Creative and Fun Ideas

Incentives and creativity can help your employee campaign to be a fun and an enjoyable experience. The best way to use incentives within your campaign is to use them as prizes to collect pledge cards. All employees who submit their pledge card following the United Way presentation, whether they decide to give or not, are eligible for the drawing.

Here’s a list of both VIRTUAL and IN-PERSON ideas to help you spice up your workplace campaign with some fun and unique activities to help keep your co-workers entertained and engaged.

BINGOHelp your employees get to know United Way by accomplishing tasks that inform them more about what United Way is all about. Once someone completes BINGO, giving out some sort of prize or incentive may be a good idea. 

TRIVIACreate a fun, competitive way to get employees involved with what United Way is all about. Trivia questions can be sent out everyday that your company is running the campaign. The campaign leader may send out an email with 1-2 questions a day with the first person responding with the correct answer will get a prize. 

CREATE: Work together to create a joke or cook book where employees submit their favorite jokes or recipes. 

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW This activity is designed for small groups done over video chat. For this game United Way has provided 6 stock photos that represent the three focus areas: Basic Needs, Early Childhood Development, and Substance Use Disorder and asks employees to identify each issue area.

SPIRIT WEEK Use this high school throwback for a full week of virtual fun; pay a set amount to participate in things like Crazy Hair Day, Favorite Team/Jersey Day, Hat Day, Company Color Day, Opposite Day, Fun Zoom Background Day . . . you get the idea! Set a time for a virtual call to show your spirit, or just let it show in video meetings. Raffle a prize at the end of the week for all who participate.  

MENTORSHIP AUCTIONBid out or raffle a virtual coffee chat with C-level executives.  

RECIPE EXCHANGEHave team members submit their favorite recipes to share in an electronic cookbook. Charge a set amount to “buy” the book. 

SHARE STORIES: If appropriate in your workplace, use e-mail or voice mail to share human interest stories about people who have been helped (check out the United Way website for the stories), prize updates, progress toward your goal, United Way news, etc. 

VIRTUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT: Suggestions for how to execute this can be found here:  

MOBILE RESOURCE HUNTOrganize a resource hunt that employees can complete from their phone! The hunt can be themed to your company or even a fun way to learn about United Way!  

Supplies Needed: • Android or Apple device capable of downloading apps • Employees need a data plan or access to WiFi • Download the Goosechase app (available free from Google Play or the App Store)  


1) Work with United Way staff to create a resource hunt that employees can compete in on their own time using the Goosechase app on their phone. The app allows users to complete “missions” (clues) and post within the app once they have done so. The app keeps track of points and even allows for bonus points to be administered, and for messages to be sent to participants. Your organization would need to provide the clues for the game, and determine the stop and start times for the game.  

2) Send out email to employees describing the game and asking those interested in participating to sign-up. Email should specify how to pay to enter the game.  

3) Once your organization has a list of those who have paid to enter the game, email participants the instructions and game code to join the game. Suggested entry fee: $5

GUESSING GAMES: Guess the combined height and weight of the “Heavyweights” (management).  

VIRTUAL BOOK CLUBSuggested entry fee: $10 (suggest employees donate what they would have spent on snacks/drinks for the in-person club) 

If you are wanting some United Way swag to use as prizes, give us a call at (207) 941-2800 and we can deliver it to your office or wherever you need.


WORKPLACE AUCTION: Have employees donate items to put in an online or silent auction that is then rolled out to the whole company. There are great online services like which are free and easy to set up. 

SPECIAL DELIVERYBeep beep . . . have your company executives deliver lunch to the highest bidder or raffle winner (wave and door drop is perfect here).  

COVID SWEAR JAR: All of this talk about the virus can be tiring– looking for a fun way to change up the conversation while also raising money for a great cause? Consider a Coronavirus Swear Jar!  

Supplies Needed: • Clear jar of some type that can be placed in a public area in your business. Instructions:  

1) Place the jar in an open area and decide how much people should put in.  

2) Send out an email laying out the ground rules to fellow employee.  

Suggested entry fee: $1-2 each time the virus/crisis is mentioned (at least outside of necessary mention). All jar $ goes to United Way!  

DAYS OFF WITH PAY: One of our favorites is to offer your birthday off, a day off with pay or raffle off a whole week of vacation!

OFFER REWARDSOffer “late-riser” or “early-exit” coupons for employees to come in late or leave early one day.

CRAZY CONTESTOne idea included asking employees to gather testimonials – stories about how they (or someone they know) were helped by United Way or why they give to United Way. Give a small prize and publish the story in your employee newsletter or on your intranet site. It brings United Way closer to home! Other ideas include celebrity look-a-likes, bubble gum blowing, spelling bee, putting, basketball free throw, watermelon seed spitting, pie eating, nicest eyes, baby picture, ugly tie or scarf, trivia, paper airplane toss, ping pong or darts tournament to kickoff your campaign. Have an employees’ children’s poster contest-turn the winning work of art into a thank you postcard.

MOCK GAME SHOWAt presentations, hold a mini -“Who Wants to be a Millionaire,” “Weakest Link,” or “Survivor” quiz about United Way or about the information the Loaned Executive has just given. Give away small prizes, like lottery tickets, to winners.

COOK OFF Hold a dessert or chili cook-off, hotdog day or ice cream social for employees as a fun kick-off. Invite agencies to set up educational booths. Encourage employees to visit booths by creating games or scavenger hunts where clues are hidden with the agency representatives.

UNITED WAY WEEK: Consider a week of United Way “events” to publicize the campaign – a car wash or shoe shine by managers, a dress-down day, crazy hat day, an ice cream social, etc.

TALENT SHOWHold your own fundraiser-talent show, tag, flower/plant, book or bake sale, car wash, silent auction, wiffle ball or office golf tournament, balloon or flower delivery, walk-a-thon, line dancing or 1950s dance-a-thon, or a dunk tank.

PUBLICIZE YOUR SUPPORT: Use United Way items such as stickers or pins to publicize the campaign – people can wear them as part of the kickoff, when they give, or you can sell them as part of a fundraiser.

DONATE GOODS: Hold a food, book or clothing drive.

USE THEMES: Use a theme for presentation days, such as Hawaiian Day where everyone dresses in tropical attire. Or host a country picnic or barbecue before the presentation.

FUN FRIDAYS: On Fridays, hold weekly drawings for small prizes for anyone who turned in their completed pledge card that week. Hold the drawing in a location where employees can stop for a moment and watch.

SILLY GOAL INCENTIVES: If your company reaches their goal. Managers agree to trade jobs for the day, serve breakfast or lunch, kiss a pig, wash an employee’s car, dress up in a prom gown, shave his or her head, sit on a block of ice during a full staff meeting, buy snacks for everyone, etc.

CELEBRATE: Hold a wrap-up rally (ice cream social or pizza party) where the CEO or manager announces the amount raised and thanks employees for participating. Have management serve the food.

INFORM: Post signs by soda or coffee machines that say, “For the cost of a cup of coffee or a soda you can… make a difference in the life of a handicapped child who needs therapy, help provide shelter to the victim of domestic abuse, give a warm meal to a homeless person on a winter night, etc.

DINNER FOR FOUR: Have a drawing for 4 lobsters, dinner for 4, theatre tickets, etc. for employees who return their pledge cards the day of your individual campaign kickoff or United Way presentation. Ask employees if they might have something to donate such as a quilt, weekend at their camp, UMaine tickets, etc.