While most emergency assistance funds rely almost extensively on employer contributions for funding, there are many ways to raise money at the outset and over the long-term that go beyond employee contributions. To maximize a fund’s potential, it is important to think outside the box and come up with creative ways to keep the contributions coming in.
Starting at the top is an excellent way to get a cash infusion. Top executives can make donations to help get a fund to a certain goal amount, or even to get the ball rolling initially as the fund launches. A clever fundraising idea is to consider allowing employees to cash in unused sick days to donate to the fund. It is a painless way to raise money, without the sting of actual cash coming out of the employee’s pocket.
Encouraging contributions does not have to be boring, either. Consider an annual gala or concert, where employees and community members can purchase tickets to a night out, while benefitting the emergency assistance fund. These larger-scale events are highly visible in the community and are very effective at both fundraising and raising awareness.
Smaller fundraising events throughout the year can also have a big payoff over the long-term. Employees might donate $2 to dress down on Fridays, for example. Those sorts of small efforts not only can generate a significant total for contribution to the fund but can foster a continuing interest and awareness in the fund.
Finally, remember that your community has a stake in the well-being of your employees as well. Soliciting donations from local organizations or by inviting them to participate in your internal fundraising events can be a win-win situation for both your organization’s fund, and in establishing close ties to other organizations in the places you conduct business.
EAF Director of Growth & Development