Being Social at the Office Without Going Broke

by Kristina Tahnyak on May 28, 2012 · 6 comments

Good Morning DINKS.  This past week I found myself in a weird situation in my office and I want to know if anyone else has experienced the same situation. We are doing some fundraising at my office and in a group meeting the woman responsible for collecting donations asked everyone to make a contribution to the charitable organization on the spot.  She said that she would be coming around to collect money from the people who didn’t donate during the meeting or who didn’t have their wallets with them at that time. It may be just me who is mistaken, but I thought that fundraising and donating money to charities is an optional gesture?

We definitely want to help support a good cause and help people who are less fortunate than we are.  However, sometimes people may prefer to donate money to a charitable cause which they support in their personal lives, instead of feeling obligated to donate money to a charity that is supported within their workplace.  Think about the last time that you were asked to make a donation to a charity at work, did you feel obligated to donate money?

Monetary obligations to charities are definitely a slippery slope when it comes to asking co-workers to donate money. On one had we want to be a team player and support our co-workers in their efforts to support a good cause, and one day we may have to ask our co-workers for monetary donations because we may be supporting a good cause.  However, on the other hand it sort of seems like there is always someone at my office who is asking us to donate money.

If you always give money to your co-workers charitable causes you may become known as a regular donator; then your co-workers may start to expect you to donate money every single time they ask.  This can be a very dangerous financial commitment because we all have personal financial obligations outside of work.

We never want to be known as the person who doesn’t contribute or participate in office fundraising activities because our image at the workplace is very important for our future sustainability.  However, maybe we can’t afford to always donate money to the charitable causes at our office.

Here are some ways that you can contribute without giving money:

1. Volunteer Your Time. Help organize the fundraising activities, help organize a collection of funds, or help organize an event such as a bake sale.  This way you are participating in the fundraising without actually donating money.

2. Offer To Help.  Even if you are not in charge of organizing the events or the activities at your office you can always offer to help the person who is in charge.  This shows that you are a team player and that you are able to work well with the other employees in your office.

3. Share Your Ideas.  You don’t have to be on the fundraising committee in order to share your ideas.  New ideas and ways to raise money are (usually) always welcome and encouraged by employees.

Photo by rh1n0

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Emily @ evolvingPF May 28, 2012 at 11:05 am

This has never happened to me at work. Personally, I like to give money to people who ask for donations on behalf of their causes, but I’m turned off by how pushy you describe your coworker as being. Also, I would never give spontaneously or in cash – I prefer to do it online and get a receipt. If you prefer to seek out charitable organizations on your own, couldn’t you just say that? “I’m sorry, but the money I earmark for charitable donations is going toward _____ right now.”

2 Michelle May 28, 2012 at 1:31 pm

This happens to my bf all the time at his job. Except they take the donations directly out of his paycheck. It’s really annoying and everyone feels like they have to donate because the bosses literally force it.

3 Peaches & Whiskey May 28, 2012 at 7:41 pm

I’ve had that happen to me before at my work place. They run an annual fundraiser with a charitable organization, but then they track who has donated and who hasn’t. The managers continually badgered us to donate so that they could post 100% commitment levels from their employees, which they would then use as a marketing ploy! It was very annoying but I viewed as the cost of doing business. My wife and I give to other organizations, but it was the way they ran it that bugged everyone!

4 stock donations May 29, 2012 at 6:50 am

It happens…here I would like to suggest that company will not make it compulsory for all it should be optional.

5 Rossi July 24, 2012 at 5:21 am

I recently found out about Voucherry and signed up to see what’s all about. First, I had to complete the sign up form and choose my favorite cause. Now, at each purchase I’m making on Voucherry or from their partner stores, my favorite cause is getting a donation. I invited my family and friends too, because they support the same cause and for each of their purchase, a donation is made to the cause too. Now, I know that there are cash involved, but for daily, usual shopping that we do anyways. Seems that these days is very simple to do good.

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