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How to Fundraise for the SHRM Foundation by NcHoc2


									                                        “Fundraising 101”
                   How You Can Support the SHRM Foundation’s Annual Campaign

This article outlines the development process including: Cultivation, Solicitation, and Stewardship and
provides you with the tools to do all three effectively on behalf of the SHRM Foundation. Fundraising on
behalf of a charitable organization (such as the SHRM Foundation) is more than just “asking for money.”
Effective fundraising is a three-step process: Cultivation, Solicitation and Stewardship. Read on to learn
more about how you can help support the SHRM Foundation Annual Campaign.

The first step of fundraising is “cultivation”— introducing people to the SHRM Foundation, educating
and explaining what we do and why our work is important to them. People are more likely to donate if
they understand our mission and the value of the work we do.

Elevator Speech:
You will want to have an “elevator speech” to introduce people to the SHRM Foundation—a quick (30
second) overview that you can give whether you are standing at an information booth, making an
announcement at a meeting, or just speaking one-on-one with a colleague. Here is an example:

“Are you familiar with the SHRM Foundation?” <No, not really.>

“The Foundation is a nonprofit organization, separate from SHRM, that invests in the future of
HR. They do this through three programs: 1 - Scholarships: The SHRM Foundation provides
more than $150,000 in scholarships each year. 2 - Research grants: The SHRM Foundation is
one of the largest funders of academic research. And 3 - Educational products: The SHRM
Foundation offers many free reports, such as the Effective Practice Guidelines series, where they
take the academic research and best practices on a particular topic and condense it into an
easy-to-read guide for HR practitioners.”

Tie the SHRM Foundation to their needs:

After your “elevator speech,” you can continue to educate your colleagues about the SHRM Foundation.
For example, if they are going back to school or are pursuing certification, tell them more about our
scholarship programs. If they have a particular issue they are struggling with in their job, see if the
SHRM Foundation has an Effective Practice Guideline or a DVD on that topic.
Direct your members to the SHRM website to download reports or read summaries of funded research,
or encourage them to contact us—we would love to help.

Resources to help you:
A PowerPoint presentation you can show to your members to give them an overview of what we do
Short articles that can be cut-and-paste into your website or newsletter
Printed materials, including Annual Campaign brochures and educational products

Contact Susan Reyes, Foundation Administrator at to request supplies.

Familiarize yourself with our work by reviewing the entire SHRM Foundation website at You are the SHRM Foundation’s “ambassador” to your members, and the
more you know about us, the more you can explain what we do.

                                         “Fundraising 101”
                    How You Can Support the SHRM Foundation’s Annual Campaign


The second step of fundraising is “solicitation”— actually asking people to donate money. People don’t
simply reach for their checkbooks and give money to an organization; they have to be asked to give.

Lead by example
Have you made a personal donation to the SHRM Foundation yet? Please “lead by example” through
your personal support and commitment to the Foundation. We recommend a donation in any amount
that is significant and meaningful to you.

Launch a Leadership Campaign
For the past several years, 100% of the Board members of SHRM and its affiliates (HR Certification
Institute and the SHRM Foundation) as well as the members of the Membership Advisory Council have
made personal donations to the SHRM Foundation. This demonstrates to SHRM members around the
country that the SHRM Foundation mission and work are important and valued among our profession’s

We encourage SHRM chapters and state councils to launch a “Leadership Campaign” among your board
members, aiming for 100% participation in the Annual Campaign. A “Leadership Campaign” is also a
requirement to receive the “Champions” designation from the SHRM Foundation. The step-by-step
process is outlined on the SHRM Foundation website.

Appeal to the sense of “giving back”
Albert Einstein said, “It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of
what he takes out of it.” This sense of “giving back” is a powerful motivator for people to donate to

All of us have a wide variety of charitable causes asking for support: our local hospital, food bank, place
of worship, school or university, arts organization, and the list goes on and on. Within this spectrum of
good and worthy causes, we would like to suggest that there is room for support of one’s profession.
Particularly among those members who have benefitted professionally (and personally) from their
affiliation with SHRM, becoming a supporter of the SHRM Foundation is an opportunity to “give back” to
the HR profession.

