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Virtual and Hybrid Fundraising Ideas for the Office

It’s juuuust about that time of year: 80% of us have already rewatched Love Actually, Elf, and The Princess Switch...trilogy. It's a season of feel-good movies, gatherings and gift-giving for many around the world. It’s also an essential time to remember communities that need support and extra TLC. What are you and your team doing to help this year?

According to Nonprofit Tech for Good, nearly a third (31%) of annual giving happens in the last month of the year. Giving Tuesday (on November 30th this year), globally observed after Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, is a great way to kick-start spreading holiday cheer.

Looking for more virtual team-building ideas?

Getting the office involved in charitable giving is a holiday tradition seemingly as old as the holidays themselves - food drives, pay-to-potlucks, and buying raffle tickets at reception were easy and popular ways to seek donations - before 2020, that is. So what happens when your team is virtual or hybrid?

Here are some fun virtual and hybrid fundraising ideas for the office...

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Before you start saving the world, a few things to consider:

  • How to find the right charity/ies to support? Dig deep into your organization’s Mission and Vision to find a cause that aligns with your values. Can’t decide where to focus efforts? Ask for suggestions and split donations among the team’s favorites.
  • Think big! Ask if your employer or client roster can match the team’s efforts for a larger donation and greater impact.
  • Incentivize with prizes - whether cheap and cheerful (a free cup of coffee will get most people out of bed!) or high value (a whole afternoon off, anyone?), prizes are a no-brainer way to inspire action. Think of them as a way to show your gratitude, not just entice more donations.
  • Spark friendly competition and track progress on GooseChase. Have your colleagues join to set fundraising goals, show how they’re doing their part (have them record a video message about why they’re fundraising, for example!), and to measure and reward milestones during the fundraising process. Compile the photo and video submissions at the end of the season to celebrate participation or create a heartwarming gift for your beneficiaries.
  • Communication is key - let the team know exactly who they’re fundraising for, why, when, and how...and tell them often! Most people want to be charitable but don’t feel they have the channels to do so. Presented with the opportunity, they’re all in!
  • Give what you can - Is someone interested in giving but unable to join events? Providing other opportunities, like the option to donate an hour’s pay or volunteer with time instead, will help everyone be able to contribute.

One-Day Fundraiser Ideas

Have a day dedicated to holiday fun - and that includes fundraising. These office fundraising ideas take less than a day to run, and having everyone focus on the same goal for a couple of hours will keep energy high and build camaraderie.

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  • Exclusive Experience: Host a virtual film screening, cooking class, mixology class, musical performance, or epic scavenger hunt... Airbnb has unique classes from all over the world, and you can create a custom scavenger hunt experience on GooseChase. Tailor Missions to put your colleagues’ creativity front and center, include office inside jokes, and create memories as a team while you do some good. Participants have to donate for admission (aka the game password or Zoom link).

  • Game Time: Going into the office? Host a board game bracket and raise funds by charging both a playing fee and hedging bets on winners (watching people draw Q’s and Z’s in Scrabble is our favorite). If your team’s remote, there’s no shortage of games to play online. Some of our favorites include Codenames and Among Us (more ideas from Parade here).

  • Pay for Perks: “Sleep-in Day” has a nice ring to it...and is as fun as it sounds! Have people donate dollars to push their start time by the hour. The more they contribute, the later they have to come in or log on. Other “pay for perk” ideas can include prime parking spots (rare!) and longer lunch breaks.

Multi-Day Fundraiser Ideas

Have more time? Keep your office fundraiser efforts live for longer (a week is good, a whole month is better), and keep momentum going by checking in regularly and rewarding milestones. Constant communication is key for longer fundraisers, but the team’s connection - to the cause and each other! - and contributions will be well worth the effort.

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  • Office jargon jar: If you’ve caught yourself “circling back” or “touching base” a few too many times, “take it online” with a virtual jargon jar! Taking the concept of a swear jar, commit to making a donation any time you use typical office jargon or industry lingo. Before officially starting, get everyone together to brainstorm which words and phrases are no-no’s (a hilarious event in itself). Then, let the games begin! This one will take some peer-to-peer policing, so create a #JargonJar group chat or Slack channel and keep tabs (and screenshots!) there. Extra donations necessary for goofing up on a video call.

  • Scavenger Hunt: GooseChase is a great tool for engagement no matter the fundraising activity, but you can’t go wrong with the scavenger hunt format we’re known and loved for (take a look to see how it works!) GooseChase run times vary according to the experience you create, but keeping your game live for a week or two will keep your team plenty busy (and create a ton of hilarious content to create a slideshow for the holiday party). Here are some ideas to make the chase as fun and engaging as possible, and to raise the most you can for charity.

    • Sell participant or team tickets to play - even friends and families can join in!
    • Create sponsorship packages that include branded Missions and prizes and offer them to local businesses. You’ll drive traffic to their locations and raise funds in the process!
    • Let players pay for bonus points or to skip Missions. It’s not cheating if it goes to charity!
    • Send players directly to donation pages as part of the Missions within the chase.

See how our friends in Ohio ran a scavenger hunt fundraiser for their community and raised more than $3,000 USD for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society: GooseCase Study here

  • ____-a-thon: We all know the premise of running a marathon for charity. If you’re an office full of elite athletes, by all means, lace up. If your team’s athletic pursuits are a little more recreational, have fun with the marathon format and commit to raising funds for other activities: Sure, you can run a mile for every $10 donated - or you can do a set of push-ups, read a book, sketch a portrait, do a dare, the possibilities are endless! Work in teams or fly solo and commit to a challenge for every dollar raised.

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Planning a charitable initiative is a big (and exciting) responsibility - and we hope these virtual and hybrid fundraising ideas help! - but giving to those in need during the festive season truly is one of the most rewarding gifts you could give your team, community, and yourself. It can be overwhelming to consider all the ways in which the world needs to see change for the better, but take comfort in the fact that every act of kindness and charity contributes to something greater.

“I cannot do all the good that the world needs. But the world needs all the good that I can do.”
Jana Stanfield

At GooseChase, we’re humbled that so many non-profits and other organizations rely on our platform to host IRL, virtual and hybrid fundraisers that engage participants and smash goals for the greater good. Not only is giving back a gift in itself, but its collaborative nature boosts team engagement and morale - textbook definition win-win. (And if using classic office jargon like “win-win” doesn’t convince all you organizations to do some giving this year, we don’t know what will. Go! Give! Do good!)

More virtual and hybrid fundraising event ideas we love: