Every year when spring rolls around, we see the order form for Girl Scout Cookies on the edge of a few desks. If you want them, you know where to sign up. No one announces it, because we have a no solicitation policy. Sometimes there will be a box of candy bars on the break room counter, put there on an honor system basis, benefiting the local little league. Again, no one is concerned about this. Your are not being asked for a donation, or even being pressured to buy something. It’s there if you want it.
I’ve only had to counsel employees twice on this issue. In both cases they used email to send out messages across the work site about what they were selling on behalf of their organization. And once I got an email solicitation on behalf of a charity from my HR boss. Really? I’m trying to enforce policy and now I have to coach up? So when a member of my family has a cause, I may mention it at work, but I don’t make the “ask”.
But I don’t need to. We all have bigger, better networks now.
I saw my older son demonstrate this over the last two months as he raised money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. He mailed letters – actual, physical letters. He arranged nice events including a 5k race that had nearly 1,000 participants. He reached out to his Facebook faithful again and again. And he raised $28,000 in a short period.
If I had directly approached people at work, could I have generated more for him? Maybe. but I have other avenues available to me. My company matches certain gifts. My siblings responded in a generous manner, as did my wife’s. We held a fundraiser ourselves to support the effort. No distractions at work, no sense of pressure, and I believe relatively little lost opportunity. We all have our causes. And we have to pick and choose which to support. The workplace is not the place to have to make that decision.
But I watched Matthew work his contacts and generate a result he can be proud of.
And let’s not forget the many SHRM members who are out there doing the same thing. Soliciting in the environment without the policy. You can choose to give or not.
But it is so hard to ignore this cause: No Kid Hungry.
For just a few bucks, you make a big difference. Dwayne Lay did an awesome job arranging for a benefit lawn hockey event last year, and this year’s kickball event prior to the SHRM National Conference is likely to be even better.
Every dollar donated connects one child to 10 meals. But only if you give them the dollar.
So help your fellow HR Pros in their efforts to raise money for a great cause by clicking here right now! As I write this, they are busting through their original goal, and you have the opportunity to help them achieve an absolutely outstanding result.