Workplace Campaign Toolkit
Your Guide for Doing Local Good
Bringing teams together, even when they’re apart.
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.
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.
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 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 has increased social isolation and loneliness.
Thanks to UWSVI’s More than Meals program, seniors are getting healthy meals delivered to their homes. Not only that – they are getting critically important social visits and connections with the outside world.
Since launching the program in March 2020, More than Meals has grown from delivering 200 meals a week to 1,000 meals a week for seniors in Greater Victoria, but current funding ends in late October. With an anticipated next surge of COVID-19 coming this fall, United Way is looking for contributions to keep this project going over the next two years.
Help ensure a senior doesn’t have to worry about where their next meal comes from.
If you are able to make a gift to UWSVI this year we are grateful for your generosity. Thank you for showing your local love!
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:
Our ECC 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.
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.
Colleagues are more likely to make a donation when they know that their impact will be doubled by your company or the boss.
To make this possible, seek out a corporate partner or major gift donor who’d be willing to match gifts up to a certain amount. Promote this match in all of your online fundraising channels – website, emails, social media, etc.
You are essentially asking your company or major donor for one large gift, but the impact it will have in increasing the number of individual donations will well exceed the efforts it requires.
Many employers have a corporate matching program and will match their gift to your organization: all you have to do is ask.
Create a series of short workouts, perhaps partner with a fitness coach and challenge participants to a live-streamed demonstration over a set number of days.
Show your colleagues that they don’t do squat(s) while you raise the barre!
Sometimes a little competition and a great cause is all it takes to talk to the core motivation of people. Have participants ask family & friends for sponsorship or donations; get creative while you get moving!
As with the virtual run or walk, remember to live-stream an opening and closing ceremony and provide your participants with everything they need to fundraise successfully.
Host 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
Have fun & share your Un-gala photos on social media and tag United Way so we can share them out, too!
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.
Social Media Takeover
For a day or even just a few hours, post content on UWSVI‘s 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.
More event ideas
Looking for more event ideas? CLICK HERE for further inspiration.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Letter Writing and/or Meal Delivery
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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 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.
Online Engagement Tools
Raise empathy and awareness about poverty in our local communities through the experience of living on a limited budget by trying MaketheMonth.ca, 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.
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.
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.
New this year is our Local Love Café zoominar series inviting donors to learn more about the social issues facing our community during these unprecedented times.
Host a lunch and learn and play one of the following videos or join live for one of United Way’s future topics on mental health and addictions as well as diversity and inclusion. Ask your United Way team member for more details if you are interested.
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.
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.
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:
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.”
The easiest way for people to give is through payroll deductions. Monthly or bi-weekly giving provides stability to those organizations we fund.
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.
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.