Best Practices

1. Get Started

It’s never too early to start planning your campaign.

  • Meet your United Way staff person.
  • Visit a United Way agency.
  • Review United Way materials.

2. Know Your Organization

Knowing your organization’s United Way history gives you a place to begin.

  • Talk to last year’s Employee Campaign Coordinator (ECC). Find out what worked and what didn’t work in your organization.
  • Work with your CEO to set an aggressive campaign goal based on the number of employees you have and last year’s campaign performance.

3. Enlist Support

This job is much easier and more fun when you have some help.

  • Your CEO’s enthusiasm can be contagious. Ask him or her to write a personal letter of support to all employees.
  • Recruit a committee representing all of the departments in your organization.
  • Ask your CEO to appoint next year’s Employee Campaign Coordinator (ECC) to work with you.

4. Decide on Solicitation Style

Decide on the best method of approaching fellow employees—group, individual, or both.

  • Group Solicitation: Employees are brought together to hear the United Way message and are then asked to fill out their pledge cards at the end of the presentation. Group solicitation allows for the best use of time and, because employees hear a uniform message, less follow-up is required.
  • Individual Solicitation: This is a one-on-one ask for an employee to make a gift. This style involves more employees but personalizes the campaign and affords you a greater opportunity to answer individual questions.
  • Both: Hold one group meeting or a series of group meetings and use the one-on-one solicitation as a means of follow-up for those who couldn’t attend a group session. Emphasize leadership giving (for personal gifts of $1,000 or more): Hold a separate group meeting for all management and professional employees to be asked prior to the employee campaign to set the pace. If this is your first campaign, ask your United Way staff person for some extra assistance with this group meeting.

5. Promote Your Campaign

By promoting your campaign, you encourage others to get involved.

  • Use United Way brochures, posters, and thermometers to build awareness of the upcoming campaign. United Way provides these at no cost to your organization.
  • Promote and publicize your campaign in employee newsletters, e-mail and other in-house communication tools.
  • Increase employee awareness by creating competition between departments. Prizes and incentives can also create interest.
  • Order items from the United Way catalog—pens, t-shirts, etc. depending on your budget.

6. Educate

It’s important for employees to understand how their contributions are being used.
United Way has many resources available to help you run an effective campaign. Campaign videos, speakers and agency tours are excellent ways to show how United Way dollars are working in our community and can enhance the effectiveness of your campaign meetings. These all help “ask” for you.

  • Order Video: United Way’s campaign video is available and is a great addition to your meeting. Order the video with your campaign supplies.
  • Book Speaker: Agency representatives, United Way and/or agency volunteers, volunteer labor representatives, or clients who have received services from a United Way agency are all available to speak at your organization and are eager to share their stories. A five-minute presentation by one of these speakers will personalize your employee meeting.
  • Book Tour: Motivate employees to give by providing a firsthand look at how contributions make a difference in our community. Tours of United Way agencies significantly impact the results of an employee campaign. Tours usually last about 30 minutes plus travel time per agency and can be arranged to accommodate your employees’ schedules. Most groups want to visit two or three agencies.
    Don’t let things pile up! Book your speakers and tours early.

7. Implement a Campaign Plan

Developing a plan helps a campaign run smoothly.

  • Schedule a short, intensive campaign. A two-week campaign has proven to be the most effective. Short campaigns keep the momentum and enthusiasm high.
  • Make a gift yourself. It is easier to ask others to give when you have given.
  • Use personalized pledge cards to make sure everyone has an opportunity to contribute. Get help from data processing and department heads.
  • Conduct an employee kickoff celebration.
  • Use the United Way campaign video in your meetings to make employees aware of the services provided locally.
  • Make sure every employee is asked to give. Don’t forget employees who work off-site, travel extensively, or are on alternate shifts.

8. Report Results

It is very important to report your results to United Way as soon as possible following the completion of your campaign. Call your Loaned Executive or United Way at 215-949-1660 ext. 114 if you have any questions.

  • Make sure all pledge cards are returned and accounted for. Turn all payroll deduction cards in to your payroll office.
  • Summarize all campaign information on the Report Envelope. Enclose cash, checks and copies of all pledge cards and designation forms.
  • Call your Loaned Executive or United Way to pick up your Report Envelope.
  • Report final results to your fellow employees and thank them for participating.