Steps for Success

Best Practices (4)

We’ve got the tools to help you make your United Way campaign stand out. Check out best practices proven to engage, excite and ultimately unite your people. The end goal? Heightened levels of contribution dollars and participation. Use these established strategies to get the job done. 


1. Getting Started

2. Involve Your CEO & Management

3. Build a Strong Committee

4. Develop a Plan

5. Build Momentum

6. Conduct an Educational Campaign

7. Wrap Up Your Campaign


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1. Getting Started
• If you’ve never been involved with your company’s employee campaign, meet with the individuals who were in charge last year. Get a head start by sharing notes, dates and best practices.

• A member of donor engagement will be assigned to assist you throughout the entire campaign process. This individual is your primary contact during the campaign and should be used to help you develop and implement a plan for success.

• Set up a meeting with your donor engagement representative to analyze past results and identify areas of opportunity.

• Make sure UWM has accurate information about your company (CEO, address, website, phone and fax numbers, number of employees, e-mail, etc.). This will affect material counts and company recognition.

• Create a timeline and prepare in advance. Don’t let your campaign sneak up on you. Check out the campaign timeline on pg. 8.

• Develop an employee communications plan that includes quick facts about United Way and stories about individuals helped by contributions. Your donor engagement representative can help provide this info!



The visible support of top management is crucial to the campaign. Keep them involved by asking them to:


• Announce your role as CM.

• Appoint next year’s CM to work with you. This will ensure a smooth transition each year.

• Authorize a payroll deduction contribution plan for employees, if one does not exist.

• Endorse a separate management campaign to promote the Bridgebuilders Society and, if appropriate, appoint a Bridgebuilders Society coordinator.

• Approve your overall campaign plan and goal.

• Allow adequate time for campaign planning, your attendance at the Campaign Manager’s Workshop, volunteer projects, group rallies, employee follow-up and thank you events.

• Send a personalized letter or e-mail endorsing the campaign prior to the kickoff.

• Endorse a young professional and retiree solicitation letter.

• Attend campaign events to endorse UWM.



• Don’t try to build the campaign on your own — gather a committee to help you. Consider your donor engagement representative a part of that team.

• Recruit a team from key areas of the organization including marketing, community relations, human resources, payroll, finance, information technology and retirees. If employees are represented by organized labor, recruit a union representative as well.

• Talk to your team about strategies and events that will work at your company.

• Clearly define roles and responsibilities.

• Remember, team members can help you follow-up with the employees during your campaign.


4. Develop a Plan

• Set a challenging goal based on last year’s total dollars raised, percent of participation, and per capita contributions.

• Decide on a theme, activities, incentives and a thank you event. Use United Way’s “Campaign Idea” book for new ideas.

• Develop a detailed timeline (see pg. 8) and calendar to identify target dates.

• Determine dates and locations for the employee rallies and identify speakers.


5. Build Momentum

• Use as many of the United Way branded tools as possible - pledge cards, posters, brochures, etc.

• Become a Fan of United Way of the Midlands on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and Twitter! We will be posting many photos of workplace campaigns.

• Use UWM Stories of Change to set the tone for the campaign and remind your audience of ways they can keep our Community Strong.

• Keep the campaign fresh in everyone’s mind by using e-mail and voicemail.


6. conduct an educational campaign

• Schedule a meeting for every employee to attend. If employees are difficult to bring together, try to schedule a rally in conjunction with another meeting, such as a staff or safety meeting. (See pg. 10)

• Distribute personalized campaign contribution cards and have a drawing for everyone who returns a contribution card by a certain date.

  • Mail your retiree letter along with a brochure and contribution card.
  • For companies using e-pledging, an electronic contribution link will be sent on the day of the kickoff and donors will receive an immediate “thank you” once a gift is submitted.

• Ask current contributors to consider increasing their gift so increasing community needs are met.

• Hold special events for current Bridgebuilders Society members and prospects.

• Place banners and posters where they are visible to employees. Update materials periodically to let employees know how close you are to reaching the goal. Additional materials are available through a member of donor engagement.

• Be sure to follow-up with individuals who haven’t turned in a contribution card to ensure everyone has been offered the opportunity to give.


7. wrap up your campaign 

Now that the rallies are complete, report the results and say thank you.


• Collect contribution cards from employees. Keep one copy for you and send one copy to UWM.

• Schedule a wrap-up meeting with a member of donor engagement to review the campaign and collect extra materials.

Complete and sign the Campaign Report Form (record retiree contributions on a separate form). If there are any additional donations after the final report has been turned in, contact your donor engagement representative for pick-up.

     - Don’t forget to include your name and phone/email on your report form.

     - Be sure to leave check or cash donations attached to their respective contribution card.

     - Ensure all checks are written to United Way of the Midlands.

     - Place funds collected at special events in a separate envelope.

• Complete the Bridgebuilders Society list and return it in the campaign report envelope. Update the list to include all new members and members who are no longer at your company. It is important to return this form to ensure that all leadership givers receive appropriate recognition. When complete, seal this along with all contribution cards, cash/checks and designation forms in the Campaign Report envelope.

• Conduct a thank you activity — serve a hot breakfast, order pizza for lunch, hold an ice cream social or give out cookies or candy that say “thank you.”

• Announce final campaign results and significant achievements.

• Recognize your committee for all of the hard work they’ve put into the campaign


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