by J. Scott Nebel, Omaha 06
As our biggest fundraising month of the year closes, we run down the best and the worst experiences we’ve had with recent MLBA fundraising at Omaha 6. Remember, MLBA is our local chapter of Making Lives Better with Alorica (we wrote about it here).
What Makes Workplace Fundraising Successful:
• Does it engage? (That’s boring for “Is it fun?”)
• Does it unify? (Does it build a sense of team working for a common goal?)
• Does it make money? (Naturally a key component in fundraising, but we don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on elephants to make a paltry five bucks! Okay, we WANT to, but we can’t … can we? Seriously I need to see an elephant and I need to see one right now!)
The Best of the Best: a Countdown of Our Top 3 Fundraisers
Number 3: Culture Kitchen
People like food (I know, it shocked me too!), and about midday, people seem to eat the food (seriously, there’s all kinds of stuff on Google about it!).
Many sites have Vendors or Lunch Trucks that will pull up and serve food for a fee, so the idea came up … What if we were that vendor? What if the proceeds could go towards our fundraising?
Thus our own Kitchen was born! We call it our “MAC Kitchen” (An amalgam of various committees we squished together) but you can call it anything you want, Culture Kitchen, MLBA Kitchen, Carl the Lunch Lady … anything!
The reason these Kitchens work is because we’re providing something already within the employees’ normal routine … Lunch, maybe even brunch. So it doesn’t feel like they are shelling out money they otherwise wouldn’t, enabling us to boost our fundraising almost invisibly!
The challenge is in setting proper pricing so that you come out ahead, taking into account staffing and cooking for the event. If done right, you get the regular lunch crowd plus those who want to buy lunch to help a cause, and you can have fun doing it!
Number 2: Penny Wars
“Penny Wars” brings to mind copper warriors pitched in battle against nickels and dimes, a shiny Lincoln leading the charge … or am I the only one doing voices and playing with pennies right now?
The “War” pits two or more teams against each other and can be tons of fun! With different point values—including negatives—to coins, Team vs Team can battle to essentially put each other further into the hole. Word to the wise, make sure everyone understands the rules on day one! Check out the rules on Wikipedia1.
The beauty of a Penny War is that there is virtually no cost to the fundraiser, and it has the highest yield of anything we’ve done so far! That said, counting coins and calculating the scores can be mind-numbingly boring, and takes an hour or so of someone’s time each day. We strongly recommend investing in a coin counter to expedite the process (share it across your local market!). Also, you can count the same coins only once by sealing them in a bag with the count on a piece of paper. This enables you to keep the visual of the coins in the container, but saves you from recounting every time you give an update.
Be prepared … The final day the war EXPLODES (our latest war nearly quadrupled in the final hour!)
Number 1: Dress Down Passes
Let’s face it, nobody likes dress codes, and I’m pretty confident I could be just as productive in Batman cosplay wearing a tutu and a sombrero, but “adulting” has rules, otherwise everyone would do it all the time, and then where would we be? Kids would clock in for breakfast, talk about stock portfolios instead of Pokemon, and there would be no Batman! Deep breath—there’s still a Batman, and I’m pretty sure he’s real, but unfortunately, so are dress codes.
That said, dress codes represent a unique opportunity for fundraising. Donate $x.xx and you get a pass to dress less like an adult. Who would want that? EVERYBODY! Well, except that one guy who spends hours alphabetizing his ties by color (Look, I just don’t want my chartreuse ties next to my to my salmon paisley!)
The beauty of Dress Down Passes is that they are easy to facilitate, and there is zero investment with 100% of the proceeds going to the cause! Thus, it raises good money, engages the employees by wearing something a little more “fun” and it unifies those that participate (High Five, we’re adulting in disguise!).
Stay Tuned for Part 2: What Went Wrong…? (Our Worst 3 Fundraisers)
For additional Questions on our Fundraising Successes and Failures, contact us at OMA06MACommittee@alorica.com