Workplace Campaign Toolkit
Your Guide for Doing Local Good


Now, more than ever, you are needed. There’s never been a more important time to unite.

COVID-19 has significantly impacted our friends and neighbours who were already vulnerable. The pandemic has pushed them, and our community, to the breaking point. Your workplace campaign is a vital part of helping our community recover. Your generosity—and the generosity of your colleagues—will fuel our work to improve the lives of our neighbours who need it most, making Southern Vancouver Island a better place to live.

This toolkit includes everything you need to run a seamless and successful United Way workplace fundraising campaign—whether your employees are working remotely or in the office. All easy to access and easy to use.

In this toolkit, you will find:

  1. Fundraise for United Way: Everything you need to plan and deliver a great fundraising campaign
  2. Employee Engagement & Events: Best practice ideas and activities to involve your employees and to take your campaign to the next level
  3. Marketing Materials & Resource Library: A collection of resources and materials to support building awareness and raising funds for our community

Areas of Action

UWSVI is a trusted leader, influencer and catalyst for change in our region. United, we accelerate change to improve the lives of our neighbours who need it most, making our local community stronger.

At UWSVI, we have seen many changes in our community since COVID-19 hit. More people are living with uncertainty. There has been a toll on our mental health, our relationships, and our financial security. More individuals are on the edge of poverty. Stress is high. The need for support is greater than ever before.

There are, however, many things in Greater Victoria that have not changed. Our care and compassion for one another. Our love for everything local including our diversity. Our sense of community – neighbours helping neighbours no matter who they are or where they are from.

Show Your Local Love

For this year’s annual campaign season, we have narrowed our focus in direct response to COVID-19 to help our community recover and rebuild. We have three new areas of action: ISOLATED SENIORS; FAMILIES IN NEED; DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION; AND MENTAL HEALTH & ADDICTIONS, each with signature initiatives you can direct your gift to in order to assist those most vulnerable right here in Southern Vancouver Island.

COVID-19 increased social isolation and loneliness

Becky turned 96 in August. She lives on her own in a tidy, cozy home filled with artwork from her children and artefacts from the 35 years she spent in Africa. She has been widowed for 17 years.

She is fiercely independent. Like most Canadians, she wants to age in place at home. Over three-quarters of Canadians (78 per cent) want to age in their current homes1.

But she needs helping hands. She uses a walker and she has trouble with her hands.

“My hands feel as if they are full of sand,” she explains. She can prepare her porridge in the morning but would find it extremely challenging to prepare a full meal.

That’s why More than Meals is literally a lifesaver for Becky.

Every Monday she gets a call to see what she would like from the menu. Frozen entrees are delivered on Thursdays together with a friendly visit. “They just come in and slip it on the counter.”

Desserts are a pleasant surprise. “Last week I got a nice piece of chocolate cake,” adds Becky.

United Way believes that seniors and elders should be able to age with dignity and respect, have access to healthy and nutritious meals and supportive companionship.

  • Approximately 50% of people over the age of 80 report feeling lonely

Many seniors in the CRD experience extreme loneliness and isolation, malnutrition or food insecurity, mobility issues and limited income. COVID-19 amplified these challenges: social interactions with friends and family, grocery shopping, in-person doctor’s appointments, and outdoor activities became extremely limited. The result was increased isolation, depression and anxiety, as well as food insecurity.

Even as we recover and re-open, the needs for seniors in the community remains high.

United Way’s More than Meals program is literally a life safer. Healthy meals are delivered directly to people’s homes together with critically important social visits.

United Way also funds other local programs and services that combat isolation while providing multi-faceted care and support for seniors, helping them maintain independence and connection.

Let’s respect the legacy of our seniors and elders and ensure they are well looked after.

Plan a Fundraising Campaign

Although many of us are working remotely, the need in our community continues to grow. As an Employee Campaign Chair (ECC), you have the opportunity to bring your colleagues together to support their local communities through an exciting and engaging virtual fundraising campaign.

We’ve got all the tools you need to help support your fundraising efforts. Whether virtual or in person, planning a great campaign is as easy as 1-2-3:

  • Plan

    Set the stage for a great

  • Share

    Deliver an engaging and exciting campaign in your workplace

  • Wrap-up

    Thank volunteers and participants, and lay the foundation for next year

Our Campaign Kickoff guide gives you the details on running a successful campaign. Always remember you aren’t alone on the campaign trail, your United Way team member is only a call away if you need help.

Our partnership with labour. Did you know over 50% of funds raised as part of our workplace campaign came from unionized worksites? Check out all the different ways you can involve labour in your workplace campaign with this union flyer.

