Creating a successful fundraising campaign can be challenging. A lot of work goes into planning and volunteer recruitment.

These Calgary companies are leading examples of how to master successful workplace campaigns. Take a look at what these companies did for their 2012 United Way campaigns, and see why they were each recognized with United Way Spirits of Gold Division Awards.

1. Educational Component
Enerplus Corporation ran an incredible campaign by focusing on employee engagement rather than donations. When employees are engaged and educated about the issue, they become advocates of the cause and giving becomes easy. Enerplus educated its employees on current social issues in and around Calgary, through Days of Caring ™, walking-tours, a poverty simulation and many other events. All of these activities contributed to great team spirit!

2. Engage a Committee of Volunteers
One of the most significant factors in the success of any campaign is the commitment of volunteers. Brookfield Properties Corporation had a number of employees who dedicate their time to sit on the campaign committee. These individuals helped coordinate an annual silent auction and a leadership lunch where Police Chief Rick Hanson addressed the crowd. The hard work invested into coordinating events, communications and implementation of the online giving tool all paid off as they had a 60% increase in employee participation, which was matched dollar for dollar!

3. Quality, not Quantity
When incorporating special events into your campaign, consider quality instead of quantity. By having key events that are memorable, staff get more involved, increasing employee participation. Trimac’s fresh approach of reducing events to their 2012 campaign upped the fun factor of a few signature activities such as: ‘Show Your Toe’ event, Trimac Kick-Off, Leadership Lunch and Wrap-Up, and yielded Trimac’s most successful campaign to date! The committee focused on increasing employee knowledge of United Way through the use of United Way’s speakers and communication from the Executive Level regarding Leadership donations.

4. Corporate Spirit
Corporate spirit mobilizes human energy and devotion. It motivates staff to become advocates of an issue or a cause. ARC Resources Ltd. has significantly incorporated philanthropy as part of its corporate culture. Employees embrace the spirit of community by participating in multiple volunteer and educational activities with United Way and our partnering agencies. ARC Resources also embraces philanthropy by financially supporting a diverse number of community programs and services. Great organizations attract great employees by having strong corporate spirit – ARC Resources is a shining example of turning passion into action.

5. Commitment to Community
Volunteering is a key element for our community’s success. Where possible, try to implement rewarding volunteer opportunities that appeal to employees. The Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) kicked off their United Way campaign by announcing that each employee would be granted a paid day each year to volunteer with an organization of their choice. This was due to the ERCB’s commitment to giving back to our community. ERCB also spearheaded the first annual Run/Walk for United Way event in September, which attracted over 60 participants!

6. Create Meaningful Engagement Opportunities
As part of Deloitte LLP’s 7th annual Impact Day, Deloitte hosted a “United Way Think Tank” where staff used their consulting skills to answer key questions facing United Way. Deloitte’s United Way campaign included a popular Poker Tourney and a Gangnam style dance-off! Incorporating bold, unique ideas to your campaign will assist with creating a fun experience that appeals to many different audiences.

7. Employee Engagement
Increasing employee participation is a great way to achieve results within your workplace campaign. NEWALTA’s 2012 campaign was no exception! With a focus on engagement, the employees of NEWALTA showed Calgary just how much they care. Not only did their 2012 campaign total increase by 50% from last year, but this year they broke the $1M mark for total donations raised in Calgary since 1997. NEWALTA’s commitment was enthusiastically demonstrated at all levels of their organization from the 1:1 corporate match on employee giving, to everyone attending the kick-off BBQ in their courtyard.

8. Creative Events
General Dynamics really jumpstarted their 2012 campaign by infusing it with fun and creative special events all week long! Their management team was very supportive of the campaign and was highly involved in many exciting campaign activities, which included an Iron Chef competition, a Halloween costume contest, a cubicle-decorating contest, a live auction and some enticing raffle draws. They exceeded their goal for employee donations by 30% and the enthusiasm was felt throughout the entire company. Incorporating special events into your workplace campaign can be a great way to bring everyone together to celebrate your impact in the community.

9. Be Passionate and Volunteer!
Calgary is known for being one of the most generous cities in Canada. We care about supporting our community and one of the easiest ways to do this is through your workplace campaign. RBC employees and retirees are passionate volunteers and get a number of opportunities to get involved. In particular, RBC provides employees volunteer opportunities through United Way’s Days of Caring™ program. Employees and retires who volunteer a minimum of 40 hours a year to a registered charity are eligible for a $500 grant to the organization in their honour.

These companies have all incorporated these easy nine steps into their fundraising campaign and the results were incredible. Thank you to everyone involved! Together, we are building a great city for everyone.