Fundraise for UWSM

Planning a great campaign is fun, rewarding and easier than you might think!

Are you ready to run a great campaign?

How to Fundraise for United Way Simcoe Muksoka

Although many of us are working remotely, the need in our community continues to grow. As an Employee Campaign Chair (ECC), you have the opportunity to bring your colleagues together to support their local communities through an exciting and engaging virtual fundraising campaign.  

We’ve got all the tools you need to help support your fundraising efforts. Whether virtual or in person, planning a great campaign is as easy as 1-2-3: 

Set the stage for a great workplace campaign

Set your fundraising goal

Assemble your team

Establish your strategies and timeline

Deliver an engaging and exciting campaign

Host a campaign kick-off

Talk to your colleagues

Ask for support

Thank volunteers and participants, and lay the foundation for next year

Add up your results

Say thank you

Look ahead

Step One: Plan

Set your fundraising goal

The most effective way to motivate yourself and others is by setting a goal and working towards it.  

By setting a realistic and attainable fundraising goal, you will set the stage for giving and give your colleagues something to work towards. 

Not sure how to set a goal? Reach out to your United Way Relationship Manager or check out the resource below. 

Build your team

Planning a workplace campaign can be a lot easier with a great team. Below are the core roles needed to run a successful campaign, as well as specialized roles that can be either fulfilled by individuals (if you have enough staff) or by the core team.

Core Team Members

Campaign Lead – Also known as the Employee Campaign Coordinator (ECC), the Campaign Lead brings together the people needed to plan and execute a workplace campaign. Click here to read the ECC Guide.

Leadership Lead – The individual who promotes giving at a Leadership level ($1,200+ annually). Check out the Resource Library for Leadership-specific materials.

Ambassador Coordinator – Recruit, train and thank workplace volunteers who act as UWSM Ambassadors in the workplace. Click here to read the Ambassador Guide.

UWSM Relationship Manager – Your source for strategic expertise, statistical analysis and fundraising best practices to run a great campaign.

Specialized Team Members

Recognition Coordinator – Ensures donors, volunteers, participants and suppliers are thanked and recognized for their support.

Finance Coordinator – Manages all the financial aspects of your campaign (i.e. counting money, totaling donations, etc.).

Special Events Coordinator – Designs and implements special events for your campaign. Be sure to check out our Special Event Ideas.

Communications Coordinator – Manages all communications relating to the workplace campaign (i.e. emails, posters, etc.).

IT Coordinator – Ensures all virtual meetings and events run smoothly, and may assist with other virtual or technical needs relating to the campaign.

Ambassadors: Your Workplace Campaign Champions

Your Ambassadors are the employees on the front lines of your giving campaign, sharing information, answering questions and building enthusiasm for your campaign.  Whether remote or in-person, having your Ambassadors make a personalized one-on-one ask is key to achieving your fundraising goals. 

Everything your Ambassadors need to get inspired and motivated to engage their colleagues can be found in our Ambassador GuideYou’ll also learn more about asking for donations in the next section of this Toolkit.

Establish your strategies and timeline

With your goal set and your all-star team assembled, you should figure out what your strategies are and create a timeline for your campaign. Check out the example graphic below for what a two-week campaign might look like!

Strategies to think about

You can get creative with the strategies you will use to implement your workplace campaign. Here are just a few to get you started!

  • Will you have early bird prizes for people who submit their pledges in the first couple of days?
  • Is management willing to contribute prizes for a random draw for anyone who submits a pledge? Think half-day off, preferred parking spaces, pizza lunch for the team.
  • Can you get a manager or executive to champion the campaign?
  • Do you know what social issues your colleagues care about?
  • What special events can you run, whether you are at work or working virtually?

Step Two: Share

Host a Campaign Kick-Off

Every great campaign begins with a kick-off event. A kick-off could involve a speech from the owner or executives, a lunch, an auction or anything else you and your team comes up with!

Why have a kick-off? It has many benefits for your workplace campaign, including:

  1. Mark the start – A fun, engaging kick-off clearly marks the start of your campaign so your colleagues know that you are driving change in our communities.
  2. Inspire one another – A kick-off gives people an opportunity to truly understand where their donations are going and the impact those dollars have on the most vulnerable in Simcoe Muskoka.
  3. Bring people together – Build morale by showing everyone in the company that you are coming together to improve lives right here at home. We are in this together, even when we are together virtually.
  4. Set the stage – Use the kick-off as an opportunity to show your passion for building a better Simcoe Muskoka. That passion will drive participation from your colleagues and management, and will be the key to a successful campaign.

