30 Super Unique Employee Giving Campaign Ideas

Posted by Seraine Page on Thu, Nov, 03, 2022

Giving-1Need some fresh ideas for employee giving campaigns?

There’s no better month to try some out than November as it’s National Gratitude Month. World Kindness Day is also November 13, so your team can celebrate both observances while giving back!

Run some ideas by your employees and then work alongside team members to give back and offer up gratitude during this month of thanksgiving.

Excited to get started? Here are some unique ways to give back as a team.

Employee Giving Campaign Ideas to Try This Month

Ready to do some good this month while also providing your employees an opportunity to improve their health? Studies show that altruistic acts are good for your overall mental and physical health.

Giving back can:

  • Lower stress
  • Reduce depression
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Increase happiness and satisfaction

Get ready to start feeling warm and fuzzy with your team by giving back to your community and the world. Here’s a look at simple ways to do it.

1. Write Letters of Kindness to Strangers

Set aside time for your employees to write letters of kindness to strangers. These can be short or long. They can have inspirational quotes or have artwork in them, too.  Seal each letter with a gift card in them. During the next few weeks, send your team out to pass them out to strangers in busy parking lots, stores, parks, etc. to cheer up those who receive them. All team members need to say: “this is for you; have a great day” before passing the envelope off. The impact is even greater if it’s done in a lower-income area.

2. Call a Local Shelter to Serve Needs

Local homeless shelters and women’s shelters often have plenty of unmet needs that could be fulfilled through your employee-giving campaign. Create a list of a few in your area and see if your company can sponsor families for the holidays. The needs may vary from new clothing to basic hygiene supplies and everything in between. Make wishlists and collect items or monetary donations and have select staffers go shopping. If possible, make it a team effort to deliver the items together.

3. Take Time for Gratitude Writing

Gather plenty of pens, stationery, and envelopes for your team to tackle gratitude writing. Set aside time to write and decorate letters of gratitude as a team. The letters can be short or long, as long as they’re written from a place of gratitude. Letters can be written and passed out to fellow employees, friends, and family members.

Related: Your Guide to Cultivating Gratitude in the Workplace 

4. Give Blood

Every two seconds, someone needs blood and/or platelets in the U.S., according to the American Red Cross. While this “giving” idea isn’t for everyone, that’s okay. Select a day when your willing team members will take a trip to a local blood bank.

5. Organize a Community Clean-up

Without a doubt, there are areas in your company’s immediate vicinity that need some cleaning up. Create a detailed event plan of when and where team members can meet to do a community trash pick-up. Consider asking for donations of work gloves, trash bags, and trash pickers to make the job easier. Whether your team cleans up a sidewalk, a local park, or simply around your business, it will make your community cleaner and healthier for animals and people alike.

6. Donate to The Kimberly Moore Foundation

Interested in contributing to a well-established nonprofit? Consider The Kimberly Moore Foundation. While there are plenty of options for how to donate to this foundation, the Adopt a Letter program is unique and perfect for the holidays. Donors can give any amount and adopt a Christmas letter from a child requesting a gift they might otherwise not get.

7. Host a Bingo Game

This game is a classic and always a hit with players who participate. Have a set buy-in price and donate all proceeds to buy a gift card for a local food pantry. Best of all, this fun game can be done virtually or in person with your team members.

8. 50/50 Raffle

Want a super simple employee giving campaign? Run a 50/50 raffle. Sell tickets at $1, $5, $10, and $20 price points. Keep the raffle open for a set amount of time before drawing a winner. Fifty percent goes to the winner and the other half goes to a charity of their choice. They may also decide to donate the full winnings to charity.

9. Give Out Free Coffee

Coffee is a favorite beverage for many. That’s not surprising given that two billion cups are consumed each day worldwide, according to the British Coffee Association. As a team, head to a downtown area with coffee carafes and cups in tow with creamers and sugars. For those who are homeless, coffee can often be considered a luxury. Pass out hot coffee and donuts and smile as you do so. You’ll make the day of many by offering a pick-me-up and snack.

10. Collect Items for Charity

Check out Google for charities and you’re bound to find millions across the globe. What if your company started a tradition of giving back each month to local charities? Whether your company decides to collect backpacks for kids, canned non-perishables for food pantries, or toys for the pet shelter, there are plenty of organizations that would appreciate any donations. Collect as a team and head to the charity to bring them in together.

