If you’re looking to take your annual workplace campaign for United Way to the next level, consider incorporating one or more of these ideas. We have suggestions on how to add fun and awareness-raising to your group volunteer and workplace fundraising event. To learn more about any of the activities and ideas listed on this page, contact your United Way Partner or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virtual Event Ideas for your Workplace
Communities across Peel, Toronto and York Region are still really struggling from the effects of COVID-19, and we know this crisis will have many long-term effects. Building awareness through group activities, such as volunteering, taking a virtual tour of a neighbourhood, having a discussion about the issues facing our communities, or hearing stories directly from the people whose lives have been changed by United Way, can help inspire others to take action and donate. Here are some ways you can engage:
Write a note to a senior or frontline community worker
With growing anxiety across our communities, there is an increased need for mental health support especially for vulnerable seniors. Frontline community workers at United Way agencies also faced unprecedented challenges as agencies were stretched to their limits responding to the skyrocketing needs of the community. Writing a note is a small gesture that can help to reduce social isolation or make someone feel cared for and can be done right from your home office or desk. We might not all be expert writers but all of us can write a note from the heart to make someone feel that that are cared for or thought about. Notes in other languages are welcome. To write a note to a senior, click here and to write a note to a frontline community worker, click here
Book a neighbourhood tour
Interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the community agencies that United Way invests in and the critical work that is helping to address issues in our community? Neighbourhood tours are an excellent opportunity to learn first-hand about the people, programs and services that are offered across Peel, Toronto, and York Region. To learn more about this activity, click here.
Book a United Way Speaker
Hearing a personal story from a United Way Speaker is an excellent way for employees and donors to learn how donations are used to build a better, stronger future for our region. Invite a United Way speaker to give a talk during your campaign kick-off, town hall, lunch and learn, or other fundraising events. Speakers bureau volunteers are also available to present virtually and share their stories of what it’s like to work in the frontlines, and how many lives are changed through the donations made to United Way. To learn more about this activity, click here.
See stories and videos
You can see more great stories and videos on our website. If you can’t invite a live speaker, you can use one of our inspirational videos and stories at your campaign events to build awareness of the unignorable issues facing our community.
Can you Make the Month?
Living on a limited budget is tough, and for those living in poverty making the month can be a difficult challenge. Try MaketheMonth.ca, (the first online poverty simulator in Canada) on your own and with colleagues, and see if you can make the month. Raise empathy and awareness about poverty in our local communities by doing this activity in a group, and follow it by allowing participants to discuss their feelings, and share their learning and thoughts. Download the facilitation guide to help you guide your discussion.
To learn more about these and other events—like mentoring, coaching and mock interviews—that you can run virtually at your workplace contact your United Way partner or email email@example.com
DIY (Do-it-yourself) Guides: Volunteer from Home
United Way’s DIY guide offers fun, creative, and flexible ways for you and a group of your colleagues, family, friends, and neighbours to show some local love for the community from the comfort of your own home. The guide provides you with the list of the supplies you’ll need, instructions on how to put the products together, and directions on how to donate them to a United Way agency in your community. Some of the activities we offer address needs that have grown because of the pandemic. They include: assembling a family meal, or hygiene kit, and putting together packages for kids. To learn more about these activities and more, download the volunteer from home guide.
Host an office talent show
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.
Hold an online auction
Online auctions work similar to in-person ones, and the concept is simple – the highest bid wins! Besides offering a variety of unique and useful items, remember to also include services (when the situation permits) and virtual experiences. Encourage your co-workers to donate popular items (gift cards, wine and spirits, gift baskets, etc.), as well as unique and rare ones (sports memorabilia, autographed items, virtual coffee with a prominent person within your organization, etc.) People are more likely to support and bid if it’s for a good cause, so variety is key.
Challenge your coworkers
Get your coworkers to take part in a virtual challenge while raising money for United Way. Have your co-workers commit to doing something physically challenging for every $10 they raise. Ten push-ups for every $10? Yes! Climb ten flights of stairs? Go for it! Run a mile? They can do it! Did someone say burpees?! Not only does it inspire people to keep active and moving, it can create fun, friendly competition amongst everyone involved, not to mention all the feel-good endorphins! Encourage them to add a personal touch to it by filming themselves doing the challenge and feature video clips in your e-mail communications or intranet to inspire others to participate or donate.
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