Check out the resources below to help with your virtual kick-off event!

This guide is filled with great ideas and templates to help your virtual kick-off!

A handy video presentation to support your kick-off!

Not sure where to start?

Your United Way Relationship Manager is here to support you and can help plan and customize your kick-off event. Not sure who your staff partner is? Send us an email at Info@UWSimcoeMuskoka.ca and we’ll connect you with someone who can help.  

Talk to your colleagues

Each United Way workplace campaign is unique in its own way. One of the things that always has to happen before you ask your colleagues for a donation is to simply talk to them.

By talking to your colleagues, you can find out what they are interested in and spread the word about all the great work United Way Simcoe Muskoka does in our communities. Thus, it’s important to make sure your ambassadors are equipped with the information they need to answer common questions and explain what UWSM does.

Ask your ambassadors to book one-on-one meetings with colleagues. This provides a confidential, private place to ask questions, voice any concerns and discuss what they care about.

We have a lot of resources to help out. Be sure to check our Frequently Asked Questions, the Ambassador Guide and the Resource Library.

Ask for support

There are many ways to ask your colleagues for support and inspire them to show their local love. Take the time to find an ask that feels authentic and genuine.

Remember, by asking for donations to United Way, you will help people who need it most, connecting them to the resources and supports they need to thrive. 

 

Canvassing Tips

Asking your colleagues to donate can be difficult. Here are three easy tips to help make asking for support not only easier, but more successful too!

  1. Keep a list of the colleagues you reach out to. This will make ensure that nobody is missed or asked by more than one person. It also allows you to follow-up, especially with colleagues who might be ill or on vacation.
  2. Meet one-on-one. Giving is a personal decision. Make sure to understand why your colleagues are giving and answer any questions they might have. Book a virtual one-on-one meeting with everyone on your list and use it as an opportunity to send them helpful links beforehand.
  3. Make it face-to-face. Even if meeting virtually, try and keep the cameras on. If video conferencing isn’t available, try to chat over the phone rather than email. Remember, people give to people. Making that extra effort can be the difference between an okay campaign and a successful one.

Step Three: Wrap-Up

Add it all up

The end of the campaign is a time to celebrate, say thanks and to appreciate the lives you are changing right here in Simcoe Muskoka. Throughout the entire campaign, you should try to regularly collect, count and remit raised funds. This ensures accurate results and stops donations from being lost. It also takes a lot of stress off your campaign team, especially if your campaign spans more than one week.

Regularly adding up your results allows you to keep track of your campaign’s progress. You could use one of our Goal Thermometer posters or regularly update your colleagues through emails.

At the end of it all, you can announce when you beat your fundraising goal and by how much!

Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask your Relationship Manager or get in touch at Info@UWSimcoeMuskoka.ca

Say thanks

Thanking people for participating in your workplace campaign is one of the most important things you can do. And while people might not always remember how they were thanked, they will always remember if they were never thanked at all. That’s why it’s so important to thank your donors, volunteers, senior leadership and any suppliers you might have. It takes everyone to make a workplace campaign successful.

There are many ways you can thank those involved. You can use existing recognition structures within your workplace or through formal channels, such as emailing certificates to volunteers, publicly recognizing individuals at staff meetings, or publishing volunteer names on your intranet. You can also use less formal, yet equally impactful methods, such as a hand-written note or a phone call to a high-value donor.

 

Whichever way you choose to say thank you, remember that it is one of the most important factors in ensuring a successful campaign next year and helping those involved know that their contribution was meaningful and impactful.

United Way Perception

Look ahead

Before you let the excitement of your great campaign and the lives you’ve helped change fades, it is a good idea to take some time to examine the successes of your campaign and areas of opportunity for next year.

Record both of these areas, including details that you know will be helpful for your next campaign. Make sure they are helpful enough that they can be helpful to anyone running a campaign at your workplace, not just you. By doing this, you will be setting up next year’s campaign for an even greater success.

Reach out to your Relationship Manager to help capture key information and put together some preliminary strategies for your next campaign!

Thank You!

Poverty stops people from reaching their full potential. You’re changing that.

Every year, United Way Simcoe Muskoka volunteers like you help us fight poverty in our communities. Your efforts in your workplace campaign and the support that you raise go a long way in help to unlock the potential of individuals living in poverty.

Thank you again for showing your local love, and giving your time and energy to support the important and ongoing work across Simcoe Muskoka.

Have questions?

Contact Mary Thomas, Director of Resource Development:

MThomas@UWSimcoeMuskoka.ca

(705) 726-2301 x2026