11. Create a Charity Cookbook

As a fun and engaging employee project, consider collecting and professionally publishing your team members’ best recipes. Once compiled into a cookbook, sell it to your team and then donate the proceeds to a charitable cause. Plus, you might be able to sell multiple copies to your team members as cookbooks make lovely gifts during the holidays.

12. Brown Bag It

It’s easy to go out to lunch every day without thinking about it. But what if you packed your own lunch every day? On days you do, consider saving up the money you would have spent going out and donating it to charity. Better yet, host a lunch and learn with a charity from your area and ask your team to bring their own lunches. They can learn about a local nonprofit that may inspire them to start volunteering and/or regularly donating. If you would normally buy the team lunch, donate that money to the charity that you host and encourage employees to do the same.

Related: The Ultimate Guide for Planning a Year of Lunch and Learns 

13. Make Blessing Bags for the Homeless

How often have you passed someone on the side of the road with a sign unable to offer any cash because you only carry cards? Blessing bags are a solution your team members can easily have on hand or in their car for instances like this. Fill blessing bags (or backpacks) with items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, and other hygiene products. Socks and coins (for laundry or vending machines) are also appreciated. As a team put the bags together and then disperse them among team members to give out. Share stories of giving away blessing bags at team meetings.

14. Diaper and Wipes Collection

One in three families experiences a diaper need, according to the National Diaper Bank Network. Diapers aren’t a luxury; they’re a necessity as babies with access to clean diapers are less likely to get infections or be exposed to other health risks. Connect with the National Diaper Bank Network to learn how to best collect and donate diapers and wipes for those in need.

15. Send Cards to Deployed Service Members

Sadly, it’s easy to forget our country has military members deployed worldwide who often miss special events like family birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays each year. No matter what time of the year it is, military members love getting mail. Consider purchasing cards for your employees to write in (have their family members get involved, too!) and send them through an organization like Operation Gratitude.

16. Host a Silent Auction

This will require some planning and plenty of donations from other entrepreneurs and businesses. You’ll want to collect items like gift certificates to restaurants, spas, car detailing, etc. Auctioned items may also be high-end like a piece of artwork or a helicopter ride and other exciting adventure packages. Consider selecting one or two charities that your silent auction will benefit from. For the event, use paper bid sheets or mobile bidding software for individuals to make a bid. Once the time for the event is over, the highest bidder for each item wins and the proceeds are given to charity. Win-win!

17. Participate in GivingTuesday

Join the GivingTuesday movement on November 29 in your community to donate time, money, or other items needed in your local community. There are plenty of ways to show acts of kindness. Have your workers commit to a way to give back — whether it’s through your corporate giving program, volunteering, helping a neighbor, or contributing to a local nonprofit. Create a Slack channel and/or bulletin board where employees can anonymously share their acts of kindness for GivingTuesday.

18. Throw an Annual Giving Party

Throw a holiday party that’s focused on the theme of giving. Depending on the size of your workplace, budget, etc. you can keep it simple with food and music or make it as extravagant as having carnival games and musicians come in. However it’s done — whether it’s a fancy gala or a buffet-style laidback event — make it clear how all proceeds will be donated to a cause your employees vote on together. If they can’t make it, create a simple way for them to donate electronically or in person if they wish.

19. Host a Pet Shelter Drive

This is a perfect employee-giving campaign if you have an office full of pet lovers. If you have a brick-and-mortar location, reach out to local humane societies and pet shelters to check what their needs are for their shelter. Many need pet food, toys, gently-used towels, cleaning supplies, and more. Working with fully remote staff? Opt to collect funds for donations to the American Humane Society to help homeless pets.

Related: 6 Reasons to Allow Pets in the Office 

20. Connect with a Local Rotary Club

Rotary clubs are a wonderful way to connect with other entrepreneurs, business leaders, and community leaders. Whether you join as a member with 1.4 million other Rotarians or just simply connect as a partner with your local Rotary, it’s easy to find ways to do good in the community through a Rotary Club. Every day, club members internationally participate in thousands of different service projects.

