It was its first time going to bat with employee giving, and Kent Employment Law scored a win. The Vancouver-based law firm turned its annual summer picnic and outing to a Vancouver Canadians baseball game into an opportunity to fundraise for three charities its staff wanted to support. And the results were game-changing.
We spoke to Wendy Woloshyn, Research Lawyer with Kent Employment Law, to find out how the company approached its first fundraiser.
Q: Why did you choose a baseball game for the context of your first fundraiser?
A: It was the third year we’ve done a baseball game as a company event, and we always use it as an opportunity to do some socializing and bonding. Simon, our founder, had become aware of Chimp and is always looking for new ways to do things. He wanted to do a Chimp campaign and we thought it would be a good way to combine the two things.
Q: How did you structure your fundraiser?
A: The firm contributed donations based on performance in the game. It donated $20 for every run scored by the Canadians, $25 for every home run and $5 for every strikeout by a Canadians pitcher.
We also encouraged individual contributions from staff. The approach we took with staff was that it wasn’t compulsory to participate – just by coming to the game they were supporting the firm. But we got pretty close to 100% participation in giving, and that was a nice bonus. The firm matched every individual donation up to $20. We also invited external people to contribute by putting our campaign on Twitter and Facebook.
Q: How did you choose the charities you decided to support?
A: We chose the charities based on input from the group. Because this was the first time we’ve done this, we decided to target three organizations. We chose Ecojustice due to its commitment to sustainability, and we chose Pivot Foundation because of its legal advocacy arm. Finally, we chose KidSport to tie in with the game. Plus a lot of us feel strongly about kids in sport.
We plan to do this twice annually and for future campaigns we’ll likely choose different organizations.
A: I would tell them to involve staff from day one rather than doing it top down. Take the approach of seeking feedback and get people engaged from the start. You want people to be on board.
Q: Will you do anything differently next time?
A: Our staff really liked the structure of the fundraising, the causes and tying it to the company event, but I’d like to try something different just to be creative.
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Photo credit: Vancouver Canadians photo by janheuninck