Welcome to your guide to running a seamless United Way campaign! Whether your campaign is virtual or in-person, these timelines, tips, checklists and additional content will help you throughout the entire process. Thank you for your commitment to your community through United Way.
Jump to Before Your Campaign, During the Campaign, or After planning section.
Virtual Campaign Links
Not your first campaign? These links will help you navigate a familiar campaign in a new virtual environment.
Before the Campaign
Attend an Ambassador Training
The first step in understanding how to run a campaign will be to attend a virtual ambassador training. As the campaign ambassador for your organization, you will be the face of United Way to your coworkers. Your role is to provide your colleagues with all the information they need to understand what United Way is and why their donation helps create lasting change in their community.
Review the Campaign Checklist
This checklist provides a step-by-step guide to make sure you are well on your way to plan, run and wrap-up your campaign. Use this document for a timeline and checklist to use from start to finish of your campaign.
How Long is a Campaign?
Now that you’ve attended the training, let’s get started! Campaigns generally are best when kept to two weeks or less. This lets you keep up the momentum of your activities and communications without the risk of overwhelming your colleagues.
Assemble a Campaign Team
Assemble a campaign team to help engage your department and team. A good ratio is one campaign team member per every 25 employees.
Set a Campaign Goal
Set a campaign goal that your campaign team and employees can rally behind. Determine your goals based on the previous year’s performance, opportunities, and challenges.
Plan Employee Activities
View our comprehensive list of activities and events below to get started. Don't limit yourself to those - get creative! Select events to engage your colleagues. Daily prizes (prizes could include a day off with pay, flee at 3 coupon, gift cards, or virtual classes) trivia, raffles, etc. are a great way to keep people connected. Consider having individual prizes for those who reach their personal goals and for teams who reach their goals.
SAVE THE DATE! Set key points for distributing company-wide messaging, e.g., announcement of the campaign, launch day, mid-campaign, final push and thank you. Don’t forget to send calendar invites.
Promote the Campaign
Spread the word! Promote the campaign throughout your organization. Work closely with your organization’s leadership team, including promoting leadership giving. You can even purchase Live United t-shirts to help your employees show their spirit on zoom or in the office!
During the Campaign
Host a Kickoff
KICKOFF IS HERE ALREADY? Your kickoff may look different this year, and that’s okay. Host a company meeting, announce your goals, and share the “why” of United Way with your colleagues. Welcome a United Way speaker to join your kickoff or play a United Way video to inspire colleagues.
Share United Way's Message
Share “why United Way” with stories, videos, examples of what dollars can do, what nonprofits we fund, and who we help. A picture is worth a thousand words! Use photos or videos when possible in your communication and storytelling. This helps connect people to the United Way mission.
Check out the resources at the bottom of the page!
Communicate Daily Updates
Communication is key. Coordinate messaging throughout the campaign on a company-wide level. Consider sending a daily campaign update email every day at the same time. Use our daily email campaign templates below. Use your recruits that are helping with the campaign to make asks of their team. Consider phone calls or virtual meetings in addition to emails. People give to people. When engaging your CEO in your communication strategy, consider sharing this CEO email template.
Promote Leadership Society
Remember to communicate the different giving levels and corresponding recognition levels. Learn more about United Way’s Leadership Society and Donor Networks.
Promote Incentives for Giving
People love perks! Promote any corporate match, corporate gifts, or other incentives to increase contributions. United Way also has a Give & Win Sweepstakes, impact coupons, and matching dollars to encourage your colleagues to give.
Award Prizes for Activities
Let the games begin! Daily prizes, trivia, raffles, etc. are a great way to keep people connected. Consider having individual prizes for those who reach their personal goal and for teams who reach their goals. Incorporate prizes to go when colleagues participate in some of the activities listed below!
Celebrate Your Wins
Celebrate your wins! Keep the momentum going by celebrating daily wins and keeping the progress of the campaign at the top of all communication. Click below to read more about corporate recognition opportunities.
Share on Social Media
#SharingIsCaring. Post the video to your company intranet and encourage leadership to record update videos to share how your campaign is going and if you’ve reached campaign goals. Share ways coworkers can post about the campaign on their social media pages, too.
After the Campaign
Campaign is over - that went fast! Make sure to collect any paper pledge forms and remind your colleagues to get their pledges in electronically if they haven’t yet! Follow up on corporate contributions or employee matches before calculating the results. Once results are calculated, review them with your team members and prepare the final report envelope for your United Way representative.
Announce Your Results
Shout from the rooftops! Announce your outstanding results to all employees. Share your success on your social media channels and in other employee communications.
Thank Leadership Giving
Recognize your leaders. Send thank you emails from your company or campaign leadership to donors. Highlight donors of a certain level on a team call or monthly e-newsletter. If possible, host an event for donors who give at a certain level. Publicize results and reiterate the impact of gifts via your company newsletter, email or intranet.