We often hear from SHRM members that they are proud to support the SHRM Foundation because they
want to “give back” to the profession that has meant so much to them over the years.

Hold a Special Fundraising Event
Many chapters and state councils hold special fundraising events to benefit the SHRM Foundation. In
addition to raising money, special events can raise visibility about the Foundation’s mission and work.
Some special event ideas include:

Silent Auctions – Organizing and running a silent auction does not have to be a difficult task; a
small and committed committee will do just fine. Here are some tips:
     Set an auction date, perhaps in conjunction with a conference, dinner or meeting.
     Brainstorm potential item contributors, including your members (and their employers) and local
                                        “Fundraising 101”
                   How You Can Support the SHRM Foundation’s Annual Campaign

       Publicize the auction in advance to build excitement and highlight some of the items that will be
        available for bidding.
       Decide upon a good space for the Silent Auction – you’ll want it in the midst of a high traffic flow
        area (near the registration tables or in the same room as the cocktail reception).
       Write tempting descriptions for your items and use attractive display techniques to entice
        people to bid!
       Create bidding sheets (start the bidding at about 50% of the item’s value).
       Promote the auction on-site at the registration tables and via periodic announcements.
       When the bidding is over, match up the bidding sheets and the items won, and invite the
        winning bidders to the check-out area.
       Send thank you letters to your item donors, winning bidders, and anyone else who helped
        support the Silent Auction!

Additional Creative Ideas
    Dallas HR held a special fundraising event called a “Wine Cork Pull.” They asked their members
        to donate their favorite bottle of wine, valued at $20 or more. Each wine bottle was then
        numbered and set up for display. At the luncheon, the wine bottles are set up for display so that
        members can preview the selections, and members are invited to donate $20 to the SHRM
        Foundation. Members who donate could then pick a number from a bowl – to make it more
        festive, the numbers were written on wine corks (available at art supply stores) rather than
        scrap pieces of paper. After the luncheon, they can claim the bottle of wine that corresponds to
        the number they pulled.

       The Toledo Area HR Association borrowed a very funny idea from the Live with Regis and Kelly
        TV show – a “High-Heel Walk/Run” event! Participants paid a registration fee, and everyone
        (men included) wore high heels to either run or walk the course, with a monetary prize offered
        to the winner of the race. The event was held at a park and the chapter was able to secure
        excellent media coverage, including the local TV news. Sponsors provided a small breakfast,
        goodie bags, and t-shirts.

Incorporate the SHRM Foundation into your Programs.
Another way to raise funds for the SHRM Foundation is by incorporating fundraising into your existing
programs. Some ideas include:

       Designate one month as “SHRM Foundation Month” in your chapter
        During this special month, promote the SHRM Foundation with an article in your chapter
        newsletter, make a presentation about the Foundation’s mission and activities, and use one of
        the Foundation’s educational DVDs as a chapter program, and/or hold a special fundraising
       Add an “optional donation” line to your registration forms for your state conference or
        chapter meetings
        With $5 or $10 per attendee, the total can be quite significant! Your treasurer will need to track
        these contributions separately in order to send a check to the SHRM Foundation.

                                         “Fundraising 101”
                    How You Can Support the SHRM Foundation’s Annual Campaign

       Promote the Foundation’s mission and programs at a table
        Create an informative and eye-catching display for a table. The Foundation’s color is a deep
        purple (see the Foundation’s logo), so you may want to have an inexpensive purple tablecloth to
        distinguish your display from the other tables in the room. Consider creating some posters that
        you could display on easels— PDFs of recent Effective Practice Guidelines covers could be
        enlarged at Kinko’s for a nominal fee, or you could highlight some of the Foundation’s recent
        achievements. Promote your state council’s or chapter’s fundraising goal; highlight your
        progress with a “thermometer” and fill it in as donations come in.

       Make a donation to the SHRM Foundation in lieu of speaker’s fees
        Honor the speaker(s) at your conference, luncheon, seminar or chapter meeting with a donation
        to the SHRM Foundation “in lieu of” a speakers’ fee. In other words, rather than paying a
        speaker an honorarium, your chapter or state council makes a donation directly to the SHRM
        Foundation. This option is included on the SHRM Foundation’s donation forms; contact the
        Foundation if you have questions.