For all those small questions that pop into your mind as an ECC but forgot to ask, here are our FAQs.

What is the top reason people don’t give?
Because they weren’t asked.

Asking people for their support is one of the most important, but often overlooked aspects of fundraising. Many people have difficulty getting started with solicitation because they are uncomfortable asking for donations. This is natural, but remember, you are not asking for donations for yourself, but for your community.

This section will provide you with some tips and tools on how to make the ask as well as options about ways people can give.

Before you ask:
  • Review the “Get to know United Way” section so that you can speak with confidence about United Way and know where to find information.
  • Make your own pledge early so that when you talk to others, you can ask them to join you in supporting UWSVI.
  • Let others know why you support United Way.

Tips for making the ask

  1. Be prepared. Know your campaign details – how many employees donated last year? How much money was raised last year? What is your campaign goal?
  2. Anticipate questions. If you get a question you don’t know the answer to, tell them you’ll find out and get back to them promptly. Then, connect with your United Way representative to get the answer. It’s okay not to know!
  3. Be positive. A smile can go a long way.
  4. Ask from the heart! One-on-one asks are the best way to ask – in person is ideal but may not be possible these days so telephone calls or emails can also work well.
  5. Start first with co-workers you know. You’ll gain confidence and be ready to approach co-workers you know less well.
  6. Mention the ease of giving. Encourage giving through payroll. Emphasize how their gift can be spread over a year of pay, whether that’s 24 or 26 pay periods as per your workplace. Be sure to tell them that their payroll gift is recorded on their T4 so it’s easy at tax time. This could also be a good time to remind them about tax breaks: charitable giving gives back. Use the tax calculator below to show people how when they give they get back!
  7. Thank people for their gift or their consideration. You can never thank people too often.

Remember: contributing is voluntary. Share your enthusiasm and be a resource to help your co-worker make an informed decision about giving. Be positive and confident, never pressuring or coercing.  Let people know that by making a gift to United Way they will be participating in making a lasting change in our community and helping #YYJ rally to recover.

Every question or comment, even if it is challenging, is an opportunity to share the positive aspects of United Way, our community and the programs we fund.  Generally, when concerns are expressed they are not directed against you.

Lapsed donors

A lapsed donor is someone who has given in the past and has either stopped donating or may be considering not donating.

It is understandable that donors may wish to stop their gift for a variety of reasons although if you are speaking to someone whose giving has lapsed or may be in danger of lapsing, consider using the following statements – and remember, if there are any concerns please reach out your United Way contact for support:

  • “Your support means so much to us. Can we count on a gift again this year?”
  • “We missed your participation in our campaign last year. Please join us again this year.”
  • “We take great pride in having your name associated with our campaign. I hope we can count on your support again this year.”
  • “There’s a good chance that we will establish a new record in gift support this year, but only if previous contributors such as you continue to invest in United Way. Can we count on your gift again this year?”

Sample ask script

“Hi (first name). I just wanted to (drop off this United Way pledge form/ follow up on an email I sent with a United Way pledge form). Every gift made to United Way helps people right here in the community and now during the pandemic, your support is more important than ever. Did you know for $25 a paycheque, you can provide 50 seniors or elders with a nutritious hot meal? Or for $10 a paycheque, you can provide two hours of counselling services to someone living with mental health challenges?

Last year, because of generous people like you, United Way helped 90,000 people. And those people getting help could be your co-workers, neighbours, friends or extended family members. To help improve as many lives as possible, we are striving for 100% employee participation. If you have any questions about United Way, please let me know. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration to pledge this year.”

Watch the video

Employee Engagement & Event Activities

United Way offers event opportunities for every audience over the course of the year. Whether looking to run an event for your workplace or our annual Spirit Awards, there are so many reasons to have special events as part of your workplace campaign.

Whatever your reason, a great event is a balance of three components:

  1. Fun: Will your event boost engagement, build enthusiasm and bring your colleagues together?
  2. Fundraising: Is your event designed to bring in funds? Will you need to offset any costs of running the event?
  3. Awareness: Will this event build awareness of your campaign, United Way and your company’s values?

Check out these great activities you can host with your fellow colleagues!

It’s easy. It’s fun. It’s ClimbUP for United Way!

Hike, run or walk your way through our 10-day challenge taking place September 23rd through October 2nd. Help raise funds for individuals facing mental health challenges on Southern Vancouver Island.

Safely connect with family, friends and co-workers while exploring neighbourhoods you live, work and play in, knowing you’re making a difference locally.

It doesn’t take much – just 5,000 steps a day for 10 days – that’s 50,000 steps in total.

