Awakening from Workplace Fundraising Fatigue: 10 Ways to Conquer the Slump

Coffee Beans; Fundraising Fatigue; Corporate Philanthropy

Image courtesy of Daniel Ruswick at

We’ve all been there. You’ve fallen into a slump, a writer’s block, hibernation-mode or you’ve become victim to the dreaded burn out.

Workplace fundraising can sometimes feel like that, but it’s important to recognize that it doesn’t have to last forever.

Think of workplace fundraising fatigue as a cat nap.

If you stay positive and follow the 10 tips I’ve shared below, you’ll be sure to awaken your company from its fundraising slumber:

1. Create a solid foundation. 

Employees won’t want to fundraise for something that they’re not particularly interested in. It’s true that it’s hard to please everyone, but by choosing a charity or cause that mirrors your company’s core values and/or operations is sure to help. Take the time to rediscover why your company began fundraising in the first place. A strong foundation will help in the long-run.

2. Strong leaders help guide the herd.

Leaders who motivate with encouragement and passion often times garner the most success. Ambassadors of a fundraising program don’t necessarily have to be executive-level employees. Instead, fundraising champions should comprise of people who are excited about bringing enthusiasm, energy and spirit to the cause. These leaders should be good at rallying groups of people together and inspiring others to make a difference.

3. Set employees up for success.

This means ensuring that your employees have access to the tools and resources needed to get the job done. Are employees hitting roadblocks from direct reports and human resources at every turn? Everyone needs to be on board with the same understanding that corporate citizenship is important. And the resources and tools need to be there for those who want to get involved.

4. Be inclusive and welcoming. 

This means creating a great communications stream. It’s very important to make sure that everyone feels included. Don’t forget to communicate to the night shift crew, the part-time employees and the interns. Make sure information is shared through multiple channels so that no one gets missed.

5. Transform from fundraising to “funraising.

Go beyond the bake sale (no offensive to homemade cookies). Get creative. Have fun.

6. Don’t over ask. 

People get discouraged when they get asked for too much, too often. Don’t expect employees to dig deep into their wallets every time they’re asked. Moderation is key.

7. Provide room for feedback.

Your company’s employees were hired because they are skilled and talented individuals. Use this to your advantage. Ask them for their input on corporate fundraising efforts. What do they enjoy? What do they dislike? What are their ideas for improvement?

8. Embrace organic growth.

Preparation is great, but be sure these plans don’t stifle organic ideas and growth. Be open to change and new ways of thinking about workplace fundraising.

9. Share results and progress.

People like the reassurance of knowing they’ve done something well. Make sure that you’re not only sharing your successes with external stakeholders, but that you’re also sharing with your employees. Give them access to stories, figures and stats relating to the impact they’ve made. It’s also helpful to share upcoming and future goals internally to help motivate employees.

10. Celebrate your successes.

Take the time to stop a smell the roses. If your company and its employees have done something good–celebrate your accomplishments. Basking in the glory will help rejuvenate spirits and keep people motivated and inspired to work towards the next goal.

Instead of hitting the snooze button on workplace fundraising, grab an espresso and get back into the swing of things by following the tips listed above.

Has your company ever fallen into a fundraising slump? How did you motivate your workforce to re-energize? I welcome you to share your thoughts, opinions and best practices in the comments section below.

Remember to follow the blog and follow me on Twitter @CSRtist for more tips and tricks on workplace fundraising, employee engagement and corporate philanthropy.

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