       Create a “Giving Club” to encourage individual donations
        For example, in the past, the SHRM Foundation created “Club 60” in recognition of SHRM’s 60th
        anniversary. We encouraged individuals to consider donating $60 to the SHRM Foundation;
        those donors received a small pin and the opportunity to sign a banner at the Annual
        Conference. If your chapter or state council is celebrating a special anniversary, you may want to
        adapt this promotion.

Make a Tribute Gift
Honor an outstanding chapter member with a donation in his or her name. Instead of presenting
another plaque or paperweight, make an investment in the future of the HR profession with a gift to the
SHRM Foundation. Tribute gifts are a thoughtful way to honor someone whule supporting their
connection to the HR profession. Celebrate special milestones, promotions, achievements, retirements
or other special occasions with an honorary tribute gift. You may want to take up a special collection
from your members, and then present the recipient with a letter or certificate at a meeting.

Sample language for a letter or certificate:

Example #1:
On behalf of the [chapter / state council name], we thank you for being an integral part of the
success of [xxx – our conference, launch of website, membership drive, other activity]. As a
token of our sincere appreciation, we have made a donation in the amount of [$xxx] to the
SHRM Foundation in your honor.

Example #2:
Congratulations on [xxx – special anniversary, certification, retirement, publication, promotion,
other accomplishment]! In recognition of this achievement, the [chapter / state council name] is
pleased to make a [$xxx] contribution to the SHRM Foundation in your name.
Likewise, your chapter or state council could donate to the SHRM Foundation to memorialize a loved
one or express your sympathy with a memorial tribute gift. Your gift to the SHRM Foundation will be
acknowledged with a letter to the family, announcing your gift and how it will be used. The amount of
your gift will be kept confidential.

                                          “Fundraising 101”
                     How You Can Support the SHRM Foundation’s Annual Campaign

The third step of fundraising is “stewardship”—thanking and recognizing our donors and sharing the
results and accomplishments that have been made possible by their charitable donations.

Please note: The SHRM Foundation provides the “official” acknowledgement of the donations, in
a letter that can also be used for charitable tax deduction purposes. These letters are sent out
on a weekly basis, and provides not only the information required by the IRS (dollar amount,
date of donation, etc.), but also an overview of how their donation will be used to advance the
HR profession through scholarships, research grants, and educational products. Chapters and
state councils are not responsible for the official acknowledgement letters.

However, you can still support the “Stewardship” portion of fundraising by providing a prompt and
meaningful “thank you” that is warm and personalized.

Send a brief handwritten note to your members who have generously donated, thanking them for
helping your chapter or state council reach your fundraising goals.

Provide a “SHRM Foundation Donor” ribbon for nametags at your events. (Or, in lieu of a ribbon, a
small “gold star”-type of sticker can be added to nametags.)

Create your own chapter or state council “Donor Recognition” list to recognize SHRM
Foundation donors. This list could be printed in the January issue of your newsletter and/or
included on your website. Dollar amounts of personal donations are kept confidential, but the
SHRM Foundation has a list of donors, divided by state. Review this list and pull out the names
of your chapter or state council members who have donated.

You will also want to communicate with your donors about the milestones and achievements made
possible by their charitable donations
    Check the SHRM Foundation website often for announcements of new publications or other
        special news (
    Participate in the Foundation’s quarterly Core Leadership Area conference calls to hear more
        about the Foundation’s current activities

Resources to help you:
Contact Susan Reyes, Foundation Administrator ( to request printed copies of
our Annual Campaign brochure, which includes a donation form.

Direct your members to our Online Donation page on our website. Go to,
and on the left-hand toolbar, click on “Donate Now.”

The SHRM Foundation accepts donations made “in memory of” or “in honor of” individuals.
Contact us if you have questions about this option.

Detailed information about conducting a Leadership Campaign with your chapter/ state council’s
board of directors, including a sample letter, is available on our website.

This information was adapted from” Fundraising 101”, written by Lauri Perry, former Development Manager, SHRM Foundation


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