Online collections. How to arrange an office collection without putting financial pressure on individuals to contribute?

Recently, I was asked to contribute towards gifts for two colleagues. One who was retiring and the other who was leaving the company and I'm not sure I liked the approach...

1 month ago

I received a request via my group work email from my manager, with a £20 suggested contribution and the bank account details to arrange a transfer.

Upon reading the email, I felt a sort of sinking feeling. An instant pressure. After-all, it was a cost that i hadn’t budgeted for and in economically challenging times, the pressure to contribute felt very real. If I transferred a lower amount to what was suggested, it would be pretty obvious. They’d see it in black and white in the bank account. Would I be the only one? Would I be perceived as being tight? Would it seem like i didn’t value  the individual or worse yet spark assumptions that i didn’t even like them?

Following a pretty thorough thought process, I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t really worth the likely risk of being judged and so i complied -  contributing the suggested amount

I hate to admit it, but making those transfers didn’t feel particularly good. I thought sharing is caring and giving is better than receiving and all that jazz… So why didn’t I feel all warm and fuzzy inside?

I came to realise that the issue wasn’t the contribution per se. It was the approach taken at that initial email request. I had no autonomy. There was a very clear expectation. I either meet it, or I don’t.

But it did make me wonder, what could’ve been done better in this scenario? How can the pressure to contribute towards a group gift be reduced?

  • As the organiser, it’s always best to make the suggestion of a contribution amount super gentle.  Make it clear that it’s simply a suggested amount and that there is absolutely no expectation for every individual to contribute the same amount. It might even be helpful to state that there will be strictly no judgement and to ultimately contribute as much or as little as you want or can.

  • One step further would be to state that contributions in general are optional and that again there is no expectation.

  • Specifying that you’d like to target a certain gift may also be helpful.. perhaps someone’s having a hard time and you’d really like to treat them to a spa day, for example. If it’s a special gift you’d like the group to buy, add it to the description. The more context and background given, the more likely people will be able to rationalise the request and be happy to contribute.

How can Viing help me to arrange a group gift without putting financial pressure of contributors?

First of all, Viing effectively becomes the middle ‘man’ between the organiser and the contributor when arranging group gifts. Viing removes the pressure on the organiser to request and chase funds and similarly removes the pressure on the contributor to contribute. It takes any awkwardness out of the equation.

How does Viing make group gifting easy and stress free all round?
  1. Individual contribution amounts are not visible on any occasion page. Only the total money pot is visible and even this can be removed by the organiser in the Settings.

  2. If organisers would like to collect money for a gift, they can make contributions completely optional, which instantly takes the pressure off for compulsory contributions.

  3. Viing’s focus is on the heartfelt messages from the group, which are of course free to add.

  4. Viing will send out automated reminders to those who have yet to write a message or contribute, so there’s no pressure on the organiser to individually chase.

  5. Viing is completely flexible. There is a great selection of carefully curated gifts, so no need to stress on how to spend the online collection pot. Options include:

  • Greetings card - online group e-cards or  physical group cards that can be printed and posted

  • eVouchers

  • Flowers, chocolates etc

  • Bank transfers are also an option for ultimate flexibility.

  • Browse the full list here

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