I remember as a child my sister and I used to go door to door to collect for a charity. They had an information sheet all of the volunteers were supposed to read before canvassing and I still remember one of the things that was written on it. It basically said that this charity did not collect from people at work so if the people we canvassed said, “My husband gave at the office” we were to explain that we did not collect for this charity at the office.
Now fast forward to today. Workplace charities are becoming very popular and the charities are benefitting. We really are giving at the office!
Here are some ways I have seen charities supported in the workplace:
The United Way Campaign
- There are office campaigns to raise employee awareness of the programs offered by The United Way
- Employee-organized functions to try and raise money: silent auctions, bake sales etc.
- Contributing through payroll deductions
- Employers can participate as well by making a donation to match what their employees raise or offering a day off to employees who contribute a certain amount etc.
World Vision, Foster Parents Plan, Samaritan's Purse (Christmas Shoebox Program)
- Sponsoring third-world children through office donations
Global Tragedies (Katrina, Tsunami Relief efforts, Earthquakes etc.)
- We are part of the global community and it is great to see offices playing a role in helping when there is a need
Run, Walk or Cycle for the Cure
- We can be involved by sponsoring our co-workers in these events or participating ourselves
- One office I worked for was involved in a local Habitat for Humanity build. Many people contributed either through donating prizes for raffles, donating money, baked goods for a bake sale or donating their time working on the build. It was a real group effort with everyone doing something to help.
- School functions: buying chocolate bars to support school programs.
Dress-down Fridays (50/50 Draw)
- paying for the privilege of wearing jeans on Friday to support local charities like The Mission, Snowsuit fund, Salvation Army etc.
I believe when we are contributing to worthy causes as an office our organization will become more visible in the community we live in and that's good for our business and for the charities!
We should never be made to feel any pressure to participate in workplace charities, it should be voluntary only!