Corporate Fundraising Ideas & Strategies
Corporate fundraising is a great way for companies to raise money for charitable donations, cause marketing programs, community resources, or in support of a partner nonprofit organization. Corporate fundraising initiatives have been around for decades, but with increasing awareness about global warming, depletion of natural resources, and other global environmental and poverty issues, companies are becoming more conscious of the effects their business has on our global world. For this reason, many companies now invest in corporate fundraising initiatives and cause marketing programs in an effort to give-back and be more sustainable in their business practices.
Regardless of the purpose behind a corporate fundraiser, there are a number of considerations your team will need to review in order to make the most of your corporate fundraising campaign. Below are some basic guidelines for corporate fundraisers.
Launching a Corporate Fundraising Campaign
Launching a corporate fundraising campaign may feel a bit overwhelming at first. After all, organizing the right fundraising initiative to support your cause takes proper planning, creativity, numerous resources and time management skills. Yet, with the right planning tools and teamwork, your office can raise a large amount of money for a worthy cause.
One of the first principles associated with corporate fundraising is identifying how much money you intend to raise, and what budget and resources you have (or need) to accomplish your goals. Run your fundraiser like a small business. Create a written project plan that spells out goals and outlines roles and responsibilities. Assign motivated individuals into managing roles and equip them with the tools to do a great job.
Planning Corporate Fundraising Events
The best corporate fundraising efforts are generally event based. Hosting fundraising events helps your organization to share the campaign with employees. Employees will feel proud to work for a company contributing to charitable causes and striving to be more sustainable. And, they feel good about themselves for directly contributing to a worthy cause. If employees feel good about the company they work for, chances are, they may feel better about their work, which could help improve overall performance within your organization.
Taking adequate time to prepare your corporate fundraising events is critical. Select your fundraising event as early as possible so your organization has time to identify fundraising sources, recruit participants and volunteers, create promotional materials, inform media, and organize the event. Implement a fundraising software solution to help manage the various details of a corporate fundraising initiative including: registering participants and volunteers, collecting online donations, managing budgets, and creating administrative and progress reports for staff.
Corporate fundraisers happen throughout the year, and there is no reason why your organization can’t create a truly unique fundraising experience for your employees and community. First and foremost, think about your organization’s mission, and what you are trying to accomplish with your fundraiser, and then craft a theme that helps you communicate your cause.
Here is a fun example: Say your organization launches a cause marketing program in support of wind power. Your goal is to raise funds to off-set energy usage throughout your community with wind power. Why not host a “Wind-a-thon” and bring everyone together in a community park to fly kites and raise money in support of wind power? Perhaps you can hand out small wind-blowers with your corporate logo or balloons and have everyone release their balloons at once and watch as the power of the wind takes them away. Unique ideas like this will not only create a memorable fundraising event for staff, participants and event attendees, but may also help you attract the attention of local media.
Our #1 Corporate & Business Fundraising Idea: Company Walk-a-thons
Why not encourage employees to achieve their fitness goals while raising money for a good cause? A walk-a-thon fundraising event promotes team bonding, community interaction, and provides a great opportunity to raise money for a charity or cause while promoting health and fitness. It also offers a fun, interactive event that most everyone can participate in. Benefits also include possibly attracting interest from local media, helping to grow awareness of your business and cause.
And, there’s no saying the walk-a-thon has to happen in one day. Try something new…what about a walk-a-thon marathon where participants are challenged to walk a certain number of miles each week? It’s very easy to manage with peer-to-peer management software which manages event details and allows participants to easily track miles and donations. This type of event extends the duration of your fundraising campaign and provides additional benefits to participants prolonging their challenge and rewards.
More Great Corporate Fundraisers
Here are 5 more proven ideas for reliably fun corporate and business fundraisers.
Bike-to-Work Week Fundraisers
Bike to Work Days or Weeks have become popular fundraising events in recent years. These biking events work especially well for companies located in places where biking and outdoor activities are common. It’s also a great way to strengthen your brand positioning if you are a company that promotes health, fitness and sustainable living. This type of event is very similar to a bike-a-thon event, however it happens throughout the duration of a work-week rather than one day. Participants collect pledges based on the total miles they will bike to and from work each day or donors can also choose to donate a set amount.
Motivating Your Team
First, make sure that staff and participants know why money is being raised. They need to know that they are contributing to a worthy cause and believe they will be making a difference.
Motivate your team extrinsically with enthusiasm and incentives. Provide prizes for top-performing participants or teams who raise the most. Create a fundraising website where participants and sponsors can share photos, quotes, and raise money. Your organization can post a fundraising thermometer to track current progress against goals. Comparing goals to current progress is a great motivator for fundraising participants.
Make it Fun
Most of all, make your fundraising events fun and memorable! Remember that participants and volunteers are giving up their free time to help. If you are planning a large fundraising event, provide meals and an exciting environment that people enjoy being a part of. If you don’t have the budget for a large fundraising campaign, don’t underestimate the value of smaller in-house corporate fundraising campaigns.