Kick off your Aloha United Way annual workplace giving campaign between August 2022 and March 2023. Each year, more than 1,400 companies, organizations, and local government entities run giving campaigns that fuel AUW and the work of our nearly 350 local nonprofit partner agencies. Workplace giving campaigns are fun, meaningful initiatives that bring a team together while supporting the community.
Tyler Tuipulotu is the Talent Acquisition & People Operations Manager at ProService Hawaii. He is a human resource professional and shared some tips for running an engaging and successful workplace giving campaign. In 2021, not only did ProService Hawaii raise more than $150,000 for our community, 100% of their employees participated.
#1 Set Relatable and Engaging Goals
This seems like a straightforward idea, but neglecting to set and communicate your goal during the planning process will end a campaign before it even starts. “As an organization we are guided by key principles and everything we do requires rhythm, discipline, and execution. We understand that any aspirational goal should be relatable and engaging. It’s not enough to state a goal, we use themes to engage every level of our organization and make the goal relatable.”
ProService consistently strives for 100% participation and uses themes to motivate and communicate why 100% participation is important. The planning team examines data from the previous year and sets financial goals that are referenced internally. (Even as I interviewed Tyler, he was sitting in a virtual DeLorean from Back to the Future - a theme the organization was using to frame a better future.)
#2 Plan, Plan, Plan
Philanthropy is part of ProService Hawaii’s corporate DNA. They end each campaign knowing that they will have another campaign the following year. This doesn’t mean they stop planning. As soon as their fourth quarter campaign ends, their team records what worked, what didn’t, and how things can be improved the following year. “We ask ourselves questions about timing, themes, activities, and goals and we meet with the Aloha United Way fundraising team at least three months in advance to plan our fall campaign. For a November campaign, we already have a framework by August.”
#3 It’s Not Just a Campaign, it’s Culture
“Giving is part of our on-boarding process.” Tuipulotu explained that during new employee orientation, the staff is introduced to Aloha United Way, the annual workplace giving campaign and the idea that ProService is a company that walks the philanthropy walk. “We have a fairly new leadership team and during their on-boarding process we express the expectation that as leaders, they are encouraged to donate a minimum of $1000 to our community annually.” Leadership sets an example and supports the philanthropic goals of the organization personally and professionally.
#4 Don’t Delay, “The Why”
ProService Hawaii spends quality time, in advance of their campaign, to share why they support the community as an organization. “We don’t wait until the day we launch our campaign to explain why we give and how we make a difference. By the time we launch, we don’t need to spend time motivating, all of our employees are on board and understand,” Tyler explained. To be successful, it’s critical to communicate needs and impact in advance of activities or rally events. Don’t try to motivate after the campaign has been running for a month, by then it’s too late to get traction.
#5 Make it Easy To Give
Paper pledge forms still exist, but technology has come a long way. The Aloha United Way fundraising team provides tech solutions and ideas that make giving and managing a campaign easy. In addition to technology, ProService explains what else they do to make giving easy. “In Human Resources, we understand tech isn’t for everyone, so we let our employees know that human resources will set up giving accounts and do everything we can to help, even setting up payroll deductions or a quick pledge online.”
ProService Hawaii leadership and management create space and time to give, as well. “Managers will end meetings early to give employees back 20 minutes or so, we give employees time to give. It’s another way we communicate that giving is an important part of the culture at ProService Hawaii,” Tyler explained.
#6 Build Your Team
Coordinating an effective giving campaign requires a project owner and generalist who comprise the staff working on the back-end of the campaign. These are your organizers, the individuals setting up giving pages, tracking participation, scheduling kick-off events, and managing the calendar. You also need sponsors and motivators. “We have about 300 employees and for us, human resources manage the project, we’re the internal team. We also have champions and sponsors, or external motivators from other departments, each year. These aren’t necessarily staff in leadership positions, but those who want to inspire others to give.” For a staff of 300+ employees, ProService utilizes a team of four to run a successful campaign.
#7 Get Creative, Have Fun
From bake and make-a-plate sales to matching gifts and raffles, it’s important to include variety and understand what is important to your employees. “We’ve been successful with power-hour and utilizing the unique talent of our staff to generate giving. For example, one person will donate scuba lessons because they are a licensed scuba instructor on the side. We’ll sell raffle tickets to win the lessons and if anyone buys tickets during our power hour, we’ll translate every dollar donated into a ticket. $100 will get you 100 tickets.”
ProService creates opportunities for employees to build tangible connections with one another and the goal. The organization also holds “lunch & learn” events, hosting AUW non-profit partners who discuss a variety of topics from food insecurity to affordable housing.
#8 Avoid Comparison
Understanding that the capacity to give across organizations is not equal is important. Not every employee enjoys the same level of compensation and while $10,000 annual gifts are within reach for some, that’s not the case for all. “We strive for 100% participation and we avoid anything that singles out an individual or drives comparison of dollars raised.” That’s not to say that some interdepartmental competition doesn’t exist. “Some of our executives will pick a day during the campaign and match every donation dollar for dollar, it’s to inspire giving and amplify what’s already happening,” explained Tyler.
Learn more about ProService Hawaii and how they harness the power of people.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 programs we support help implement lasting change.