Dos and dont's for a successful, company-sponsored fundraising program

It’s been said, “Charity begins at home, but should not end there.”

Indeed! Charity fundraising within the workplace is an excellent way to support worthwhile causes while giving back to the local, regional and national community. At the same time, it offers distinct benefits to your employees who participate, including enhanced camaraderie and team-building.

So what does it take to build a successful fundraising program that raises valuable dollars AND employee engagement? Here are some important dos and don’ts to keep in mind:

Do choose charities and nonprofit organizations that complement your corporate culture. Which charities pair well with your company’s mission statement and overall image? Generally speaking, there are eight types of charitable organizations, including religion, education, foundations, health, public-society benefit, humanities, international affairs, and environment and animals.

Do survey your staff to determine which charities interest them most. Involving your employees in the selection process early on should boost the support for your fundraising efforts later.

Do your homework and only choose charitable organizations with a solid reputation and strong service record. Remember: Your company will be associated with the cause – for better or for worse.

Don’t neglect to set goals for your fundraising efforts. Your objectives might include raising a certain amount of money, volunteering a set number of hours, getting a certain percentage of employees involved or establishing your company as a community leader.

Do consider the various ways your company can raise funds, such as monetary donations, special events (like auctions, bake sales and walking relays) and contests. Securing monetary donations is probably the most common, where companies may choose to match employee dollars to raise even more money.

Do get your employees involved. Fundraising activities are a great way to connect employees and unite them on non-work related projects. You might be surprised at how energized employees become for certain causes and what they so willingly bring to your program.

Don’t overlook the resources required for certain fundraising activities, such as up-front expenses and the time employees will need to volunteer to coordinate and participate in activities. Be careful that events aren’t too disruptive or interfere with your company’s workflow.

Do celebrate your success. Talk up your efforts and achievements through social media channels like Twitter and Facebook, as well as on your website and corporate blog. Contact your local papers and radio stations, too, to share especially strong results.

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