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Thu Aug 9, 2012, 05:09 PM

Please offer your opinion re fundraising at work.

Not candy bars or pizza kits.

I've set up a fundraising page at Marylanders for Marriage Equality.* My goal is only $500 because I don't have any idea what my audience might give. I posted the link at Facebook (not without misgivings), and I'm going to email it to all the personal email addresses I have.

My question is this: should I or should I not email it to my friends here at work? Not to their home addresses; I don't have them. I mean to their work addresses.

Please offer your opinion, and tell me why. Thanks!

* Governor O'Malley signed Maryland's marriage law on March 1, but the haters have called a referendum; it's on the Nov. 6 ballot. I believe the courts should block any attempt to allow a vote on any basic civil right. I don't have words to describe this kind of backwardness. Do you?

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Thu Aug 9, 2012, 05:18 PM

1. That depends ENTIRELY on the work culture. As long as people aren't pushed, it's usually ok.

 

As long as it is along the lines of "give if you can" and people who choose not to are left along and not made to feel bad, I've never minded it. ESPECIALLY if someone has Girl Scout cookies, but that's a different issue.

In your case, unless the company has a policy against it, just make a small poster for the bulletin board, stick it up, and leave it there.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Thu Aug 9, 2012, 05:21 PM

2. I'd check with senior management first. You never know who may object.

Good luck!

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Response to ohiosmith (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 9, 2012, 05:34 PM

3. Yes, when I was working (laid off in 2010),

management frowned upon solicitations such as fund-raising.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Thu Aug 9, 2012, 06:22 PM

4. Company e-mails really are a bit iffy. Can you put up big fliers or cards in the break room?

A lot depends on your workplace codes. Most organizations won't frown on a passive form of fund-raising - like a notice in the break room or by the rest-rooms that you have the Thin Mint supply this week, or a can by the coffee mess - but they really don't like you using work time and work assets to promote your charity, nor do they like those that walk around cubicle to cubicle showing people order slips. (The last is too often considered workplace intimidation.)

It's possible that if you send your fund-raising out as a "hey, just FYI, I'm supporting this, and if you want to do this also, here's the link" during lunch or a break time, it might be okay, but you really should check with management first.

Another option would be to perhaps verbally ask the few you think might be interested if they're like to support this (during a break or lunch) then send the e-mail to those who agreed.

You do need to be very careful, though. There are people (conservatives) who might feel that simply by bringing this up, you're attacking them or their beliefs if they're the least bit homophobic or fearfully religious.

Haele

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Thu Aug 9, 2012, 06:38 PM

5. Most large companies are going to have a policy on this

They should have both policies on acceptable use of work email and soliciting for charitable causes at work. You should be able to check with the human resources dept (if you have one) for an answer on both policies. If I were you, I'd ask for a written response.

If you work for a company that doesn't have policies on these things, I would tread very lightly and err on the side of caution.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Thu Aug 9, 2012, 09:19 PM

6. I wouldn't.

I would keep this out of company email. If you do not have the co-workers' personal email addresses, get them. Or friend them on Facebook and ask them there. Or speak personally to the ones who you would feel comfortable talking to and get their personal info if they are interested, or give them a link.

But this is not worth losing your job over when there are other ways to get the word out.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Thu Aug 9, 2012, 10:36 PM

7. It depends on the workplace...

it's nearly expected at my workplace, I'd figure (I've never asked) as we're an NPO with a very activist leftie staff. Some place more professional, that might not go over so well.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Fri Aug 10, 2012, 09:12 AM

8. Depends on the workplace - but choose your audience carefully

We've had a few at my place of work and there is no policy against them...however people do become resentful when those from far off parts of the institution appear to be pestering for their own personal projects, but when those they work more closely with send something to a more select group of people they're definitely receptive.

Important though, check that there are no policies on the subject - no point in getting into a disciplinary case because somebody takes umbrage at what you're doing if it violates the letter or spirit of workplace rules.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Fri Aug 10, 2012, 09:43 AM

9. You really need to know what your work policy is about fundraising

I know if I sent something like that out where I worked I would get reprimended. It's not about the issue but just the general concept that work email should NOT be used for fundraising purposes.

That doesn't mean from time to time a co-worker might ask another co-worker about donating, but it's kept on the low-down. You may know of coworkers who would be happy to contribute - it would be better to ask first and then send them an individual email.

If you do send a group email at work then I would suggest you put everyone's email account on BCC. That way if you happen to send to someone who gets pissed they can't show that you emailed all these poeple you know. I have a friend at work who collects for the lottery from time to time when the amount gets really huge. He puts all the names on BCC so names are kept confidential and it covers his ass. I mean no one gets the email unsolicited but still - people change.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Fri Aug 10, 2012, 09:45 AM

10. BTW it might not be much but if you sent me a link I'd donate a few dollars

Other DUers might also be interested.

For me, gotta help our neighbors!!! With Corbett in Pennsylvania and Christie in NJ, we're glad we Delawareans have O'Malley in Maryland.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Fri Aug 10, 2012, 09:50 AM

11. I would talk to Management first. Political fundraising is a LOT diff than selling candy bars

It's one thing if someone brings in one of those big boxes of candy bars and leaves it in the break room with an envelope. It's entirely different if you're asking people to support a political cause. You're company may have a policy against using work emails for political purposes and solicitation.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Fri Aug 10, 2012, 02:42 PM

12. I think it's fine if you send it to a few people that you know

I'm sure you pretty much know what their reaction to it will be before sending it. I just wouldn't send it out company wide.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Original post)

Fri Aug 10, 2012, 03:01 PM

13. I wouldn't.

Even if the company doesn't have a problem with it (which it may well might).

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