November 2010Putting the FUN Into Fund-raising
In this tough economy, it takes an extra blast of creativity to
persuade people to give to those in need. But the Baltimore office’s
United Way Coordinator, Vonda Kouka, delivered that blast and
surpassed her ambitious annual giving goal. Her secret? Keep it
fresh and fun.
Vonda lined up a month of fun—sometimes zany—activities to
generate interest and participation in the office’s annual United
Way fundraiser this year. From her perch in the reception area, she
is perfectly positioned to gently remind her co-workers to turn in
their payroll contribution forms or remind them in person about
upcoming events. Never content to reach the same milestone
each year, Vonda raised the bar a little higher for the 2010
campaign—to $7,000, just as she has the last seven years she’s
led the office’s United Way efforts. While the lion’s share of the
funds comes from pledge forms, Vonda organized these activities
each Friday throughout October to energize the office and raise
awareness of the charity:
JERSEYS and JERSEY SHORE: More than a dozen employees
paid $3 to wear their favorite sports team apparel or dress as a
Jersey Shore character.
THE MAGIC OF GIVING: Professional magician, Professor Paul
Trattner, donated his time to perform his “Curious and Innocent
Diversions Magic Show,” entertaining more than 20 employees over a
pizza and salad lunch. Each employee paid $8 for a ticket to the magic
CRAZY HATS AND SOCKS: About 10 employees paid $2 to don
their goofiest headwear and footwear for the day while another group
paid $1 to vote on the best outfit.
WHOSE PET IS THIS? 16 employees brought in pictures of their
pets and paid $2 to enter them into the contest in which 17
employees paid $1 to guess who owns each pet.
But, it was the final, long-awaited wrap-up activity that took the
cake for raising the most funds. Employees eagerly stuffed dollars in
jars on Vonda’s desk for the chance to fling a pie in the face of their
MANAGERS TAKE A PIE IN THE FACE raised more
than $200. And, surprisingly, the lowest-key activity, “Nickels
for Non-profit,” a collection of jars placed prominently in each
department through the month, raised nearly twice as much as
the pie-throwing contest.
The United Way of Central Maryland funds agencies and initiatives to
improve local communities and assist people facing rising costs
and uncertain incomes.
by Marta Mills, marketing editor, Baltimore
Employees show off their favorite team jerseys
Lynn Beamon delivers a pie to John Mack’s face
John Mack, covered in pie