Campaign Guide & Resources

You’ve been asked to be the campaign manager of your workplace giving campaign – what now?

We’ve got you covered! Check out our step-by-step campaign guide and resource library below.

Campaign Guide

Step 1: Engage Leadership & Volunteers

Form a committee. Committees can organize events, help with publicity, hand out and collect pledge forms and provide support for you and for the campaign.  

Enlist workplace leaders in your effort. The number one predictor of the success of a workplace giving campaign is the level of involvement from workplace leaders. Ask your executives/department heads to be visible givers and leaders by shooting a quick video you can use to promote the campaigngetting a quote about their commitment to the effort you can include in emails, or by speaking at a virtual event about why giving is important to them. 

Step 2: Decide On A Format

Are you going 100% virtual or using a blended approach with some in-person and some online activities? This year we are seeing lots of employers move their campaigns from primarily in-person events with paper pledge forms to 100% virtual with online events and engagement supported by electronic tools to facilitate giving. Either way, we are here to help and can discuss the pros and cons of each format with you to find the perfect fit for you workplace! 

Step 3: Get Creative

Give your giving campaign a name, tagline, and a call to action.Employees will engage more with your campaign if you include these elements in all of your materials and communications for the campaign.

Don’t forget the call to action! The number one reason people do not give is that no one asked them to, so make sure you have a clear, concise, and compelling ask included in all your materials and communications. 

Step 4: Set a Giving Goal

Campaigns do better when everyone is striving towards a visible goal. A campaign goal helps employees determine their own level of giving and gives people a sense of achievement when it is reached.  

Step 5: Energize and Educate with Communication

Use internal communication (newsletters, social media, intra- or internet) to communicate department events, nonprofit information, words of encouragement from leadership, contest prize winners and—most important—progress toward your campaign goal.  

To educate your employees about the Minnesota Environmental Fund, you can use our video, print materials, speakers, e-newsletter, or online impact stories. We can work with you to craft communications that will work for your audience!

Step 6: Host Events (whether virtual or in-person)

Gather employees and generate excitement for the campaign. The Minnesota Environmental Fund can provide resources, along with speakers, materials, and door prizes. The kick-off is a great opportunity for employees to learn about the Minnesota Environmental Fund and how their donation will impact the community.  Special events help employees build a sense of shared values and teamwork around the campaign. Check out our event ideas in the resource library.

Extra Credit: Offer a Company Match

Many companies offer matching gift programs that will double, even triple a donation’s value. Company matches greatly increase donation levels and employee participation.  

Step 7: Celebrate!

Celebrate reaching your campaign goals! Recognize departments that had the largest increase in giving, the best event, the largest percentage of employee participation, etc. Thank leadership and committee volunteers. Use newsletters or door prizes to publicize everyone’s hard work, and what a difference it will make in the community. Make people feel good about their involvement. 

Resources

The impact of your gifts…

  • $1 per pay period gives a volunteer the tools they need to clear portages and maintain campsites in the Boundary Waters. 
  • $3 per pay period plants one tree in a community tree planting project. 
  • $5 per pay period presents a community Watershed Workshop to help attendees protect and restore the Mississippi River. 
  • $10 per pay period provides one day of fieldwork for a photographer to document climate change impacts in protected areas of our state. 
  • $20 per pay period sends one underserved youth on a five-day experiential learning and leadership development trip in Voyageurs National Park. 

Fighting for a More Just Environment

Throughout 2019, the Women’s Environmental Institute worked closely with the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute’s fight for environmental justice in Minneapolis’ South Side Green Zone. A multi-racial coalition, EPNI’s community based proposal to convert the empty former “Roof Depot” site into an indoor urban farm with green jobs and job training, affordable housing, entrepreneurial space for food and cultural markets, bike shop, youth-run café etc. challenged Minneapolis Public Work’s plan to convert the same site to storage for water/sewer pipes, hydrants, man-hole covers, snow/sand, and to greatly increase car and heavy truck traffic. WEI helped unearth a publicly funded Health Impact Analysis on the area, which was previously unpublished. This research recommended strong restraints on any increases in pollution in this neighborhood, which is already over-burdened with toxic exposures that create severe racial health disparities. With strong leadership from Little Earth of United Tribes, we’re fighting for an official Environmental Impact Study. WEI was funded to publish the Health Impact study and help hold officials accountable to its environmental justice recommendations. 

