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Living and Giving:

Stories And Causes You Care About

10 Employee Giving Campaigns Ideas that Actually Sound Fun

By Leo Ramirez Posted on April 25, 2017

We all have slightly different things we like to do for fun. While a messy obstacle course may bring the inner child in some of your employees, other employees may do everything in their power to steer clear of the mud and muck.

So how do you ensure your fun fundraising ideas are things your employees will like? You can begin by finding out what your employees enjoy and what the causes they care about.

An effective corporate social responsibility tool can tune you into the issues that are important to your employees. It will also allow you to track the success of previous campaigns and from there, you can get a pretty good idea of what your employees actually enjoy.

Still not sure what your employees will consider fun? Ask them.

Not only will you find out what they enjoy, they may have some great ideas for how to create a fun, unique fundraising campaign.

We’ve compiled a list of 10 employee giving campaigns that we think sound like a lot of fun.

1. Puppy Party


If you have employees that give time or monetary donations to the local animal shelter, this is likely to be a big hit. You can partner with the shelter to bring puppies into the workplace for an employee giving party.

Depending on the shelter and space you have available, you may be able to have a puppy party in one room and kitten party in another room, for your employees who are more “cat people” than “dog people.”

2. Student After School Mentorship Program

If your employees give to local schools and care about education, this is a great way to help them get involved at another level.

Your employees are smart, skillful people – that’s why you hired them in the first place. An afterschool mentoring program allows them to use those skills to help and inspire future generations.

3. Penpal Program


Everybody likes getting hand-written letters in the mail. Especially in our increasingly digital world, physical letters can be a fun treat for anyone, especially children.

If issues that impact children are important to your employees, why not connect them with a child for a penpal program? Reach out to area schools and the local foster care system to set it up. With a penpal program, your employees who may not be able to volunteer as a mentor or donate money can still make a difference in the lives of children in your community.

4. English as a Second Language Class Volunteer

From community colleges to public libraries, English as a Second Language (ESL) classes are available in nearly every community across America. With more than 1 million immigrants becoming legal permanent residents of the United States each year, it’s no wonder these classes are in high demand.

While there’s no shortage of ESL learners, since small groups are ideal for ESL classes, classroom teachers and volunteers are always needed. Most ESL programs require that you have a TESL, or Teaching English as a Second Language) certificate to run the class. But anyone can volunteer as a tutor or classroom helper.

5. Refugee One-on-One Mentorship


Imagine leaving behind your home, friends, and possibly even family members to flee violence and persecution. This is the reality for refugees who come to the United States.

If your employees give to programs that help with refugee resettlement, they will likely appreciate opportunities to volunteer. From helping practice English skills to simply being a welcoming, friendly face in the community, there are a lot of ways to help refugees begin their life anew and work towards the American Dream in your local community.

6. Have a Fun Voting System

Rather than just donating to a charity chosen by the CEO or Executive Board, why not let your employees decide where your company donates this year?

If you are already planning on donating $10,000 at the end April, you can hold a month long campaign to determine which causes will benefit from your gift.

Set out a jar for each of your employees’ favorite charities, the top three or four to keep things manageable, in your office or at the front desk. Next to the jars, have a bowl of coffee beans. (With the right corporate social responsibility tool it’s actually pretty easy to figure which organizations your employees support.)

Every time an employee comes to work throughout the month of April, they “vote” for their favorite charity by placing a coffee bean in the bowl. At the end of the month, count up the coffee beans.

Instead of simply giving all $10,000 to the charity with the most beans, you can divide it up based on percentage. If the local animal shelter got 40% of the beans and the children’s hospital got 30%, support both of them with smaller donations.

One of the best things about this program is that every employee can participate in raising money without feeling pressured to give themselves. Although you shouldn’t be surprised if it inspires them to make a donation of their own.

7. Coffee for a Cause


Instead of encouraging employees to skip a cup of coffee and donate the money, you can let them do both. Most coffee shops offer some sort of fundraising programs. For those that don’t, you can usually purchase bulk brewed coffee and then have it available for sale in the break room.

For the price of a cup of coffee, your employees can make a donation to a cause they care about and get their caffeine fix at the same time.

8. Battle of the Baked Goods

Cooking and baking competitions have become hugely popular on television. If your employees give to the local food bank or organizations working to end hunger, a cooking or baking competition is a great tie-in to the cause.

You can have employees bring home baked goods or stage a live cooking competition with a few employees who think they have the chops to take on their peers in the kitchen.

9. Halloween or Valentine’s Day Blood Drive

If your employees give to local hospitals or charities that support medical research, a blood drive is a great way to give more than money.

Decorate the area where you will hold the blood drive with holiday-themed colors and other decorations. Vampires and bats are perfect a Halloween blood drive while hearts are great for Valentine’s Day.

10. Build Care Packages


A wide array of charities can benefit from care packages. Build care packages for organizations working on the issues that are important to your employees.

For example, if your employees donate to the local homeless shelter, find out what they need – often packages including personal hygiene supplies, socks, and other small items are in high demand.

Organizations that support active service members, children in the foster care system, and even animal shelters can all benefit from care packages. You can even hold a few different care package building events, with each one benefitting a different charity.


While collecting donations is the main purpose of an employee giving campaign, the amount of money raised is not a complete measure of success. A successful employee giving campaign is one that inspires people to get involved and start talking about the issues that are important to them. And there’s no reason it can’t be fun too. Get your employees excited about giving with fundraising events that they will enjoy.



Author: Leo Ramirez

Leo is the co-founder and CEO of Encast, an organization dedicated to improving the way CSR professions create, manage, and measure CSR programs. Leo is passionate about the role that culture plays in business success. Leo has launched and managed social ventures, lead multi-disciplinary teams, and built solid relationships with civic and corporate leaders. His 25-year career has spanned executive management, business development, consulting, nonprofit management, technical support and engineering positions with Southwest Key Programs, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Coremetrics, Trilogy and Apple.

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