Our fun ideas for campaigning provide fantastic benefit to keep people motivated and excited:
- Free/Low Cost
- Quick & Easy
- Team Building
- Raise Awareness
General Campaign Ideas
Balloon or Candy Gram
Sell and deliver candy or balloons with attached notes between employees. Employees get affirmation and the office gets decorated with colorful balloons or people get to have candy!
Sell casual day badges allowing employees to dress casually on certain days. Employees can purchase the badges for $5 (or other amount) each. Your office can hold themed casual days as well.
CEO Car Wash
Employees donate $5 (or other amount) to have their car washed during their lunch break by their boss. Management can donate car wash supplies.
Dollar Per Inch
Employees pay to cut one inch off their favorite executive tie each time they give to the community. Executives participate in an all-day competition to end the day with the shortest tie.
Get the executive staff to donate one hour of their day to your campaign and auction off each executive to the highest bidding employee. The executives then must take over their employee’s job for one hour.
Half & Half Raffle
Employees each donate a dollar to be kept in a plastic container. Hold a drawing where the worker receives half the funds in the container and your United Way campaign receives the other half.
Each employee who participates or gives at a certain level is entitled to wear jeans on the day of their choice. They can earn extra days for adding on to their donation.
Late Meeting Fee
Employees who arrive late for meetings pay a nominal fee of 25 or 50 cents each meeting in a jar for the campaign.
Lunch Box Auction
Employees supply lunches to be auctioned, with encouragement to CEO and management staff to help provide them. You can also give prizes for the most creative, nutritional, elegant, and humorous lunches. A speaker from a United Way-funded agency that operates a food pantry can also be there.
For each person who participates or gives at a certain level, their name can be put in a drawing for a prime parking space, where they can park for a week.
Paid Days Off
Through human resources or similar department, employees can have their name entered into a drawing to receive whole or half days of paid time off for giving to the United Way campaign. Allow time for approval.
Picture Match Game
Invite employees to try their luck matching baby and/or pet pictures of management on a PowerPoint slideshow or other display. Award the staff member with the most correct answers a fun incentive (e.g. gift certificate, gift basket, “VIP” parking, etc.). Employees can be charged $5 (or other amount) per ballot.
Raffle off gift certificates, company mugs/T-shirts, parking spaces, vacation days, etc. The sky is the limit!
Staff can bid silently on items such as longer lunch hours, “VIP” parking spots, casual days, extra vacation days, etc. Have employees donate items to auction off.
Have offices, departments, or staff teams compete against each other to see who can have the highest participation rate or greatest donation amount raised for an incentive such as a free pizza lunch, after-work mixer, gift certificates, etc. Use the United Way campaign thermometers to judge the progress of the teams, and announce the winner at the campaign wrap-up meeting.
Community Awareness Ideas
Be an Everyday Superhero
Employees dress as heroes (Batman, Superman, Spiderman, etc.) to promote being a hero within the
community. On their cape or the back of their shirt, have employees pin a piece of paper describing how they make a difference in the community. A prize goes to the best dressed. For a creative twist, serve hero sandwiches for lunch.
Agency Tours and Speakers
Have a United Way agency ambassador speak at your kickoff events or other campaign activities. Also arrange for a tour of one of our agencies to get a look at the United Way’s impact on the community.
Lunch and Learns
One of the best ways to raise awareness of the United Way’s work within the community and how we advance the common good is through having one or a series of Lunch and Learns for staff. Lunch and Learns are composed of a speaker from a United Way agency talking about their work in Bucks County. They can also be continued throughout the year to keep staff engaged in the community outside of the campaign.
“American Idol” Contest
Employees hold an “American Idol”-type contest, based on the hit TV show. Employees make a donation to vote for the singer or singing group of their choice. The person
or group that attracts the most votes will sing a song in front of an audience.
How can you have a successful Casino Night? Set up a few gaming tables, a bingo table, a snack table, and invite employees and their families to donate to the campaign to participate. Have local businesses donate prizes.
Ask a local comedian or improv group to donate their services over the lunch hour. Or have comedians within your company get up for a show. Have employees buy tickets to attend.
[Your Company’s] Funniest Office Video Contests
Invite employees to create their own “work” home videos. Charge an entry fee at a viewing party; offer a prize.
Lights! Camera! Action!
Have employees dress up as their favorite characters from movies or TV shows. Act out a plot that involves United Way or helping the community. Incorporate movie plots or
famous lines into flyers and e-mails. Raffle off movie tickets, DVDs, and movie rental gift cards.
Reality Show Campaign
Get “real” with your employees and conduct your campaign with a theme centered on the reality TV shows that have taken over the world! Hold daily activities with a tie to the popular reality shows (e.g. “The Amazing Race” agency tour, “Top Chef” cooking contest, “Weakest Link’ putt-putt challenge, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” trivia).
Tune into the Community
Music is a great way to get everyone moving to the United Way beat. Rent or borrow a karaoke machine and hold a karaoke kick-off party. Have participants and volunteers
dress up as their favorite musicians. Sell employees’ old CDs or raffle off stereos, iPod Shuffles, iTunes gift cards, or CDs. Hold a musical talent show complete with revamped songs with lyrics about the United Way.
