Running an Employee Giving Campaign in a Virtual World

Jun 21, 2021 | Blog

While our world is slowly returning to normal, your company still may not be in the office when it is time to run your Community Giving Campaign. If that is the case, don’t fret! You can still have a fun, involved, and successful campaign that engages employees and promotes your Corporate Social Responsibility goals while being safe and entirely virtual.

The United Way of Greater Nashville Workplace Engagement team learned a lot about virtual campaigns in 2020. While our partners should still use the campaign best practices found in our campaign toolkit (linked here), here are some tips from our Workplace Engagement team on running a successful virtual campaign:

1. Start planning early – If you are used to running an in-person campaign, you may want to give yourself a head start when it comes to planning. You may encounter some new challenges in the virtual space, so give yourself plenty of time to plan!

2. Get the message out – Working from home, we do not have the benefits of in-person staff meetings or promotional posters in the break room. Because of this, it is important to promote your virtual campaign early and effectively. As soon you have campaign dates set, send a calendar invite to all staff so they know when the campaign will run. Post the campaign on your company intranet or message board. Email your staff about campaign details well in advance. You know your company best, so be strategic about what communication channels work best for your team.

3. Hold virtual events – Some of the best aspects of a United Way campaign are the special events and team bonding, and during these tough times we could all use a little fun! While you may not be able to do your normal chili cook off or 5k, there are still plenty of fun, engaging virtual events your team can do. For example:

  • Virtual Campaign Kick Off – Use your company’s preferred video conferencing platform to host a campaign kick-off. Have your CEO or executive team speak about the importance of the campaign to your company, bring in a United Way account manager to share about the work of United Way, and use this opportunity to share the important details of the campaign with your staff.
  • Virtual Trivia – This is an easy way to get your team engaged! Choose a topic (community nonprofits, your company, your campaign theme, etc.) and include a prize for the winner to up the ante.
  • Virtual Poverty Simulation – This is a great way to help your employees put themselves in the shoes of their neighbors. A United Way account manager can host this for your team using your company’s preferred video conferencing platform.
  • Virtual Nonprofit Tour – A United Way account manager can help you coordinate a virtual nonprofit tour, where one or several of our nonprofit partners share about their direct service work.
  • Virtual Classroom – What skills do your teammates have that they’d be willing to share? Amateur chefs, painters, or musicians could host a virtual class for your staff. If you have a budget for your campaign, you can also hire a professional company specializing in group classes.

4. Utilize one of United Way’s digital pledging platforms – If your company has used paper pledge forms in the past, now is a great time to switch to one of United Way’s free or low-cost pledging platforms. Contact a United Way account manager to learn more.

5. Utilize United Way account managers – The United Way Workplace Engagement team learned a lot in 2020 about running a successful virtual campaign. Lean on your account manager and include them in planning meetings. They are here to help!


Blog Author: Jamie Roy, Senior Account Manager