Your participation will help close the funding gap for counselling, peer support and outreach services throughout Southern Vancouver Island. COVID-19 has increased the demand for mental health services by up to 50% and the need will continue to grow as we live through this pandemic and its aftermath.

Move your way to improve your own wellness, while helping those in need of mental health services by taking part in the ClimbUP Challenge.

Pledge your local love for community by registering today!

Think your co-workers are a super talented bunch just waiting for their moment to shine?

Host a virtual talent show and ask them to record and upload a 2-3 minute video of themselves showcasing their talent (think singing, playing an instrument, doing a magic trick, juggling fruit or body contorting into a pretzel!). Encourage people to vote for their favourite act by donating, where every donation is a vote towards selecting a winner. The act with the highest dollar amount raised wins! To raise even more money, consider asking for a registration fee from all the contestants, or asking executive leadership to sponsor a contestant, and have it count towards their total money raised.

How to do it:

  • Pick a start and end date for the contestants to register and submit their talent video
  • Assign the duration of the event—an appropriate length of time you know will keep everyone engaged and inspired to support the cause
  • Use free, reliable platforms to upload contestant videos such as YouTube, TikTok or Google Drive
  • Choose the prize the winner gets, such as being featured in your next all staff/team e-mail, getting an extra vacation day, lunch with an executive, or simply all the bragging rights!
  • Encourage contestants to reach out to coworkers, friends and family and ask for support
  • Use appropriate ways to communicate updates and activities throughout the event and encourage more votes/donations, e.g. intranet, Facebook for workplace, email

Celebrate without leaving your house with an un-gala.

An un-gala is the exact opposite of a gala. People simply buy tickets to stay home and not go to an event (you’d be surprised how many people actually prefer that).

Organizing an un-gala could not be simpler. Set up registrations and promote your event and that’s pretty much it — how the attendees choose to spend their time on the day of the event is entirely up to them.

Simply ask your colleagues to make a donation and make a night out of it – socially distancing at home.

How to Un-gala

  • Support a local restaurant and order takeout
  • Wear your PJs – or get dressed up!
  • Make a one-time or monthly donation to the United Way at
  • Enjoy the evening safe at home with your family knowing you have shown your local love.

Have fun & share your Un-gala photos on social media and tag United Way so we can share them out, too!

The game is on!

Invite your colleagues & families to join you virtually for one evening. They can play board games at home, on their phones, online games with their friends remotely, or even their favourite video games.

The key with an event like this is to get your registrants excited about participating and encourage them to spread the word to their friends and family.

Invite participants to make donations upon registration, provided ideas of games to play, and shared impact stories to remind them why their participation is vital and greatly appreciated.

Donate your social media account to the United Way

For a day or even just a few hours, post content on UWSVIs behalf; share stories about the community we serve, share examples of the great things your employees are doing to show their local love and why more funds are needed, as well as prompts to donate.

This is a great way to showcase your social corporate responsibility program and elevate your brand while doing good. Your customers and clients may be more than willing to support your support of local love.

One idea is to run an 8-hour takeover where you post stories from 8 of our community-funded partners sharing personal stories in a series of Tweets or Facebook, Instagram posts for an hour each to raise awareness & funds.

Looking for more event ideas? CLICK HERE for further inspiration.


In this section you will find in-person and online engagement activities connected to United Way’s mission to inspire donors through stories and experiences. These community-focused activities help you and your colleagues gain a deeper understanding of how donations to United Way are being invested in communities across Southern Vancouver Island.

You will find tips, templates, guides and suggestions on how to get the most out of these activities. Your United Way team member can book any activity listed below and answer questions.

Inspiring donors through stories and sharing experiences is fundamental to a successful workplace campaign.

Engagement activities are community-focused opportunities to gain a deeper understanding of how donations to United Way are being invested to achieve positive impact in communities across Southern Vancouver Island.

Key benefits of engagement activities:

  1. Increased awareness of key issues facing local communities
  2. Enhanced engagement and participation in workplace giving campaigns
  3. Volunteer support of United Way to local community agencies and initiatives benefiting the most vulnerable community members
  4. Improved employee retention and morale through team-building activities

Acts of Local Love Volunteer Opportunities

Employee groups with the desire to help the growing number of individuals and families in crisis due to COVID-19 will find below a host of mostly virtual, socially distanced Acts of Local Love volunteer opportunities and one in-person activity to consider.

Write a Note to an Isolated Senior or Frontline Community Worker

Helping to reduce social isolation for vulnerable seniors or to make someone feel cared for can be done right from your home office or desk. Writing a note is a small gesture that can have a big impact.

