We chatted with Rogers Group’s CEO Darin Matson and his colleagues to learn the ins and outs of running a successful giving campaign.
What made your giving campaign so successful this year?
Hands down, the people at Rogers Group. Year after year, they prioritize this campaign and go above and beyond (financially and with their time) to give and participate. It is really amazing and inspiring to see a group of people work together toward a common goal and ultimately achieve it.
How have you adapted your campaign because of the pandemic?
In years past, we bring everyone together for a kick-off and closing meeting; we serve a meal, mingle with each other and listen to leaders across our company and United Way speak about the importance of the campaign, our employee activities and volunteering opportunities and our giving goal. This year we had to make some changes to keep everyone safe and healthy, while keeping the campaign’s importance intact; we did multiple virtual meetings via Zoom, increased our email communications for participation and giving updates leading up to and throughout the campaign and limited group sizes while requiring masks and upping our cleaning/sanitation regiments for our in-person volunteering activities.
How do you motivate your colleagues to give each year?
We do a few things every year to incentivize employees to give.
- There is a raffle on the closing day of the campaign and employees can earn “points” or tickets to enter in that raffle for prizes by giving financially or by donating their time to a local non-profit organization throughout the campaign. In fact, several of our vendors heard about our campaign and donated items for the raffle, offering even more incentive to participate.
- We also grant “Jeans Day” on Fridays and holidays for the upcoming year if we exceed the giving total of the prior year
- We offer a team activity they can win additional PTO through.
- We offer a dollar-for-dollar match for each individual up to $1,000.
- Keeping everyone updated on our giving total frequently throughout the campaign also serves as a motivator; knowing how close we are to our goal is a great incentive to give a little bit more!
How would you encourage a workplace that is considering running a campaign?
Simply, go for it! United Way is so hands-on and will help out in any way they can. They completely handle the giving portal, setting up employee logins and distributing that information to your employees. If you can find a team at your company to volunteer their time to manage and coordinate employee activities, you’re all set. This campaign is an excellent opportunity to show employees that your organization is committed to the communities where they live and raise their families. In a time when community service organizations need more help than ever, it’s great to partner with United Way, who knows where the greatest areas of need are and have the connections to meet those needs quickly.
What are some of the top campaign materials or tools that you use each year?
- Our greatest tool is the people who helped with the campaign. Our United Way campaign contact has always been such a huge help with our campaign, and this year’s specifically. She made herself available whenever we needed, answered so many questions and helped us think outside the box to achieve a successful campaign while navigating the pandemic. The volunteers at Rogers Group who served on the campaign committee were also invaluable; we were able to divide and conquer the campaign tasks and everything ran smoothly because of them.
- We continue to encourage creative fundraising among our employees. A group of managers started a United Way Sporting Clay Shoot five years ago as an alternative fundraising event to draw support from our most valued vendors. Participation and contributions from the event have grown considerably with each passing year and it now hosts over 40 teams.
- For our tech tools of choice, we utilized SignUpGenius for tracking our volunteer and employee activities, shared spreadsheets via our internal SharePoint site and Outlook and Zoom for keeping employees updated; I would recommend them to anyone running a United Way campaign.
Ready to get your workplace started? Learn more about running a giving campaign.