Donation Boxes in the Workplace

    Donation Boxes in the Workplace


     Walking the Fine Line Between Pro-Active and "In Your Face"
    Seasonal giving is called that for a reason. People say "Tis the Season," and it's true - the period between Veterans' Day and New Years' is one of, if not the, strongest times of the year for charitable donations. From red-suited Santas outside grocery stores to toy-collection bins in the office kitchen, opportunities abound for supporting various causes. "Paying it forward," an admirable concept in general, leads many people to increase their personal giving during the holiday season. It's noble and admirable, and many employers also offer not only opportunities forgiving, but also provide matching in varying amounts. It's a great time of year for doing good, to be certain.

    Donation Boxes in the Workplace
    Donation Boxes in the Workplace 

    However, there exists a fine line between easy access and too much. As with all advertising, there is a "tipping point" at which something becomes so ubiquitous that it becomes, in effect, invisible, thereby undoing all the work of the campaign. This holds true for giving campaigns as well as marketing-oriented. Those promoting donation opportunities must find ways to draw just enough attention to their campaigns to maximize the return without taking the chance that employees will either grow blind to the opportunity itself or even worse, resentful.


    The last several years have seen a fair amount of uproar over some corporations' policy of "enforced giving," particularly to certain non-profit organizations that later came under fire for questionable spending. While some companies still have "employer-recommended" giving programs, others have opened up their charitable giving options, offering employees a selection rather than a single choice. While this method may work wonders in larger corporate environments where payroll deductions automatically allocated to charitable giving are somewhat common, it is not always an option (or a desire, for that matter) for smaller businesses.


    So what are small businesses to do that either support charitable giving for employees or who are themselves collecting donations? How can they find a way to publicize and identify their donation opportunities without crossing the line into overkill?


    There are a few different solutions. Which works best will depend on the particular company and situation, and there will be different methodologies for those who are collecting for a cause and those whose job it is to collect for the cause.


    The challenge: One single collection location, multiple charities.
    This is a fairly common situation, where multiple opportunities for donations are situated in a single location such as a kitchen or human resource office. The trick is to differentiate between the options while a) promoting all options equally and b) not overtaking the space with collection boxes. Small, equally-sized collection containers with custom-printed headers with the different organization names. That keeps things even but allows contributors to easily identify which cause or organization they are supporting.


    The challenge: Multiple collection locations, multiple charities.



    Unfortunately, sometimes the most pressing concern with remote collection can be security. Again, equally sized collection boxes ensure equal opportunities for donations, but in this case, there may need to be additional security allowances. Many donation boxes come with installed key-locks, but some models are equipped to have an optional cable lock used, as well. Depending on the space available, wall-mount or floor-stand models can provide added security, and many models still have a small enough footprint (or wall-print) to not take up too much "real estate."


    The challenge: Multiple collection locations, a single charity.


    The security concerns mentioned above for remote donation collection apply equally to single-organization collection stations. Once again, wall or floor mounting with keylocks and optional cable locks provides maximum security. Choosing a model with a customizable header will allow for easily identifiable and consistent branding information to be used, leading to increased recognition value.


    The challenge: Promoting a charity while asking for donations
    Unfortunately, not every person is going to be aware of what "the cause" is just from looking at a name, picture, or logo, no matter how well branded. Cases such as these would do well to consider donation holders that have attached space for brochures.
    The challenge: One-time donation requests
    There are times when a collection will be taken up once, and once only. While a custom-headered collection box would look great in this situation, it may not be the most economical choice. There are many styles of collection container designed specifically for single or short term use. From non-locking plastic or acrylic models (also useful for raffles or as suggestion boxes) to fold-up cardboard donation boxes, it is possible to have a short-term container that still looks professional.


    In short, the days of the glass jar with a hole punched in the lid and "support _____" written in sharpie is long gone. Today's donation jars range from high-density impact-resistant acrylics to finished wood, with a full range of materials in between. Security, non-locking, permanent-installation and disposable versions are all available, generally in a full range of sizes and styles. As the holiday giving season approaches, it is worth the effort for companies to take a moment and look at their planned giving (or collecting) campaigns to ensure that they will walk the fine line between getting the word out in the most professional and well-advertised was possible, and either looking unprofessional or worse, overwhelming the target audience.

    Related Posts