There is an increased need for mental health support especially for vulnerable seniors as well as Frontline community workers at many United Way agencies – who also faced unprecedented challenges responding to the skyrocketing needs of the community.

We might not all be expert writers but all of us can write a note from the heart to make someone feel that they are cared for, thought about or appreciated.

To write a note to a senior, and to write a note to a frontline community worker.

More Than Meals Delivery

Groups of volunteers can help seniors that are having difficulty covering all their essential costs and paying for basic healthy food by providing access to high-quality, affordable, nutritional, and culturally appropriate foods.

Volunteers report to a designated location at a specified time, assist with food packing and help to deliver hundreds of meals to vulnerable seniors, in neighbourhoods that need it the most.

Take a Virtual Community Tour

Community Tours are an excellent opportunity to learn firsthand about the people, programs and services that are offered across Greater Victoria. Gain a deeper understanding of the community agencies that UWSVI invests in and the critical work that is helping to address issues in our community.

Behind the Door Video

Hear from agency representatives and learn how COVID-19 has impacted them, the people they serve and how UW’s partnership has been part of supporting their work. Behind the Door replaces pre-pandemic agency bus tours and offers a new behind the scene glimpse into our community through video.

DIY (Do-it-yourself) Guides: Volunteer from Home

United Way’s DIY guides is a fun, creative and flexible way for you and a group of your colleagues, family, friends and neighbours to show some local love for community from the comfort of home. The guides provide a list of required supplies, instructions to put the products together and directions how to donate them to a United Way agency in your community. The following activities will help address critical community needs that have grown due to the pandemic. To learn more about any of the activities listed below, click here 

Put together a family meal kit

Everyone deserves a wholesome meal. Caring for our neighbours is key to a strong community. Show someone you care by gifting a meal to a family in need. Create a dinner basket to supply all the ingredients needed to make a home cooked meal.

Make homemade masks for community frontline workers

The need for personal protective equipment for frontline workers and agency clients is critical, especially as agencies begin to transition back to work. You can help supplement agencies’ limited supply by making much-needed homemade masks.

Create COVID-19 Protection Kits 

Hygiene kits are always in high-demand, are one of the biggest needs of our agencies and shelters, and the need has grown during the crisis. You can help to ensure the most vulnerable in our communities are protected and maintain good hygiene with supplies of new hygiene products.  Examples of kits items: toothpaste, tooth brushes, shampoo/conditioner, shave foam, razors, deodorant, menstrual products and more

Kits for Kids

An over represented group living in poverty is children and youth. Evidence shows that there are gaps in cognitive skills and behaviours between low-income children and children who are not low income, even before they begin school. Assembling activity kits for kids can help to keep them engaged, active and learning, from home and throughout the summer. Some kit ideas include early reader books, markers, pencil crayons, early reader activity books, craft kits and more.

Baby Essentials

Baby essentials are one of the biggest needs for mothers and families experiencing poverty. You can help take that stress away for families during this challenging time by putting together a kit to be donated to support women and their children. Kit items might include: diapers, wipes, teething aids, soft books, nursing pads and many items you will find in the family aisle at your local drug store.

Can You Make the Month?  

Raise empathy and awareness about poverty in our local communities through the experience of living on a limited budget by trying, the first online poverty simulator in Canada.

Do this activity on your own, with your family or colleagues at work and see if you can make the month; follow the activity with a discussion to share learning and thoughts about how living in poverty is a real challenge making the month the is tough.

Impact Calculator

Use our Impact Calculator to see the difference your donation makes in our community. When you show your local love you help ensure we live in a place where everyone has access to housing, a warm meal, a job, an education, and a safety net to call upon in times of need.

Book a United Way speaker or Play a United Way impact video

Personal stories to inspire your team and show the impact a gift to United Way can make a difference in the lives of those most vulnerable.

Hearing a personal story from a United Way Speaker is an excellent way to learn how donations are used to build a better, stronger future for our region. Our speakers are available to virtually attend meetings, town halls, lunch and learns, campaign kick-offs, fundraising events, etc. Our United Way impact videos are another great way to inspire and show your colleagues how a donation can change a life. Check out out latest campaign videos.

For more information on how to book a speaker, please contact your United Way team member or email us.

Share your local love – ways to give

The easiest way for people to give is through payroll deductions.  Monthly or bi-weekly giving provides stability to those organizations we fund.

Lead the Way

What does it take to be a leader?

Compassion, empathy and courage among other attributes.

