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Creating an Office Fund

What is the best way to collect money in a large office (200 employees) for things like the deaths, illnesses, etc.? Sometimes we give them the money collected with a card or buy a floral arrangement. Lately, we have been collecting money on the spur of the moment, as things occur, which is not working too good because some people don't have money to donate at the time. Do you think it is best to just collect $1 per person and keep it in the fund until needed so we won't have to keep reminding people to donate? What do you advise?

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By Onesummer

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August 25, 20110 found this helpful

Mind you, where I work (a university) it isn't as large as your place of work but we do have about 80 people (70 faculty members and 10 staff members) Each year I send out an annoucement asking for donations for floral arrangements for Get Well; donations for deaths; birthday cakes for staff; gift for faculty members who are retiring; and, gift certificates for new baby and mom. Unfortunately, we don't get everyone paying but we do come up with about $400/year. We found this was the best way. We call it 'The Sunshine Fund'. Asking each time something came up was a huge pain. Good luck.

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August 26, 20110 found this helpful

At our preschool we collect $20 a year from each teacher. This is done at the beginning of the school year at an all staff meeting.

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Anonymous
August 26, 20110 found this helpful

As already mentioned, ask once a year but don't expect everyone to participate because there are those who simply can't because of their personal financial situation. Please make sure no one has resentment for those folk who do not donate because even $1.00 can be a matter of having enough gas in their car to get to work or even a box of pasta to feed a meal to their family.

Have you asked the company itself to donate? That's a business expense tax write off for them.

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August 26, 20110 found this helpful

I worked in a school, and we collected $20 at the beginning of the year. We had only about 15 employees, so it was much simpler. I would collect once a year, if possible. Is $1 per person going to be enough, even with 200 employees? I would make it at least $5, and then it is not so easily ignored, and will give you a bit of buffer to handle a few situations. It might be a good idea to figure out what the average number of instances of "gifting" or cards was, for the last few years, and then collect an amount that would cover that.

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August 26, 20110 found this helpful

I think asking people once a year to donate to a small float is OK if it's a fairly small company, but one with more than 25 employees is asking too much of people in these economic times. And I would never say that people who didn't contribute for whatever reason didn't "pay" because that makes it seem like an obligation or a bill, not a friendly 'team-building' thing.

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August 27, 20110 found this helpful

My husband worked at a large business with over 800 employees. They had a "friendship fund." Whoever joined got $2.00 held out of their paycheck weekly that went into a general fund. When members had a baby, a death, an accident, etc, they got a check for a SET amount for whatever occurred. Nonmembers didn't pay into it and thus got nothing.

Small groups of friends would throw a birthday party, retirement party, etc, for their friends and coworkers at lunchtime, independent of the fund or whether the person was in it or not. This was strictly up to the individuals and how close they were.

Personally, I think that it's impossible to do something for everyone and get everyone to participate.

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