Rally your co-workers around your workplace campaign

So you’ve got every detail of your campaign meticulously planned, and now you need to involve other people. Awesome—this is where the magic happens. Because the more people talk about it, the more the excitement spreads, and the more of a smash hit your campaign becomes. So how do you get people involved, anyway? Read on for two tried-and-true ways. Before you know it, doing good will become contagious, and it’s all thanks to you.

1. Plan some activities

Activities are a great way to engage your co-workers in your campaign and bring everyone together to do local good. (If there’s food, even better.)

Special Events

Want to plan something special for your co-workers? Great idea—this will help people connect, have fun, and make a difference. Here are a few tips and tricks to pull it off.

Planning your event

  1. Use a planning checklist
    Here’s a guide and checklist to help you think through your vision for the event.
  2. Form an event planning committee
    It takes time and energy to plan a successful event. Recruit enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers with a variety of skills to share the work. Make sure to keep a list of their names so you can thank and recognize them.
  3. Select event type(s) and theme(s)
    Design what the event(s) will look like, and how you will make it unique and fun! Here is a list of event ideas and themes to help you get started.
  4. Identify your audience
    Who is most likely to attend and support the type of event you’ve selected? Identifying your audience is important for promotion and invites.
  5. Set goals
    Decide what you want to accomplish with your event. Is it to raise awareness? Boost employee morale? Raise money? Setting realistic and measurable goals will contribute to your successful campaign.
  6. Schedule your event
    What time works for your employees? Does the venue work for your event type? Is the location convenient for those attending? Are there any other conflicting events? Ask these questions before booking a date, time, and place to host your event.
  7. Check if you need special approvals, licenses, or permits
    Ensure you receive appropriate approvals in your organization so leadership is all bought in. When hosting events such as bingos and raffles, you require a licence from the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC). This overview can help with your planning. If you have any questions, please contact your account manager.

United Way can apply for a raffle, 50/50, or bingo licence on behalf of your company if the estimated total gross revenue is less than $20,000. Please complete the 50/50 or Raffle Licence Request Form and email it to our License Coordinator at resource.development@calgaryunitedway.org.

For more information, please visit the AGLC website.

  1. Spread the word
    It’s not an event if no one comes. Find ways to invite your co-workers and get creative!
  • Send out an email
  • Use online tools, such as Eventbrite or MailChimp
  • Post on your intranet
  • Create a poster – here are some templates to help! Links to running a successful campaign anchoring at campaign engagement posters
  1. Get the support you need
    Contact your account manager to let us know you are planning a special event and see how we can help out.

Event day essentials

  1. Tax receipts
    Many special events qualify for tax receipts. To learn more, take a look at the request forms or contact your account manager.
  2. Image release
    Take lots of photos at your event. United Way has an event image release form, and a general image release poster to help you get your attendee’s permission to take their photo.
  3. Social media
    Share your event photos and highlights on your social channels and be sure to tag @unitedwaycgy and use #dolocalgood!

Post event

  1. Collect funds
    We ask that you collect and submit all pledge information and funds raised for United Way in a Special Events envelope within 30 days of your event (right away is even better). If tax receipts are required, please ensure the special events forms are filled out and submitted with payments by December 31. This will ensure tax receipts are handled in a timely manner.
  2. Thank people
    This is the most important step! Make sure to acknowledge everyone who participated in or supported your event. Tell volunteers and supporters how much was raised and that they are creating lasting social change in their community. Use our letter as a template.


Need help showing people the impact their donation can have? There’s no better way than introducing them, face-to-face, to someone who has been on the receiving end. Our Speaker’s Bureau exists for this exact reason—so that people that have been personally impacted by United Way can share their stories with workplaces like yours.

Speakers are a great way to inform, engage, and motivate your workplace by sharing compelling stories about the work of United Way and our partners. Our Speaker’s Bureau, as well as panel discussions, can provide insight into our community and are a nice way to complement any United Way workplace campaign.

Each audience is unique. The best speaker or panel for your team is one that will connect with your group. Let us know what you’re looking for and we will send our best match for your workplace.

For inquiries or assistance, please contact the Speaker’s Bureau. To ensure you have the best speaker for your event, please contact us at least three weeks in advance.

Impact Speaker Videos

Doesn’t work to have a speaker come into your office? No sweat. Here are a few impact speaker videos on YouTube that help highlight the impact of a donation.

Group Activities

Want to get the whole gang together to give back? Try a simulation, tour, collection drive, or volunteer opportunity.

These engagement activities can help you and your co-workers feel more connected to the community, learn about United Way’s work, and build morale. They can also help bring your workplace together to see the impact a donation can make.

Not sure what’s right for your campaign? See our campaign engagement menu to see what fits your time frame and number of participants.

