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Admin Pro Forum

How do you run an effective office charity drive?

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Question: "The last few times that our company Fun Club has tried to help a charity through a canned food drive or toy collection, the response rate from our co-workers has been embarrassingly low. What's the best way to get the office interested in making these count?" - Kate, Receptionist


See comments below, and send your own question to Admin-Pro@nibm.net.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

L July 18, 2014 at 9:11 am

I agree with the others in making it a fun project. Here where I work we receive very formal letters from administration asking for donations. The letters are way too serious, sent from those who make six figure incomes, and gives us the impression we are being squeezed for every extra cent we have. The letters go directly into the trash out of frustration, and then administration wonders why they don’t receive a better response … not the brightest light bulbs in the box!

Keep it fun and make everyone feel good about giving. :)


Karen July 17, 2014 at 4:36 pm

One company I worked for assigns different can sculptures like boats, R2D2, palm trees and other designs, they collect the cans, create the sculpture, and each design is judged. The winning teams are featured in the company newsletter as well as they get jeans days or special prizes. All volunteers get special t-shirts that state they are a volunteer for the company. Volunteering in any capacity is highly encouraged, you are not penalized for taking time off to volunteer (actually give a couple of days to use exclusively for volunteering) and at the end of the year great prizes are awarded for the top volunteers. There is even a website available to log all your volunteer time and track which groups you have helped over the year.


Treva July 17, 2014 at 4:31 pm

We had a contest among the departments for our local food drive. Various foods had certain point values (depending on the needs in the community). You could also put “sabatoge” foods in other departments’ boxes to subtract points from their totals. Everyone was very secretive about what they brought and often waited until the last few minutes of each day to make their donations. With this particular format, we far exceeded any dreams we had for our annual food drive. The winning department got bragging rights – that’s all the incentive they needed. We did post deparment totals daily – even had some departments in the negative due to the sabatoge items. It was great!!! By the way, my company has between 150-200 people.


Kimberly July 17, 2014 at 4:15 pm

Previous companies I have worked for used incentives like wearing jeans on Friday…or if you submitted x number of items, you were entered into a drawing for a free vacation day.


Joyce July 17, 2014 at 4:13 pm

How big is your company? Do you have departments? If so, each department gets a box and let the friendly competition begin… The department that gives the most gets coffee and cookies or something, but more so they get “bragging’ rights” — photo in lunch room perhaps. We had “penny pinchers” at one company, where people would put their pennies in a jar. Every month it would be weighed in. Departments were ranked monthly, and at the end of the year the donations would be given to a charity. People who are giving give even more when they are acting as part of a team, and everyone wins. Smaller area? Get the buy in of the boss to maybe dance on the conference table or through the halls for all to see if a specific goal is met … who let the dogs out? Key is make it fun.


Rachel July 17, 2014 at 4:09 pm

A company I worked for previously was able to reach charity goals by having one of the Execs promise to do something funny if we reached “X” number of cans or “X” amount of money. One year the President of the copy shaved his head for reaching our charity goal. The company I currently work for uses bake sales and sandwich sales to raise extra money.


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