Virtual Campaign 101

Our corporate partners are the backbone of the work we do.  More than 1000 companies in our area partner with us to help people in need in our community, running workplace fundraising campaigns and volunteer events.  The Employee Campaign Managers, or ECMs, are responsible for managing the many aspects of a workplace campaign.    This post is part of a series of articles designed to celebrate our corporate partners, highlight the amazing work they’re doing, and help ECMs in their role.

We know many companies are launching their internal fundraising campaigns soon, and since we just wrapped our own internal campaign, we wanted to pass on some advice and lessons learned.

This year, we knew our internal fundraising campaign would look very different from in years past. But the need in our community is greater than ever and we also knew that we could rally our employees to make it happen. To be sensitive to the current environment, we decided to set a participation goal instead of a monetary one and we hit it! 100% of our employees participated in this year’s campaign, despite the collective challenges. So how did we create an engaging virtual campaign? 

First, we harnessed the collective brainpower of rising stars and emerging leaders throughout our organization for our Campaign Committee. The team was led by two amazing co-chairs who, with the help of our Event Coordinator, kept the ship on course. Everyone put tons of thought into creating events that spoke to all levels of participation and skill, giving lots of opportunities for people to get involved in the way that felt best for them. 

We randomly divided the organization into 4 teams and gave them each team names, based on the Microsoft software we use – Team Outlook, Team Excel, Team Word and Team Powerpoint. Each team included folks from across all departments – giving people who don’t work together on a regular basis the chance to get to know each other better. 

People could win points as a team or as individuals. This proved to be an amazing morale booster, as teams rallied and played to raise money and earn points the energy of the entire organization shifted. There are few things that bring people together better than giving back collaboratively – and getting a little competitive! We also made sure to create a wide-ranging point system for all levels of participation – from a twin day selfie to an act in the talent show. 

Creating a flow

When it came to scheduling our events, we wanted to make sure that we included options for those who might have meetings all day or need to sign off early for kid care. We chose 12 pm and 4 pm for our two event slots and this consistency allowed for better participation remotely.  Everyone knew those times were dedicated to the campaign so there was never any tracking down of schedules or calling people to remind them to attend. 

Here’s what our internal campaign week schedule looked like:

Campaign Kickoff
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Getting pumped for this year’s internal campaign!

Live Steampunk House Tour & Scavenger Hunt
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Join Bruce Rosenbaum (father of UWMB employee Joe) AKA the Steampunk wizard on a magical tour of his home – a church converted into art gallery/living space (as seen on Amazing Interiors, episode 8). Follow Bruce on a scavenger hunt through the unique space where he will show you how he transforms antiques into functional pieces of art that align with the object’s history. 

Happy Hour & Trivia
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Come with your favorite beverage to join us for VACATION TRIVIA! Teams get points by signing up to play trivia (teams of 4) and showing up in your vacation gear (a Hawaiian lei? A fanny pack and camera? Up to you!)

Game Hour
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Come play games and earn points with your team.

UW Leadership Donors Got Spirit
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
New staff and long-timers, are you a United Way Leadership donor or have thought about becoming one? Join current UW Leader donors and catch the Leadership Spirit! 

Live Auction
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

United Way’s Got Talent
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Show your skillz in the inaugural, virtual United Way’s Got Talent! Send a 30sec-1min video clip to your campaign chair OR perform LIVE on zoom! Any and all acts win your team points!

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Announcing our 2020 winners! And reflecting on the week.

It’s all for a good cause

Throughout the week, it was essential to share team point scores to motivate and boost participation. We also offered everyone in the organization a day off if we hit our goal. Overall this was a great way to bring our employees together at a time when we can feel farther apart than ever. By coming together to play games, enjoy our colleagues’ talents, get competitive in trivia and see inside everyone’s day to day, we were able to shake off some of the heaviness of recent months as we rallied for a cause we all hold dear. 

Top 10 tips for a successful campaign:

  • Create many different options to participate and earn points so everyone gets involved. Don’t be afraid to try new things
  • Schedule events for historically slower times throughout the day
  • Harness the unique gifts each person brings
  • Include options for face-to-face interaction and more removed participation such as sending in photos
  • Take thorough and organized notes
  • Delegate to your committee
  • Repurpose software you already have
  • Get your CEO involved
  • Have fun!

Here’s the full list of all the ways we came up with to earn points: 

Live Trivia

We hosted a live happy hour via Zoom for everyone to come together, chat and play trivia for points in teams of 4. You could also join the happy hour without participating in trivia.

  • 1st Place – 25 points
  • 2nd Place – 15 points
  • 3rd Place – 5 points
  • Attend Trivia – 1 point
  • Attend Trivia IN Vacation Costume – 2 points

Talent Show

We held a talent show where folks could send in pre-recorded videos or perform live to earn points and share their hobbies!

  • Enter Talent Show – 10 points
  • Attend Talent Show – 5 points
  • Place in top 3 at Talent Show – 10
  • Win “Most Creative Talent” – 10
  • Win “Most Actual Raw Talent” – 10 
  • Win “Don’t Quit Your Day Job” – 10
  • Overall Talent Show Winner – 25
  • Pet Talent Show (Pets United) entry – 1 point per pet
  • Bonus Pets United entry point for UW swag (1 per pet wearing swag)
  • Pets United Best in Show: 3rd place (5)
  • Pets United Best in Show: 2nd place (10) 
  • Pets United Best in Show: 1st place (25)

Send us your Selfies!

  • Monday Spirit Day outfit – 1 point
  • Tuesday Spirit Day outfit – 1 poin
  • Wednesday Spirit Day outfit – 1 point
  • Thursday Spirit Day outfit – 1 point
  • WFH desk space – 1 point
  • Fav local coffee shop – point
  • Neighborhood walking route 1 point
  • Freshly baked bread – 1 point
  • Movie Night – 1 point
  • Something you’ve owned since high school – 1 point
  • Piece of neighborhood history – 1 point
  • Book authored by someone from United Way’s footprint – 1 point
  • You in an old Halloween costume – 1 point


  • Join the Virtual House Tour live – 1 point
  • 100% Correct House Tour Trivia – 10 points
  • Donate at least 1 item to the auction – 50 points
  • Team Game Time Participation – 1 point
  • WFH Bingo Winner – 10 points
  • Contribute 1 line to the Community Poem – 5 points
  • CEO sighting – 1 point per sighting; no max
  • Winner: Cocktail Trivia at Leadership Reception – 25 points
  • Contribute at least 1 wish list item to Bridge Over Troubled Waters – 5 points
  • Welcome Home drive – 50 points

Wishing you a successful and exciting 2020 Campaign!