If you have questions, please contact our campaign engagement team.


Our Day of Caring® volunteer opportunities are a great way to team up and get involved in your community. These opportunities boost morale, promote team-building, and promote your company’s visibility in the community. They also actively involve you in improving lives through direct assistance to a local organization.

These opportunities require a minimum of three weeks to plan. For more information on these and other opportunities, contact our campaign engagement team.

Please note that from September to December these activities are reserved for workplaces running a United Way campaign. If you would like to book an activity at another time of year, please contact us and we will do our best to accommodate your request!

Customize a Day of Caring® poster for your campaign.

Brain Architecture game

Explore the powerful role relationships have on the developing brain. In this facilitated and hands-on activity, teams attempt to build the biggest and most resilient brain using only the materials provided.

The Brain Architecture Game was purchased and licensed; its intellectual property belongs to a not-for-profit partnership. Production and distribution has been generously sponsored by the Palix Foundation. Please contact your account manager to set up a session.

Customize a Brain Architecture Game event poster for your campaign.

Make the Month simulation

Challenge your perspective and experience what it’s like for 1 in 10 Calgarians living at or below the poverty line. United Way’s online poverty simulation, Make the Month, is an interactive experience where a group makes difficult daily decisions based on a limited budget. A United Way facilitator provides further context and leads an in-depth discussion about poverty in Calgary. Please contact your account manager to set up a session.

Make the Month was developed in partnership with Imperial and gifted to United Way of Calgary and Area. It’s now available in communities across Canada.

Customize a Make the Month event poster for your campaign.

Poverty simulation

Learn what it’s like to survive day-to-day on a low income. Living on the Edge: A Poverty Simulation is a live group exercise where participants are assigned a role and challenged with the difficult choices many Calgarians face. This facilitated session encourages discussion around poverty in our city. Please contact your account manager to set up a session.

The poverty simulation kit was purchased and licensed from the Missouri Association of Community Action.

Customize a Poverty simulation poster for your campaign.

2. Design the right communication for the right people

With five generations in the workplace, not all campaigns are one-size-fits-all. Targeting different audiences is a great strategy to making your campaign resonate with as many people as possible. Here are a few quick tips:

  • Create a communications plan: Plan how and when communications will be delivered—and to what audiences—so your co-workers aren’t inundated and your messages are effective. Remember that one of the key things co-workers ask for in employee engagement campaigns is more communication.
  • Activate the next generation: Individuals 20-40 years old make up approximately 31 per cent of the Calgary workforce and are the next generation of your company and our city. Encourage their participation in our young professional-focused Gen Next initiative.
  • Engage retirees: Keep your organization’s retired employees involved and active in their community. Contact your account manager to learn more.

Answering the tough questions

Despite your best efforts to raise awareness about your campaign, your co-workers may still be curious about United Way and the impact their donation can have. Take this chance to turn people into believers by answering some commonly asked questions about United Way.

What does United Way do?

United Way improves lives locally by bringing together agencies, donors, corporations, volunteers, and government to create lasting social change in the communities we serve. The organization leads key initiatives, builds collaborations, convenes on local issues, supports and invests in the social services sector, and advocates for policies and system level change. In other words, United Way works within a strong network of social services to dig deep into the underlying causes that hold people back from realizing their full potential, and ensures everyone has access to vital services and supports when they need them most.

Where DO my investments go?

100% of donations made to United Way stay local, where they are invested in agencies, initiatives, and programs in the Calgary area—including Airdrie, Chestermere, Cochrane, High River, Okotoks, and Strathmore. Your investment with United Way will stay local and be strategically invested right where you live, work, and raise your family. United Way is committed to rigorously monitoring and reporting on donation impact to ensure a high return on community investment.

Why not just give directly to an agency United Way funds?

United Way brings lasting value to its agency partners. It makes multi-year funding commitments, designs long-term strategies for program delivery, and shares research findings and advice to improve governance and administration practices.

How much of my investment does United Way use for fundraising and related operating costs?

Thanks to their volunteer, United Way of Calgary and Area has one of the lowest fundraising cost in Canada. United Way estimates fundraising and related operating costs to be 14% to 16%. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) considers 35% to be an acceptable standard.

Where can I learn more about United Way?

Visit calgaryunitedway.org to read impact stories and annual impact reports, learn about local issues, view AGM minutes, and see audited financials, or connect with United Way on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram. You can also read up from trusted third-party sources: United Way has a 4/4 star rating on CharityIntelligence, and the organization earned an A+ rating from Moneysense recently for fundraising and charity efficiency. In addition, as a registered Canadian charity, United Way files a T3010 report with CRA annually; the latest CRA T3010 data, detailing all of United Way’s costs, can be found here.

Jesse VickeryRally your Co-workers