SHRM Foundation Innovation Award – HRACC Story


In 2015, the HRACC (Human Resources Association of Central Connecticut) received the SHRM Foundation Innovation Award. Why? Because we have some pretty innovative board members at HRACC!

In 2015, our idea for the SHRM Foundation was to place a large pink piggy bank at the registration desk and encouraged attendees to drop their spare change in.  That was a little slow to get started, but we did find after a few months, a couple of members would bring us a small jar of change to donate.  While symbolic, the piggy bank was not in front of the members. We turned the corner when our SHRM Foundation Director hit upon the idea to get rid of the piggy bank at the registration desk, and put individual plastic bowls on each table at our meetings. 

During the “chapter business portion” of our meetings, we now ask the president to announce the “spare change” campaign and ask attendees to donate whatever loose change they had in their pockets or purses.  This worked pretty well.

We made one last tweak to the initiative that sealed the deal.  First, we “seed” each bowl with a few coins, by bringing our own loose change at each meeting, so the bowls are not empty upon arrival.

Then we identify a couple of volunteers at opposite points in the room at every meeting.  We tell them that their job is to ONE JOB – if they choose to accept it! – is to rattle the spare change bowl vigorously when the president makes the announcement.  Every time that happens, people in the audience will laugh, and then we hear change being dropped into the bowls.

We didn’t have a specific goal when we introduced this at the beginning of last year, so were thrilled to collect $300 in spare change donations in 2015.  This year, we decided to announce a goal of $400, and we know we’ll make it. 

In addition, in every monthly newsletter, we announce the amount collected at the last chapter meeting, the total thus far, and the amount left to meet our $400 goal. 

Even though we’re not using the piggy bank any longer at the registration desk, “piggy” has become an iconic symbol of the campaign.

As the largest SHRM Chapter in Connecticut, HRACC is committed to serving the HR community by providing superior professional development, networking opportunities, and educational resources to enhance the value of the profession. With over 35 years of influence and contributions to the HR profession, HRACC boasts several accolades within the local and national HR community.


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