How to Ask for Donations for a Retirement Gift

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Retirement party with office workers.
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Asking coworkers to pitch in for things like retirement gifts can be tricky; this is because, while some may be happy to participate, others might not wish to, or might be unable to afford it. It is wise to keep things professional during such a discussion, so you might want to send an email to ask for contribution for a farewell gift. If you aren't sure how to word such a note or even how to start, there are some online resources that can serve as inspiration.

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Sample Email for Collecting Money for Gift

Before composing emails asking for money, it is important to see if your company has a gift giving policy. These policies should include the circumstances in which employees can accept gifts, explain from whom employees can accept gifts, define what kinds of gifts are allowed and provide guidance for what is and is not appropriate. These kinds of policies usually also emphasize the importance of keeping things professional in correspondence and gift selections. Avoid pressuring coworkers or choosing highly personal items like clothing, for example.

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There are several types of emails that you could send for collecting money for a gift. They all should start out by addressing the coworkers with salutations like "Dear colleagues," and the first sentence describes the upcoming event. The first sentence might read, "On December 1, (NAME) will be retiring from (COMPANY NAME)." The subsequent sentences can explain that a collection is being taken up to purchase a gift, and the amount of money requested.

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Letters to Employees About Gifts

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A letter to employees asking for contributions towards a gift does not have to specify the amount requested. Colleagues can be asked to contribute as much as they want. If a gift has been chosen, that should be mentioned. Otherwise, the colleagues can be told that a decision has not be made, but suggestions are welcome. The email should also include the date by which the contributions need to sent, and how to submit them.

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Not all employees will respond to these emails or notes, so you may have to follow up with an additional round of emails to remind them. Those who do not answer either the first or second email probably do not want to contribute to the gift. You should not pressure them, so do not send a third reminder. Not everyone can afford to contribute, and there may be people who do not like the retiring employee.

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Tips for Employee Contribution Emails

Even when coworkers do not want to contribute to gifts, they still need to be included in the emails or letters you send out. Inclusion lets everyone know that they are important to the company, and leaving people out can lead to problems in workplaces. It is also not a good idea to simply give cash gifts, as this is usually deemed as inappropriate. Sometimes when you send an email to ask for a contribution for a farewell gift, you can suggest the amount of money to contribute and allow employees to give what they can.

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Although people retire at random times, it is also better to hold these kinds of celebrations and gift giving events when other types of events might pose conflicts. For example, they should not be held when employees are having performance reviews, as this can provide more pressure to contribute. It is also better to avoid them near the holidays or at times of the year when a lot of employees are on vacation.

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