Corporate lawyers and disposable diapers may not be the most logical association. But last fall, Venable LLP, a DC law firm, hosted a “Labor Day” diaper drive for DCDB that brought in almost 2,600 diapers in a week! The success of this event highlighted the importance of workplace campaigns, and proved that it’s not only kid-friendly workplaces like schools and daycares that can get employees passionate about diapers. Below are a few tips to help plan for a successful workplace diaper drive.
(1) Get the Buy In From Powers that May Be Early
Venable hosted its diaper drive in September but started planning for the dates of the drive in June. Many workplaces have a rotating schedule of philanthropic and workplace events and it’s good to get on the calendar early.
(2) Incorporate Competitive Elements to Drive Donations
It’s a fact of life that people are motivated by competition, even in philanthropic endeavors. For our recent drive, we split the office into different teams and offered a prize for the team that brought in the most diapers. It doesn’t have to be a super valuable prize – ours was a couple of boxes of donuts – but people embraced the contest and we quadrupled the number of diapers brought in than the last drive. Having a small prize at the end doesn’t take away any of the charitable aspects of the campaign, it just sweetens the deal.
(3) Recruit Champions in the Office
People listen to those who they are close to and it’s important to have several people champion the cause in a workplace giving campaign. For our drive, we recruited a “Diaper Captain” for each division and asked these people to reach out to their team and coordinate donations. Having several well respected workplace leaders make the ask also lead to a more successful campaign.
(4) Provide Regular But Non-Annoying Updates
Work is busy and it’s often easy to ignore a one-time request. To keep the campaign fresh, we sent emails every couple of days with updated team totals and a renewed donation request. You don’t want to send updates so frequently that people become annoyed, but regular updates are appreciated and will remind people about how they can help.
(5) Offer Alternatives
Some people are just not comfortable buying diapers. Others will be so busy the week of the campaign that they will not have time to make a trip to the store. Therefore, it helps to offer the option for people to make monetary donations online or in person. We also allowed people to send diapers to DCDB via Amazon and receive credit so remote offices could get involved. Make it easy for people and they will give.
(6) Make It an Annual Event – Speak in “Next Year”
Once you have the momentum going from a successful drive, get it on the calendar to have another next year. Annual drives are invaluable to the DCDB because they allow predictable donation planning, and once you’ve had one drive, it’s simple to make it an office tradition for that time of year.
Planning a workplace drive is easy and DCDB has a Diaper Drive Toolkit with many more resources. Please put the wheels in motion to have a workplace diaper drive today!
– Kristalyn Loson, DC Diaper Bank Treasurer