low) a day off! There was a line-item on the timesheets that read "UW Day".
08-26-2002, 03:13 PM
I knew I could count on some great ideas!! These ideas all sound terrific. The story I heard today is that the loaned executive met with our president and showed him our decreasing contributions over the past several years, and the president wants to greatly improve thing this year. It could be interesting!! :-)
Please keep those ideas coming! I'm sure I'll have to come up with lots of ideas to get them to go with just a couple.
Thanks so much!!!
08-26-2002, 06:49 PM
As part of my job I run the UW campaign for my company. Last year was my first time and was I overwhelmed! :confused: This year I feel like a pro! Part of the problem is that each company has a different culture amd being new, I had to figure it out. So many people have told me that they really don't care for the UW, because in previous companies it was so forced. I tried desperatly not to do that! I have to say that after hearing speakers from so many UW affiliates speak about the work they do, I had a whole new understanding of the organization. We have a recreation comm that works with me.
Last year our campaign was in October, following all of the 9/11 fundraising. We tried to keep our campign light, like dress down stickers (jeans), used book sales, ice cream sundaes for $2, bake sales, a silent auction, etc. It was very successful. My campaign is scheduled for October 7th of this year, so I'm in the middle of making plans. What makes it tough as I'm in MA, we have a Chicago site and 2 in NJ. Different UW organizations, but we try to do the same thing across the board.
Feel free to PM me, I would be happy to speak with you and share my plans as they materialize. I'm sure tomorrow I'll be thinking of things to share with you, I'm tired now and supposably on vacation. :D
10-30-2003, 07:43 AM
Reviving this old thread to ask a question. :)
We are doing United Way week and are organizing races, meals, sales, raffles, you name it. I'd like your input about a race. We are going to have a race with a limited number of participants (selected employees) and I'd truly appreciate your ideas on the following:
1. How would you go about getting people to donate for a race? I don't think people would pay to watch it, and don't think people could bet on the result - so am not sure what to do there.
2. How do you think the race could be made more interesting (while not being dangerous or overly risky)? It's a chair race on a set route in the office.
Any more tips on how to make this event work? The chair race itself is a given - we can't change the event, just the mechanics.
Thanks so much!
10-30-2003, 08:38 AM
At my first "Real" job, the company expected you to donate 1% of your salary to UW. And if you didn't, then the Plant Manager would have a meeting with you to discuss why you didn't want to support your community. Talk about yikes!
Then I started a different job, and just thought "hey 1% is what you give, right?" - turns out I was on a donor level with the Senior VPs (as a front line manager!) I got to go to some nice "thank you" cocktail parties. :)
That job did fun things - the employees loved paying $5 for me and the other managers to wash their car. We also did a bake sale and a potluck, where the employees brought in the goods and it was $2 a plate.
But the biggest hit was the dunk tank where for $1 a ball, employees got to dunk managers and the support staff. It was great fun and everyone had a great time. I just felt bad for the graveyard shift managers, who were getting dunked at 3 am. :eek: They also sold hot dogs and sodas which added to the "carnival" feel.
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