We have so many strengths here on the Island: our care and compassion for one another, our sense of community, neighbours helping neighbours. Because we love #YYJ, from Victoria to Sooke to Sidney and Southern Gulf Islands, we will rally to recover.

Leadership Donors demonstrate a deep commitment to the well-being of local people by making an individual annual donation of $1,200 and up.

The collective investment from our Leadership Donors supercharges our ability to help others in need.

Why become a Leadership Donor

Leadership benefits include:

  1. Knowing that you are leading change in #YYJ.
  2. You will receive an invitation to join Women United, a group of philanthropic women who network, have access to exclusive educational events that are also downright fun and who direct their funds and fundraise for vital projects like the Little Phoenix Daycare. Ask your employer to sponsor your Women United membership! Contact Jennifer Young for more information.
  3. You will be recognized as a Leadership Donor on our annual online Donor Wall.
  4. You can increase your organization’s likelihood to win a coveted Spirit Award.
  5. There are valuable tax benefits.

When you make a donation to United Way, you are making an investment in your community and giving your family, friends, and neighbours a hand up when they need it most.

Every dollar of your donation is invested right here in your community to transform local lives and create lasting social change. It’s also rigorously measured for its effectiveness and efficiency, ensuring that together we are driving the most meaningful results and the biggest possible impact.

Major Gifts

For those who have the passion, interest and capacity to make a bigger impact in our region, we want to introduce you to our new Director of Philanthropy, Jenny McLeod.

Jenny can help you target a cause and present a number of options for you to direct your gift, whether that be to tackle mental health and addiction, help isolated seniors or families in need, or promote inclusivity and diversity. She can also help you explore different options on how you can help your community for example through gifts of securities, gifts of real estate and personal property or gifts of retirement funds.

UWSVI’s Annual Spirit Awards

Every year we gather for our annual Spirit Awards luncheon to recognize businesses, labour, government and individuals in workplaces. It is a deserving tribute to those who have generously donated and supported our aspiration to build a strong and inclusive community for all.

This year we did things differently. While physically apart from each other, we still came together to show our appreciation to those who generously supported United Way through workplace campaigns in 2019.

Mark Breslauer, UWSVI’s CEO said it best in his video when he named each United Way donor as a Spirit Award nominee for exemplifying the generosity of spirit and giving through their support of the United Way. Thank you all and congratulations to our nominees and winners!

To learn more about what it takes to bring home a Spirit Award for your workplace, please see our criteria:

Contact Us

We are here to help make your workplace campaign the best it can be. Please reach out to us with any questions!

Danielle Mulligan

Danielle Mulligan

Associate Director, Philanthropy
Ph: (250) 220-7365

Darcy Lindberg

Darcy Lindberg

Labour Coordinator
Ph: (250) 220-7361

Ariel McGrogan

Ariel McGrogan

Donor Relations Officer
Ph: (250) 220-7377

Campaign Marketing Materials and Resource Library

Campaign Materials

Workplace Campaign Playbook – ECC Guide

Everything you need to know about running a workplace campaign is in this guide.

Areas of Action – Information Sheets

Get all the information you need on United Way’s new areas of action: ISOLATED SENIORS; FAMILIES IN NEED; DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION; AND MENTAL HEALTH/ADDICTIONS, each with a signature initiative so you can see an example of where your gift is going in the community.

United Way Presentation

This informational PowerPoint presentation can be used to educate your peers on why support of United Way is more important than ever.

Email templates

Looking for content and messaging to include in emails to your organization to help with fundraising? We’ve got templates to help you get started.

Tax Calculation Info

This document provides information on how to calculate tax credits for charitable donations.

Event Ideas Information

This document gives you suggestions and ideas for special events as part of your workplace campaign.

Zoom Background

A United Way Southern Vancouver Island zoom background.

UWSVI logos

Please contact your ECC or United Way liaison for the password to download logos.


Some answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Inspire – Videos

Blue Love Campaign for Mental Health

More than Meals – Isolated Seniors

*NEW – Terry’s Story – Anawim House – Mental Health & Addictions

*NEW – VICCIR – Counselling Centre for Immigrants and Refugees

*NEW – Family Caregivers of B.C. – Isolated Seniors

Neighbourhood Houses – Families in Need

*NEW – CMHA – Mental Health Counselling

Victoria Native Friendship Centre – Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Michele’s Story – Mental Health and Addictions

Sylvanna’s Story – Families in Need

Inspire – Stories

More than Meals Program

For Kay, COVID-19 has increased her isolation. Read her story.

Mental Health Support

COVID-19 has compounded mental health issues amongst our family, friends and coworkers, whether facing everyday life or changes in their work. Read Tracy’s story.

Resource Library