How we Dip: Q. and A. with Polar Dip experts and reigning Spring Things champs!
Ahead of the WWF’s Polar Dip on Feb. 28, we’ve received questions from aspiring dippers looking for advice on how they can rally their teams and blow their fundraising targets out of the water.
To answer your questions, we’ve enlisted Polar Dip veteran Gillian Hrycko, environmental programs manager at Hewlett Packard Enterprise Canada and Esha Bhatti, environment and business analyst at HP Canada. Spearheading dip teams for the reigning Spring Things champs, they know how to pull off a successful dip.
Q: I am passionate about sustainability and am always looking to make a difference at the office. When I found out about WWF’s Polar Dip, I wanted to get involved right away. Unfortunately, my workload for the next quarter is jam-packed. How do I pursue something I love without falling behind on my workload?
Gillian: Your busy workload shouldn’t stop you from pursuing what you’re passionate about. However, you may need some help from a few keen colleagues. Your first step should be to recruit volunteers to join you in Polar Dip planning and assign them tasks to help reduce your workload. Many of them are probably looking for ways to make a difference at work, too.
Q: I heard about WWF’s Polar Dip and it sounds like a great event! However, I have conflicting emotions. On one hand, I’d love to get my company to support WWF-Canada’s Arctic conservation work. But on the other hand, my colleagues aren’t exactly the adventurous types. What can I do to convince my colleagues to participate without getting laughed at?
Esha: A great way to encourage participation in your Polar Dip is to create incentives for your co-workers to dip. Whether it be a department challenge, a prize for signing-up or for bragging rights, everybody loves a little competition. You can also share this video with your colleagues to help them see just how much fun it really is! For those who just can’t be convinced to take the plunge, WWF’s Polar Bear Walk is another way they can make a difference for the Arctic, with a little less of the ‘chill’ factor.
"Your busy workload shouldn’t stop you from pursuing what you’re passionate about." - Gillian Hrycko, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Q: On February 28, I’ll be jumping into Lake Ontario for WWF’s Polar Dip, and I am super pumped! I’ve invited almost everyone in my office to join me – except for my CEO. Frankly, I’m a little scared to ask. But, I know that getting her involved will significantly help us raise funds and get even more employees involved. How do I get over my fear of approaching the CEO about the dip?
Gillian: The truth is, no CEO would be unimpressed with an employee going above and beyond and taking the lead on driving positive change for the community. In fact, engaging employees is actually good for business. That said, it can still be overwhelming to approach a senior leader. To help with this, practice a script or bring a colleague along with you to support you in making the ask. Regardless of their answer, I guarantee your CEO will appreciate your enthusiasm and it will reflect positively on you as an employee.
Q: We’ve been working hard to fundraise for our Polar Dip, but we’re struggling to move that thermometer up and it’s really affecting our confidence to continue fundraising. Can you share any tips on how we can take our fundraising to the next level?
Gillian: Firstly, it’s great to hear that you’ve set a fundraising goal for your team – that’s a critical first step. To take things to the next level, try organizing different events to raise funds for the Polar Dip. You can host a raffle, organize a bake sale, or even have a polar dip costume competition or auction (which, for us, actually led to our CFO dipping in a tutu).
Q: Our company is very excited to be participating in the Polar Dip. I’ve sent out an email inviting my coworkers to participate, but I’m not sure how else I can reach them. Do you know of any other ways I can spread the word?
Esha: There are a number of different ways that you can spread the word. For example, you can share the Polar Dip via your company Intranet site, post in an internal newsletter, or drop mini pamphlets at your colleagues’ desks. Take it to the next level by encouraging management to talk about it in all-employee meetings, or by setting up a Polar Dip booth over the lunch break. All you need to remember is to get creative and communicate often.
If you have any more questions or would like to register for the Polar Dip, visit our campaign page.