Sharing the Power of  Minnesota’s Environment with our Young People 

“During last year’s Adventures in the City (credit recovery) program, I was walking along Minnehaha Creek with three students, enjoying a ‘brain break’ after a lesson on watersheds. As we were walking, each student described their frustration with school and having to learning things that didn’t feel useful in their lives. As they continued, one of the students interrupted, saying, ‘Whoa, there are so many trees around here. I wonder why there are so many that are different in the same place…’ One of the other students responded, ‘I think it’s because each one plays a different role in the ecosystem. Like maybe the tall ones are good at doing something that the short ones aren’t.’ They continued talking about the trees for minutes, forgetting all about the previous conversation. When we got to the river, they were joking and laughing with one another even though they had only met the day before. It struck me how interested these students were in their environment and how open they were to learning and bonding together even though they considered the school experience to be such an unpleasant one. It goes to show that ‘school’ can happen in so many places outside of four-walled rooms!”   – Courtney Antone, English Teacher at Minneapolis Public Schools, Outdoor Leader at Wilderness Inquiry 

Protecting Minnesota’s Wetlands, Lakes, and Rivers

In 2019, Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance hosted our first ever mud picnic to help our members experience the extent of siltation at the upper end of Lake Pepin by ferrying attendees across the navigation channel to picnic tables in ankle-deep water where we offered educational stations. This year, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources joined us to lead a mussel search, but participants only found empty shells – an indicator of poor water quality in the area. Back on the beach, attendees watched a boat grounding occur right in the area they were just occupying. While the navigation channel is dredged for commercial navigation, the rest of Lake Pepin continues to fill with sediment at a rate 10x above normal. Every moment of the picnic stressed the urgency for upstream changes to protect Lake Pepin and the rest of the Mississippi River. 

Protecting our Night Skies 

In 2020, Voyageurs National Park and Voyageurs National Park Association, its charitable partner, will launch a dark sky preservation initiative.  Many who come to Voyageurs in Northern Minnesota are inspired by the stars they can’t see back home, especially our Teen Ambassadors. One Teen Ambassador commented, “The landscape is absolutely beautiful, like something off a postcard, and the water feels amazing when swimming. At night the moon shines clearly and you can see the stars. My highlight would be seeing the beautiful night sky at night with my fellow Ambassador friends.” We recognize our dark skies are just as precious as our waters and forests and will work to preserve the quality of our region’s starry nights and nocturnal environment for its scientific, natural, and educational values; our cultural heritage; and for public enjoyment.       

Preserving and Caring for Natural Places Close to Home in Cities: 

In St. Paul, The Trust for Public Land worked with community leaders and members to acquire a 5.5-acre site along the Green Line LRT that is becoming Midway Peace Park. The new park is designed to meet diverse community needs across ages and ethnicities, and will be accessible to over 6,000 local residents within a 10-minute walk. In the fall of 2019, The Trust for Public Land celebrated the start of construction with local high school students, community leaders and residents. The unwavering excitement and enthusiasm of everyone involved is truly inspiring and illustrates the impact of making land publicly accessible. 

Clean Water and Nature for People in Northern Minnesota: 

The clean water and wild lands in the Boundary Waters draw people from all over the world, and provide critical habitat for eagles, moose, other wildlife and native plants.  The Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness advocates year-round to protect this cherished area from the threat of proposed sulfide mines on the edge of the wilderness and the St Louis River. If permitted, these mines could drastically impact the water quality of the Boundary Waters, Lake Superior, and drinking water in communities throughout Northeast Minnesota. 

Virtual Kick Off 

  • Choose a campaign theme 
  • Create engaging graphics, interactive posters and one pagers 
  • Electronic kick off: Leadership Endorsement video 
  • Host a video conference for employees (Zoom, WebEx, Microsoft Teams) 
  • Virtual speakers bureau (work with Federation Lead to establish a list of available speakers) 
  • Thank employees for their participation and everything they do for our communities! 

Virtual Special Event Ideas

  • Hold a virtual charity fair – Talk with your Federation Representative on ideas 
  • Cutest Pet Photo Competition 
  • Top Chef Recipe Sharing Competition, Cooking Lessons, “Nailed It!” Competition 
  • Quarantine Hobbies Competition
  • Victory Garden or Flower Bed Competition  
  • Super Hero Costume Contest 
  • Baby Face – Guess the Baby Picture 
  • Employee Cookbook/Recipe Sharing 

MAY

  • Get ready
  • Set dates of campaign, including specific start and finish dates
  • Decide the campaign name or theme
  • Set goals for employee participation and how much you would like to raise
  • Large campaigns will start meeting monthly

JUNE

  • Subcommittees start meeting
  • The Minnesota Environmental Fund will contact you with a list of materials, speakers and other support you may need for your campaign for the year. We are happy to work with you to make your kick-off campaign a success.
  • Recruit volunteers and form any subcommittees. Subcommittees might be: kick-off event, logistics, communications, and department coordinators

JULY

  • Nail down the details.
  • We can help you set up online donation portals and pledge forms
  • Plan informational gatherings for your department coordinators and lead volunteers—the people who will be leading the campaign.
  • Put it all on a calendar:
    • Planning meetings
    • Department coordinators informational meeting
    • Deadlines for ordering materials
    • Kick-off event deadline
    • Pledge forms in hand
    • Department event

AUGUST

  • The Minnesota Environmental Fund delivers any needed materials
  • Brochures, templates for emails, thank you graphics, etc.
  • Invite organizational staff to attend trainings

SEPTEMBER

  • It’s campaign time!
  • The Minnesota Environmental Fund is available to provide speakers and a short presentation for any events. See the resource library below for ideas! These are great opportunities for employees to learn more about where their support goes.

