Experiences of Effective Workplace and Social Fundraising

Have you tried to organise a fundraiser for an effective charity in your place of work, community organization (church, school etc), or tried to convince individuals, groups, and organizations to support or endorse an effective charity?

If so, please add your experiences to the discussion section, or fill in our survey here. Below, you'll find some questions which may help you to give a useful narrative. Feel free to share publicly, or anonymously.

1. Have you tried to organise a fundraiser at your company or a community organisation? How successful was it?
2. What barriers have you come up against and (how) have you been able to overcome these?
3. How did you get your colleagues, peers and/or powerful influential people on board?
4. Who really makes decisions at your workplace or organisation about fundraising, partnering with charities, and employee giving benefits and schemes?
5. Have you tried to convince them to choose a different charity? How did you make this argument and how was it received?
6. How does your firm/org choose the 'preferred charity'?
7. How have you connected and networked with people trying to achieve similar goals?

Name Organisation Employees Charity Description Participants Raised Results
Peter Cohen, TGG Group, Consulting 50 GiveDirectly Giving Game over 5 weeks 35 $8100 Choice motivation:
Communication channel:
Main arguments:
Problems faced: We took a hands-off approach to our Giving Game. Allowing the group to define the game is consistent with the overall democratic philosophy of the Giving Game and did a lot to increase engagement. Nonetheless, Chris and I could have improved some elements of the experience by providing more guidance. For example, we could have provided a short introduction on philanthropy in general—including features of each of the charities—and what it means for altruism to be effective. We also discussed the possibility of letting participants choose their own candidate charities.
Evaluation: Ultimately, our experience taught us that there is a balance between confining the participants and giving them a structure that improves the experience.
Additional information: https://www.thelifeyoucansave.org/blog/id/126/giving-and-team-building-in-the-workplace
Daisy Newbold-Harrop, Campaigns Secretary Exeter University Effective Altruism Society, Charity Against Malaria Foundation, Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, GiveDirectly We gave out EA books (Doing Good Better by William MacAskill and The Life You Can Save by Peter Singer) in exchange for a £5 donation to one of our three effective charities. 15 £75 Choice motivation:
Communication channel: In person (via a stall on the university campus and a pub social) and on social media (via the EA Soc. Exeter Facebook page)
Main arguments: We told people that the books would make a good Christmas present for anyone who was into charity, or doing good in the world. We also emphasised that they were effectively only £5, but how much good that £5 could do (eg. it would buy almost two bednets which would protect a family from malaria for up to 5 years, it would buy more than 5 deworming pills and keep the recipient worm-free for a year, etc.)
Problems faced: It was difficult to get people to stop and actually talk to us about the charities we were promoting; everyone just stopped at the stall in passing, on their way to somewhere else. We found that handing out free vegan gingerbread worked to resolve this, however, as people then felt obliged to stay and talk to us about what we were promoting. Sometimes, people didn't want a book but would donate money just in exchange for the gingerbread! We also found that trying to sum up the EA movement to people and tell them why they should be interested in it in a short amount of time was quite difficult; it would have been better if we'd formulated a 'pitch' for the movement beforehand, and had trialed and tested it on people. It would be good for an EA elevator pitch to exist for public access!
Additional information:
Paulina Wiatr, Event Co-ordination for UNICEF on Campus Exeter UNICEF UK, Charity UNICEF UK Fasting for 24 hours to raise money for food programmes 20 £2945.60 Choice motivation:
Communication channel: In person and online
Main arguments: Telling that it was only 1 day without food but it could change life of hundreds of children
Problems faced: People were scared of the fast
Evaluation: We were successful, but there’s always space for improvement - we got 20 people, almost £2000, but it could always be more
Additional information:
Name (or anon); position; date “Target” org Sector Means of communication Key decision maker Charity; asking for… Argument/approach Success?; Describe outcome Other comments Classifications, keywords (or leave blank)

Mr. SAMPLE entry; Active lay congregant; Sept 2016
Fictional Synagogue, Chapel Hill MD (and congregants)Religious orgSent out an email to the entire congregation listserve, spoke with Rabbi and synagogue presidentSynagogue presidentSightsavers; asked to devote half of the high-holidays special appeal towards Sightsavers international
Both in email (linked content [HERE]) and conversations:

1. Presented basic argument about the great impact we can have as a congregation, and the importance of helping those outside of our community, tied to the writings of Jewish scholar (link here)

2. Summarized the material presented by Sightsavers here (protecting sight), including picture

3. Related this to our last year's appeal, honoring an optician who founded our synagogue
Yes; Charity adopted as part of special appeal (along with local second charity). $1642 raised.Some suggested they would have preferred… Children were influential in convincing president as they had raised for this charity in school.(we may add a classification here)

david, 2017/11/02 12:45

1. I can't recall organising a fundraiser at the few companies I have worked for (other than through 'economics experiments').

2. In trying to organise trials and events, the university seems to impose or at least suggest restrictions on partnering with charities. At my previous work there was a strong push to fundraise for the university itself, to support bursaries etc., and this might be an obstacle to fundraising for international effective charities

- Suggest adding the following question: (What questions do you want to see here)?

Also, nearly every university has a payroll giving scheme in place, but few if any publicise it, it seems.

Academic staff have been asked to donate textbooks (free evaluation copies) for effective causes, I have heard; I have donated these to Oxfam, noting they should be put online because of their high value.

I have used digitaldividedata.org for a medium-sized data entry project; this offers decent paid work to poorer Cambodians (the goal) 'International' student organisations have done fundraising (for disasters and relief in the focal country), and there are ubiquitous bake sales for these things

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  • Last modified: 2018/04/11 10:55
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