21. Volunteer Together

Studies prove that workers who get the chance to volunteer often are more engaged and it also boosts productivity. Volunteering is a positive experience not only for the volunteer but also for the organization and community in which the volunteer is offering their time. Enrich your employees’ experience at your workplace by offering volunteering options regularly, not just seasonally.

22. Head to a Local Senior Center

Many senior centers need volunteers. Whether it’s helping residents with daily tasks or simply acting as a companion, it’s rewarding to spend time with seniors. Call your local senior assisted living facilities to see how groups of people from your company can help out.

23. Have a Marshmallow Golf Contest 

This is as fun as it sounds. Gather up the golfers and non-golfers alike for this contest. Have an entry fee with all proceeds going to charity. Outside, set up tees with marshmallows instead of golf balls. Award prizes for the longest and most accurate drives!

24. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Each year, billions of items end up in landfills. What if your team created a thoughtful reduce, reuse and recycle program that gives back to the community? Reach out to local shelters and schools to see if there is a need for items like gently-used clothing, bicycles, toys, etc. Take collections and then distribute them to organizations in need. The items won’t clutter up your workers’ homes (or landfills) and they’ll end up in the hands of someone who will appreciate it.

25. Launch a Matching Gift Program

Consider setting up a matching gift program as an employee benefit. This type of giving program can go year-round, so it’s not just a seasonal opportunity. Many nonprofits have needs throughout the entire year, so this is a perfect way to help those organizations out. After an employee donates to the non-profit, they can submit a matching gift request to your company to do the same.

26. Host a Corporate Raffle

This is a campaign that requires a bit of planning. Consider crafting a letter to send out to local organizations and businesses for sponsorships. The idea is to collect gifts that can be raffled off at various price points like spa gift baskets or even bigger items like stationary bicycles. All funds raised can go to a charity your employees vote on. Knowing that charity that you’ll be donating to ahead of time can help secure sponsorships, too.

27. Hold a School Supply Drive

Conne​​ct with your local school district office and get information about Title 1 schools. These are schools with many low-income students who often rely on social services like free and reduced lunch. Any personal connections you or your staff have with teachers or school counselors or administrators are helpful. Now that it’s halfway through the school year, many students have likely run out or are getting close to running low on school supplies like pencils, markers, etc. Run a school supply drive for a set number of weeks and then donate the items to a nearby school.

28. Have a Coat Drive

Not everyone has a warm coat for the winter. Even the warmest of states do get cold fronts, so a coat drive is still appreciated by those without one. Select the dates of the drive when your team can purchase and bring in coats. Have an organization in mind that you want to send the coat to once collected like a youth shelter or women’s shelter. Learn more about organizing a successful coat drive here. Success tip: Promote the drive in your employee newsletter and on bulletin boards.

29. Dunk a CEO

If your company has a playful CEO, this is a great incentive to encourage friendly competition while doing good. Have a staff competition between employees or even departments to see who can collect the most funding to donate to charity. If the set goal is raised, the CEO must go in a “dunk tank” and let the winners of the employee giving campaign take a shot at knocking them into the water tank.

30. Collect Socks

Socks have always been the number one clothing need for the homeless. For the homeless who often wander and spend much time on their feet, socks get worn out and dirty quickly. With nowhere to wash socks, many get worn through and must be tossed. Create a collection bin for each department and ask workers to donate new socks of all sizes. Bring them to a local homeless shelter or help through a site like to make a difference.

Make Employee Giving Easy on Your Workers

There you have it — a full list of ways for you and your team to give back.

The way to get the best participation rates is to have ongoing ways for your employees to give back in ways that call to them. While one worker may be passionate about pups, another may be called to help the homeless. Offer as many details as you can and well in advance to get the most engagement.

Here’s a little more inspiration as you kick off your next employee giving campaign:

  • Always give without remembering and always receive without forgetting.”
  • “Kindness is something anyone can give without losing anything themselves.”
  • No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”
  • “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”
  • “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”

Now, go out there and inspire your team to get excited about acts of kindness and giving back cheerfully. We bet it uplifts the spirits of your entire team.  

How are you giving? Share in the comments down below the way you and your employees like to give back to inspire others!

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Topics: Healthy Workplaces


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