OCTOBER

  • Campaign wrap-up
  • When your campaign is complete, there is minimal paperwork to be completed. Pledge forms should be forwarded to your payroll department to be recorded and sent back to the Minnesota Environmental Fund
  • Celebrate your successes, the positive impact you are making on your community, and thank everyone for their participation!

Events are the best way to engage employees in workplace giving, have a little team-building fun, and build a shared sense of community around the campaign. Consider inviting the Minnesota Environmental Fund (MEF) to participate with a table, banners, presentations, and/or information. This gives employees a chance to learn more about the organization and the impact of their gifts. The type of event you do depends on the size of your organization, the size of your planning committee and the budget. It doesn’t have to take a lot of money or planning to pull-off a fun and informative event. 

Planning your event: 

  • Decide on what type of event would work well in your workplace 
  • Determine what (if any) budget you have to work with 
  • Get “buy-in” and support from upper management for event 
  • Assemble a planning committee to help with planning and day of event 
  • Prepare materials and pledge forms for employees (MEF can help) 
  • Determine what incentives would work best at your company 
  • Keep presentations short or loop information on a video 
  • Make your event fun by using some of the ideas below

The Kick-off Event 

  • A kick-off event is a fun way to educate and energize your employees about the specifics of the campaign and the work of the Minnesota Environmental Fund. 
  • Planning 
  • Designate someone to be a Master of Ceremonies. 
  • Invite company leadership to give a brief speech on the importance of being an active citizen. 
  • Include stories or speakers that will have meaning to your employees. 
  • Have information available for all employees, including information about the Minnesota Environmental Fund and a pledge form. 
  • Try to have a big event or enough events to reach all employees, including those with varying work sites or shifts. 
  • Use incentives such as food, raffle prizes, and free giveaways to boost attendance. 
  • Kick-off agenda 
    • Let your president or other key official set the tone and announce the campaign goals and company match, if any. 
    • Distribute pledge packets which should include Minnesota Environmental Fund brochures and a pledge card. Be sure that those who miss the meeting also get a packet. 
    • Inform employees about the start and end dates of the campaign, including any additional event dates. 
    • Introduce campaign contacts for each department 
    • Review pledge card—how to complete it, where to turn it in. 

Food Related Events 

Use the power of food to gather employees together in support of the campaign! 

  • Ice Cream Social
  • Breakfast Buffet 
  • Dessert Dash: Provide quick, finger-food desserts for employees that complete a pledge form or donation. 
  • Brown Bag Lunch: Easy on the budget, a brown bag lunch brings people together for little cost. You can still consider offering beverages and desserts! 

Contests 

Who doesn’t like a good competition? Have fun by setting up a contest to raise awareness of the campaign and money for Minnesota Environmental Fund. Charge an entry fee and offer a prize and/or special recognition for the winner. Entry fees are distributed to the Minnesota Environmental Fund and count toward department and company goals. Here are a few contests some of our partner workplaces have held: 

  • Jeans Day: Dress casual for charity! Give employees the opportunity to dress down by allowing them to purchase a sticker indicating their participation in Jeans Day 
  • Tricycle Race: Map out a course with orange cones and let employees race their tricycles, big wheels, etc. Organize teams or compete individually. Publish winners’ names in the employee newsletter and take lots of pictures. 
  • Paper Airplane Race: Employees make their own paper airplanes. Charge an entry fee of $1 or $2. Get all the participants together and fly at one time, or one at a time. 
  • Coin Toss/Coin Collection: Use a large ice cream bucket. Form teams by department, division, etc. Participants use coins in their pocket, desk drawers, collection mugs at home. Teams try to have the highest number at the end of the competition. Donate all the coins to Minnesota Environmental Fund and give the winning department special recognition or a prize. 
  • Thermometer: Set up a large thermometer in the lobby or other public place to say how you are doing against your goal (dollars raised or % of employees participating). 
  • Guessing games: Guess the number of jelly beans (or other small items) in a jar 
  • Bean Bag toss: Set up a competition between departments 

We are here to help! Contact us for assistance planning or implementing your campaign!