Office Fundraising: Raising Money for Charities


Raising money for charities is not only a great way of contributing to the community; it also boosts employee morale and builds trust. Reasons behind fundraising for charities are pretty obvious, but what’s tricky is how to raise that money. Every workplace has a different culture and work environment, which means not every fundraising method works across the board.

This post aims to make it easier for businesses to choose the method that works best for them keeping their own work culture in mind. Here is a list of fundraising ideas that can help you decide something that just works for your business. However, simple ideas usually work the best and can bring in a decent amount of money with little effort. That’s why we have tried to include simple fundraising ideas that are suitable for almost any type of workplace.

Spare Change Bucket

This is a year-around method that allows you to raise money with minimal effort. All you need is a sealable and preferably branded collection bucket, which you can request from the charity you want to raise the money for. Put the bucket where people walk past frequently such as the reception, kitchen and meeting rooms. This allows everyone to drop spare change whenever they walk past the bucket.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry so try to keep the buckets locked to prevent any untoward incident. Collecting spare change might not seem like such a great fundraising activity, but you might be surprised how every coin adds up with each passing day.

Matched Giving

It’s another simple, yet effective method that involves both the employees and the company. This method is particularly effective for companies that find it hard to organize fundraising events themselves. You can ask the administration or HR department to match the amount of money you have raised, effectively doubling it and maximizing the impact. But you need to consider company policies in this regard as not all businesses have a matched giving policy in place.

Charity Birthdays

Swapping a birthday with a charitable donation is a great way of raising money as well as honoring the birthday person. Instead of buying stuff like a cake, cards, and other stuff, you can simply donate that money to a charity.

Bid for the Boss

There might be many employees in the office who would love having a lunch or dinner with the boss or CEO. Give them a chance and raise some money by auctioning off a lunch/dinner slot. This can not only help raise a decent amount of money but also enable employees to put forward new ideas and feedback for the company.

Email Signatures

Setting up an online donation page and accepting payments is pretty easy these days. Setup such a page and include its link in the email signatures. This not only helps in raising money internally but also encourages generous external contacts to participate in your fundraising efforts.

Ditch the Snacks for a While

It’s as simple as it gets and works well for offices that offer snacks. Even if they don’t, an employee can ditch the snacks they purchase themselves for a week or so and instead donate the money to a charity. Offices having a real sweet tooth can actually raise quite some money using this method, especially in months like January when people are already on a health-kick.

Exercise Classes

This method is suitable for offices that have a gym facility. Gym trainers can run exercise classes meant for raising money for a charity by charging employees more than the standard fees. All the extra money goes to the charity, while participants can also keep themselves in shape. In addition to gym classes, trainers can also arrange other sessions such as yoga, dance classes etc.

Donate a Day’s Pay

This is one of the most straightforward, yet effective methods of raising money. Donating a day’s pay can translate into a meaningful contribution towards a noble cause. The method works especially well if the management and staff members are usually too busy to get involved in other fundraising activities.

Bring Lunch from Home

Employees can prepare their lunch at home for a day or two and donate the money they otherwise would have spent on buying food from the office café or a local shop. Fixing a day or two each month works even better and ensures a consistent flow of money to charities.

Bring and Sell Unwanted Items

How about bringing in unwanted items in good condition such as DVDs, books, board games, toys, and board games? You can book a room like the meeting room and invite all the team members for some second-hand shopping. That’s a great way of converting unwanted items into money, which can be used to fund a charity. Even if some items are left after the session, they can be donated directly to the charity shop.

Office Etiquette

A list of (preferably funny) things you want people to stop doing during office hours can also help raise money for a charity. Things such as sending unnecessary emails, coming late etc. can be banned for a specific time period. Anyone caught doing such things has to donate a specified amount, but make sure to get approval from your boss before attempting any such thing.

Some more ideas of eco-fines include leaving a computer on for more than 30 minutes when away from the desk, forgetting to turn off fans/AC/lights/heater etc. and printing when not necessary or failing to collect and use the printouts

Dress-down Day

This method can be effective for companies that have a strict dress policy and allow staff members to wear casual for a day or two. Anyone wanting to dress down gives a small donation that goes to the charity.

Board Game Tournament

It’s a simple, yet cost-effective way of raising money and can be used by almost any type of company. You can decide on a minimum amount each participant has to donate to compete in the tournament. If possible, it’s better to kick-start multiple board tournaments such as Monopoly and Scrabble, allowing people to show off their mastery in the game they love.

Baby Photo Competition

A guess-the-baby competition involves requesting all team members to provide you with their baby-photo, which you can pin on a board in the main meeting room. A small fee is charged to each participant and team members are asked to guess who is who. The person who guesses the most photos correctly wins the prize, while the remaining amount goes to the charity.

Compete with Other Companies

Flaming a fundraising competition with other companies is another great way of raising money, but this requires good networking and connections. Turning fundraising into a competition increases the chances of raising more money as everyone is more motivated to get their company to the top.

Offer Prime Parking Spots

Employees working in a big company always want a parking spot in the shade and close to the entrance. You can charge them a fee for parking in such prime spots, which are usually reserved for the management. You can even offer a month or quarter of reserved parking to the top fundraisers.