Festival Theme Ideas
Carnival and Talent Show
Hold a carnival and talent show to kick off your United Way campaign. As a part of the program, have executives perform songs with lyrics to fit United Way’s work. Have an executive dunking booth, giving employees the chance to dunk their boss, or create a pie-throwing game with a similar setup. Employees can participate in traditional carnival games such as the ring/beanbag toss and ducky races. The finale event is the Mr./Mrs. United Way Pageant where divisions nominate a contestant to compete in the pageant. Each pageant contestant must educate the audience about one United Way agency
during the talent competition.
Everyone loves a party so why not model your campaign after the biggest party in the world- Mardi Gras! Invite a jazz band to play at your kick-off event. Hold a parade float contest, with departments decorating shoeboxes as floats. Sell bead-o-grams (beads with thoughtful messages attached). Host a Cajun potluck as your thank you.
Ice Cream Social
Set up an ice cream bar with a variety of favorite toppings. Charge employees by the scoop.
My Local Joint Rules!
Everyone thinks they know the best pizza, hoagie, ice cream (insert food!) place in town. Ask your team to prove it! Ask everyone to bring in what they consider the best of a particular food (e.g. hot wings) and do a taste test at lunch. Charge a small fee for the tasting with all proceeds going to United Way.
Taste of [Company Name]
Create a “Taste of Bucks” event. Invite local restaurants in the area (or even your own employees) to set up their best dishes for employees to purchase and sample in order to
raise funds for your campaign.
Sell tickets and have people sign-up for their choice of pancakes or waffles. Cook breakfast in your company cafeteria. Don’t forget bacon, sausage, syrup, butter etc.
Each department can donate an item. The proceeds will go to United Way.
Sports Fans Events
“Breakfast of Champions”
Decorate with athletic gear, flags and banners. Company departments become teams, campaign progress is marked by moving teams across a playing field poster towards goal, campaign chair or CEO “coach” gives a pep talk at a kickoff “Breakfast of Champions” – serving Wheaties, of course.
Executive Rolling Chair or Tricycle Races
Set up a relay course for executives to go through either sitting in rolling chairs or on tricycles. Let observers “bet” on their favorite contestants.
Rent or borrow remote controlled cars and set up an “Indy 500” race. Use office supplies to decorate the track. Teams can be sponsored to compete. Spectators can place “bets” on the winner.
The perfect fundraiser along with this year’s summer Olympics! Teams (by department or random) are formed throughout the office and must pay an entry fee ($25 per team or other amount). Teams will participate in events over lunch or after work such as paper airplane flying, trashcan basketball, darts, and/or relays (three-legged race, potato sack race, egg-on-a-spoon race, etc.). Give medals or small trophies to the top teams. Organize an international potluck luncheon where employees bring their favorite ethnic dishes and showcase music from around the world.
Playing the Field
Use baseball, basketball, football, golf or hockey themes. Teams of employees advance around bases or down the field according to their donation levels. Include sports related
competitions and prizes for participants.
Have a Monday night tailgate during football season or a Saturday afternoon tailgate for Ohio State during college football season. Each employee brings $5 or $10 as well as a potluck dish (hot dogs, wings, chili, etc.). A colleague can host the event in their home to be more cost effective, or you can hold the event in the company parking lot.
Be a “Lifesaver”
Have some fun, beach-style! Sand, sunglasses, beach balls, and “The Beach Boys” music make your office feel like you are on the beach. Employees who donate are awarded life preserver pins to wear around the office to show that they are lifesavers within the community.
With a traveling theme, you can host a “Bon Voyage” party as a victory celebration. Everyone who gives through United Way gets a “passport” to get into the party. Top contributors will be put into a drawing to win a prize, possibly donated from a travel agency.
Vacation at Work
Whether you transform your campaign into a Hawaiian luau, African safari or the Australian outback, employees are sure to have a wild time. Organize a scavenger hunt or hula-hoop contest. Have a themed potluck and encourage staff to dress up too (e.g. grass skirts, safari outfits).
Back to School
Relive the glory years of school (without all the homework). Collect school supplies for a United Way partner. (Regardless of the time of year, consumables like paper, pencils, markers, etc., are always needed). Hold a spelling bee between departments. Contestants must spell each word correctly or everyone on the team must pay. The winning team receives a prize. Another idea is to e-mail United Way pop quizzes to employees and give the winners a prize. Along with this theme, you can give away customized lunchboxes too. Have employees’ kids help decorate flyers.
Balloon Popping for Prizes
Ask business partners to donate prizes. Before filling a balloon with helium, put a note inside some of the balloons with the name of a prize. In other balloons, put a note with a United Way fact. Pledge forms and other office notices can be shaped like balloons. Have employees purchase and pop balloons.
Board Game Contest
Recruit employees to play a chosen board game (e.g. Trivial Pursuit, chess, Scrabble, etc.). Create a bracket and pool around the winning team or allow employees to move/acquire a game piece for every gift.
Children’s Drawing Contest
Give employees photographs of some top executives to take home for their children under 12 to draw. Charge a ballot fee to vote for the best portraits. Display the winning portraits. Variations of this event: have children draw people helping other people; poems, collages, and photos can also be submitted.
Have employees donate household items, books, CDs, and videos for a company- or department-wide sale with the proceeds going towards your United Way campaign.
United Way 007
Clues are given to employees in the form of riddles about the United Way’s work and submits their answers. The department or individual who figures out all the riddles receives a prize at the end of the campaign.