It is only through the mobilization of hundreds of modest employee gifts, contributed over the course of the year through payroll deduction, that United Way is able to raise the majority of dollars that it does to support the needed services of the local community.
Employers are instrumental in facilitating this massive fundraising effort by supporting and endorsing employee campaigns.
Employee Campaign Ambassador
The first step to running a workplace campaign is to find a supportive, enthusiastic employee to take on the responsibility of organizing with their United Way coordinator. This employee is respected by the CEO and liked by employees. The role calls for good organization and leadership skills, thorough communication, eagerness and a commitment to the United Way. Planning, structure and follow through are key to a successful campaign. You and other volunteers from within your workplace have full support and backup from the United Way staff.
The Employee Campaign ambassador:
- Recruits and facilitates a team of other employee volunteers
- Plans events and promotes the campaign
- Serves as a United Way ambassador
- Ideally is a United Way donor
- Is the coach and the employees are the team
- United Way is working for solutions versus a Band-Aid approach
- Proven results in health, education, health, financial stability and essential needs
- Donations are invested in OUR community and help our neighbors, family and friends
- Make a greater difference than any single organization can because your
dollars are invested into the community.
Responding to Concerns:
- Objections are often based on incorrect information, and we hope you will help us clarify any misconceptions
- Objections are not personal; these are not directed at you
- Show sympathy and listen carefully; let them know you care about their concerns.
- Be yourself! Asking for someone’s participation or gift is not a “win/lose” situation. We all win with any donations received/pledged.
As we have reviewed past campaigns to learn from our successes we have drawn some simple conclusions. We hope you will consider these and find them helpful as well. Campaigns that are most successful:
- Are focused and time limited; a one or two-week campaign window is most effective.
- Realize that people give from the heart and not from financial status.
- Are endorsed by business leaders. Employer match programs not only increase the dollar value of the total campaign but they offer incentives for employees to give.
- Are facilitated by employee peers or managers. Employees are more likely to be personally motivated and will feel better about giving when a peer introduces them to the idea.
- Are sure to invite every staff member to respond to the solicitation. Employers who voice a desire for 100% participation often get it. Incentives for achieving this goal can be helpful.
- Have people asking employees to participate face to face. This strategy implies an in-house campaign team.
- Set an in-house goal or challenge that asks people to rise to the occasion and surpass the past year’s accomplishment.
- Kick off their campaign with a bang with a theme, guest speakers, testimonials from employees, show the United Way video, provide food and more can be done to generate excitement for the campaign.
- Call on your United Way staff coordinator to help and do as much as possible to ensure a successful campaign.
United Way Outstanding Ambassadors
Outstanding Ambassadors are nominated each year by the United Way staff. They are honored at the annual Celebration of Impact attended by hundreds and held each March. These ambassadors go above and beyond to ensure a campaigns success and we do not take their role, time and passion lightly. The following Ambassadors have recently been honored:
Betsy Warren, AEP SWEPCO
Pam Bollman, Purina Animal Nutrition
Robyn Fawley, McElroy Metal
Brooke Farmer, Haynes International, Inc.