Fundraising Pros: 5 Impactful Workplace Giving Strategies from Kapi‛olani Community College

Sep. 22, 2022
By Hailey Kurtenbach
In the Fundraising Pros series, we spotlight local companies and organizations who have developed engaging, creative strategies that inspire their teams to get involved in workplace giving.
Each year, more than 1,400 companies, organizations, and local government entities run workplace giving campaigns that fuel AUW initiatives and the work of our nearly 350 local nonprofit partner agencies. Through running giving campaigns with their employees, our workplace champions contribute to the single most efficient and effective way to create change for our community.
Kapi‛olani Community College (KCC), part of the University of Hawai‛i System, has consistently been a strong Aloha United Way partner. With a goal of raising $176,000 with the overall UH ‛ohana, KCC campaign coordinators dove into planning creative ways their faculty, staff, and students could contribute to fundraising.
The result? An outstanding workplace giving campaign featuring creative activities and community spirit that inspires giving and participation. It’s time to take notes, campaign coordinators! Here are five key takeaways from their thoughtful giving campaign that you can model at your own workplace this year:

#1: Create a campaign home base

To encourage student, faculty, staff and community participation in fundraising efforts, fundraising coordinators at KCC created a Google microsite, in addition to a public-facing online donation platform through Aloha United Way. The microsite is an easy-to-read one-stop-shop for those wanting to get involved with the campaign, featuring a full list of fundraising events and instructions on using the staff-facing donation portal and printable pledge forms.

#2: Lead with the “why”

Call your team to action by communicating why it’s important to give back. KCC shared compelling details and statistics about Hawai‛i’s ALICE population, featuring AUW’s Faces of ALICE video front and center on their microsite. Pulling compelling stats on pressing community needs helped KCC communicate urgency:
“If there ever was a time your assistance and generosity is needed, it is now. As soon as stay-at-home orders were issued and businesses were shutting down due to COVID-19, Aloha United Way 211 helpline calls spiked. Today the helpline has steadied at a 600 percent increase from pre-COVID-19 days and rent remains the top concern with health care and employment/income close behind. To address these concerns, AUW created a COVID-19 Rent and Utility Assistance Program, where to date, 606 households have been saved from eviction, allowing 1,056 adults and 968 children to keep a roof over their heads and not forced to live on the streets.”

#3: Tap into internal talents & resources

Your company is unique and so is every person in it. KCC understood the assignment. Chef Alan Tsuchiyama and KCC culinary students whipped up a bento sale and it sold out quickly! (Of course it did). They assessed their talent and took advantage of their unique opportunity to create high-quality bento using the professional kitchen, talented faculty and students. Not to mention they had access to a very hungry student body. 
Their fundraising team also established a "treasure shop" with the help of staff donations. This shop will make donated items available by auction in-person and online. This is brilliant!

#4: It’s okay to partner outside your organization for greater impact

Sometimes we need a little help from our friends. The fundraising team at KCC looked outside their organization for artists, promotional, and other support to create a special concert, open to the public. If you have a great idea, it may require going outside your workplace to bring the idea to life. 

#5: Hybrid events bring greater accessibility and a bigger audience

COVID-19 taught us the power of remote accessibility. Reach supporters at home, in other states, in other countries! Hybrid events are here to stay and making your event more accessible can only increase your reach and impact. KCC’s upcoming concert-for-a-cause, titled “A Century of Strings: Historical ‛Ukulele & Guitar Content” will be available virtually through a YouTube live stream ($10 suggested donation to attend).

Workplace giving campaigns connect people with their community and to one another. It is one of the single most important ways to motivate and engage employees while positively impacting where we work, play, and live. If you would like to organize a giving or volunteer campaign at your workplace, contact Aloha United Way at and we’ll help you get started with everything your team needs to succeed. Interested in learning more about what Aloha United Way is doing in the community? Explore how the initiatives we support help implement lasting change.