Conferences and events are not just platforms for networking and learning; they also offer a powerful opportunity to give back to the community. Whether it’s monetary giving, volunteering, partnership, or sponsorships, there are many ways to make an impact when hosting a corporate event or conference. 

For this particular article, we’ll focus on incorporating monetary giving at your event. It can be a bit intimidating to ask attendees to make monetary donations… especially if they’ve already paid to be part of the event. But with a little creativity and an authentic corporate social responsibility (CSR) program, inspiring your attendees to support the causes you’ve selected will be simple. Here are some suggestions for incorporating monetary giving into your next corporate event.

Registration Fees and Ticket Sales

One of the simplest ways to incorporate charitable giving is to allocate a portion of ticket sales or registration fees to a chosen charity. You can either include the donation in the ticket price or offer attendees the option to add a donation during the registration process. It’s important to clearly state how much of the ticket price will go toward the charity. 

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Silent Auctions and Raffles

Silent auctions and raffles are popular methods to raise funds at events. Encourage attendees to bid on donated items or buy raffle tickets for a chance to win exciting prizes. All proceeds should go to the designated charity. Consider setting up an online silent auction to encourage pre- and post-event participation. Don’t worry – there are plenty of software programs to help you execute. 

Secure a Matching Donation Sponsor

Partner with sponsors who are willing to match any donations made by attendees during the event. It’s typical to set an “up to” amount, which encourages attendees to help reach that amount and give more generously knowing their dollar is being doubled.

If you’re hosting an employees-only event, be sure to tout your matching gift program (if you have one). Over 65% of Fortune 500 companies offer a matching donation program to their employees yet nearly $7 billion in matching gifts go unclaimed each year. If the process is a bit antiquated, share step-by-step instructions to help employees submit their matching gift requests. 

Photo by Carmen Murillo for Getty Images

Text-to-Give or QR Code Campaigns

Everyone is likely carrying a smartphone. Leverage that technology to make donating easy and accessible. Set up a text-to-give campaign where attendees can simply text a keyword to a designated number to make a donation or create a QR code for them to scan that takes them right to the donation form.

Be sure to display the text-to-give information and the QR code prominently throughout the event, including on screens, in programs and printouts, and on social media. Again, there are plenty of software options available to make this simple. 

Photo by Diva Plavalaguna from Pexels

Information Booths and Session Presentations

Bring in representatives from the chosen charity and help them set up an information booth. This will allow attendees to learn more about the cause and make direct donations if they choose to. You can also invite the charity to give short presentations before the start of sessions or share videos and stories throughout the event. More visibility for the organization gives them more opportunity to get their name out there. 

Merchandise Garage Sale

Clean out your merchandise closet and put on your best salesperson hat. Whether it’s department swag, past conference t-shirts and gear, or current year conference merch, everyone likes a little something to remember the occasion. Sell the merchandise with all proceeds going to the chosen charity. Not only do you get a clean and organized closet, you’re providing a sizeable cash donation to the charity. 


Everyone loves a little competition. Incorporate an interactive donation display that engages attendees and encourages them to contribute to the cause. For example, a digital wall that visually represents the progress towards the fundraising goal can motivate attendees to give. Take it a step further and offer rewards or recognition for donors.

Spare Change Drops

Create a space where people can drop their spare change throughout the day. Whether they’re coming from lunch, cleaning out the pennies from the bottom of their laptop bag, or prefer to make cash donations instead of digital donations, there is something about contributing tangible currency. You can also set up some stations that accept credit cards and payment app payments to make donating accessible to anyone. 


In this economy, asking people to open their wallets isn’t easy. And it’s important for companies to be sensitive to that. However, people want to help how they can. Every little bit counts and it’s important for you to communicate that with the measures you take to incorporate monetary giving. Be sure to promote the chosen charity before, during, and after the event to maximize participation, grow understanding, and achieve your fundraising goals.

Kadi McDonald is a freelance writer, marketing strategist, and proud Cleveland sports fan.