The end of a calendar year has a list of distinct characteristics; everything from cooler temperatures to holiday celebrations. Increased generosity is certainly near the top of that list as U.S. nonprofits report raising approximately one-third of all fundraising dollars in the month of December alone. More specifically, 12 percent of all giving for the entire year typically occurs within the last 48-72 hours. Corporations can capitalize off this prevalent spirit of generosity by promoting donations to an employee relief fund. The following tips should remain top of mind while planning giving campaigns to help optimize the season of giving for year-end donations.
First, remember that employees are looking for suggestions on what to do with their annual donation dollars. Whether they are giving to receive tax benefits or an unspoken sense that it is the right thing to do, people want the donation process to be quick and easy which often excludes time to research various causes and organizations. Instead, many donate to organizations recommended by family and friends or well-known organizations they have heard of, because it provides a sense of familiarity. Suggesting employees use their dollars to support fellow employees through the employee relief fund provides a quick, easy, and familiar option for them to choose.
Providing the suggestion, however, is just the beginning. Make a specific ask in the giving campaign and provide clear guidance on an appropriate dollar amount for the donation. Whether creating giving tiers - $50, $100, $250 - or challenging each able employee to donate a certain amount, a specific ask alleviates pressure on employees to crunch numbers and make time-consuming decisions as it is easier to choose from an option provided or commit to a specific ask. Including your fundraising goal amount in your campaign, whether enterprise-wide or regional, will also help employees see how their donations fit within the overall initiative, ultimately providing more meaning to the ask and highlighting that others are joining the call to action.
Finally, remember that emotional appeals resonate at higher rates during the holidays, so giving campaigns should invoke them. People do not want to see others suffer and face hardships as they celebrate the end of the year with family and friends being thankful for good fortune. Harness employee emotions via key messages, testimonials, and imagery indicating how a donation may help someone now or next year enjoy the holidays as well. This will also help employees make a commitment to the specific ask.
As 2019 quickly comes to a close, there is still time to optimize year-end giving for an employee relief fund and increase participation significantly. Remember to suggest employees donate to the fund at a specific level with clear emotional appeals, and this season of giving will yield marked results.
The Emergency Assistance Foundation, Inc. is a 501c(3) charity created to design and operate multiple employer-sponsored disaster relief and employee hardship funds. These funds allow domestic and international employers and employees to help their coworkers in times of crises.
EAF is a 501c(3) tax-exempt, public, non-profit organization with IRS approval specifically for Employee Hardship and Disaster Relief Funds which can be administered in the United States, Canada and internationally.