If you’re passionate about giving back and making a difference, you might be wondering how you can make charity or fundraising work a key part of your business’s ethos, especially if you have team members or employees who aren’t so enthusiastic. One of the easiest ways to do this is to start holding fundraising drives that are interesting and get people hooked, so that others can see the benefits of this rewarding work.
However, it can be difficult to know what approach to take, as some fundraising ideas require more brainpower or organization than others, so in this guide, we’ll break down what corporate fundraising is, how to raise money, and some ideas that you can try in your business to get the ball rolling.
What Is Corporate Fundraising?
Corporate fundraising involves businesses partnering with charities to run events and raise donations for a good cause. Not only does this allow charities to benefit from a variety of bonuses like matched giving, gifts in kind and sponsorship, but it also allows corporations to give back and highlight to their customer base that they care about putting others over their profit margins. For many charities, partnering with corporations is leaning more towards long-term relationships which can provide great benefits to both organizations.
How to Raise Money
If you haven’t run a corporate fundraiser before, it can be daunting, especially if you don’t have a clear idea around how to raise money in a corporate environment. Once you’ve picked the event you want to run, one of the first things to do is take the time to plan your budget. Most fundraisers involve offering prizes to participants, so if yours follows suit, make sure you’ve considered the cost of any prizes or experiences that you’ll be rewarding winners with.
You’ll also need to think about what it will take to run your event – if it’s run entirely by volunteers, fantastic! If not, and your event is a large scale activity such as a ball, you might need to budget for staff costs such as caterers and cleaners. Once you’ve budgeted your fundraiser, you can work out how much you need to raise and can then base your requests on this – people are far more likely to donate to an honest and transparent cause, so try to break down exactly where donations will be going.
Once you’ve got your budget sorted, another way to boost donations to your charity drive is to choose the right fundraising platform. If you’re putting on a cake sale, then you might get away with putting some posters up in the office, but if your event is a bigger occasion, then choosing a platform that can support your requirements will be a key player in how much you can raise.
Givebutter, for example, is a great option – you can use the platform to create fully customized fundraising pages and track the progress across a variety of different teams within your organization. What’s more, people can use a variety of payment methods to make their donation, which will streamline the process and lessen the risk of losing spontaneous donations. If you’re still getting to grips with how to plan your fundraiser and what it will entail, then don’t worry! Givebutter also offers some great guides around how to raise money that you can make the most of when planning your event.
The Best Corporate Fundraising Ideas
The success of most of the best corporate fundraising ideas lies in the fact that they are adaptable to a different range of business models, budgets, and teams. When planning your fundraiser, it’s important to consider what ideas might work best within your company, and also make sure that your chosen fundraiser is unique – while a cake sale or tombola might be easy, these popular ideas run the risk of falling flat thanks to their predictability. Fundraisers work best when they grip their target audience and provide a fresh take on traditional ideas. For an exciting fundraiser, you might want to consider some of these options:
For a light-hearted fundraiser, but one with huge potential to raise money for your chosen cause, a company sports day is a great idea. Take your co-workers back to school with traditional sports day games like the egg-and-spoon and three-legged race, and put on some common sports events like sprinting, high jump and long-distance running.
To raise money, have spectators pay on the door, and run food and drinks stalls with all profit going to your charity of choice. Some things to consider include the venue that you’ll use to run your sports day, as well as any staff you would need to hire that can’t be volunteers, like first aiders, so start planning your company sports day well in advance to make sure you’ve covered all bases.
A great choice for a corporate fundraising event is a fashion show. You can gather your workmates to model on the runway and enlist the help of volunteers to run the music and lights. While this type of event takes a lot of preparation, and you may need to hire equipment like lighting and a sound system, it is a fun way to get everyone together and encourage donations to your chosen cause.
When it comes to sourcing the clothing, you could even partner with a local charity shop to display the best of their pieces and raise some extra funds for them, too.
For a memorable event, a karaoke night tops the charts, and is an option that can be tailored to a range of budgets. If you’re hosting a larger event, you can hire a venue and catering staff for a stand-out occasion, or if you’re looking for a smaller gig, you can even use the office at lunchtime – this way, all you need to do is hire a karaoke machine and you’re ready to go. Have people pay to enter on the door and encourage extra donations while different people sing – the funnier the singer, the more you donate! Not only is this a fab way to raise money, but it’s also a great way to bond with your co-workers.
If you’re looking to attract an upmarket clientele to your fundraiser, then an art show is a great way to do this and encourage donations from those who appreciate the finer things in life. Depending on the scope of your event, you can choose different methods of sourcing artwork to display. For a smaller event, encourage co-workers to bring in their own artwork and have attendees pay on the door.
If you’re planning a larger event, this is a great opportunity to reach out to the local community and encourage smaller artists to auction off their work to your bidders for donations, bringing them exposure and you closer to your fundraising goals!
Although the world of corporate fundraising can feel like a minefield to navigate, when you get things right, it is a hugely rewarding endeavor that can really make a difference to the lives of others. By raising money for a specific cause, you can have a direct impact on the people who need it most, while still gaining exposure for your business and building stronger relationships with your co-workers. While planning a corporate fundraiser can be nerve-wracking, thinking ahead and utilizing materials and products by fundraising specialists, you can create an impactful and memorable event.