Campaign Planning
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United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County

Campaign Planning

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Welcome to your guide to running a seamless United Way campaign! As a Campaign Ambassador, your commitment to hosting a workplace campaign makes our community stronger. Whether your campaign is virtual or in person, these tips and resources will help you from start to finish.

Campaign Quick Tips

These links will help provide quick resources to guide you through your campaign.

Ambassador Guide Fundraising Activities

2022 Ambassador Training

Hear campaign best practices for virtual, in-person, and hybrid offices plus a Q&A with expert Ambassadors from local companies.

 

Register for our final virtual session below to be held on Microsoft Teams. By attending, you will be automatically entered into a drawing for a chance to win a hospitality prize generously donated by Marcus Hotels & Resorts.

 

  Thur, Oct. 6, 10 a.m.-11 a.m.

100

 

Dollars is the most common donation from an individual

1400

 

Workplaces run annual United Way campaigns in our four-county region

100

 

Percent of the funds stay local to Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee & Washington County, excluding designations

Running a Campaign: Step-by-Step

Use these steps to access materials, checklists, and resources to guide you through your campaign.

Before the Campaign

  1. Start with the Ambassador Guide & Checklist. 
  2. Attend an ambassador training. Register Now 
  3. Set up your online giving site. Create a giving site to provide an easy and efficient way for those in your organization to make donations electronically. Learn how to get started.
  4. Assemble a campaign team. Assemble a campaign team to help engage different departments and expand your reach within your organization.
  5. Engage leadership. Recruit leaders at your organization to participate in the campaign by being part of campaign videos, emails and/or encouraging their employees to donate to United Way.
  6. 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. Learn how your company can receive recognition. 
  7. Plan activities & prizes. View our list of Fundraising Activities below to get started. Don't limit yourself to those - get creative! Consider also offering prizes (like a day off with pay, flee at 3 coupon, gift cards, or virtual classes) for participating in campaign activities and/or donating. 

During the Campaign

  1. Host a kickoff! Host a company meeting (virtually or in person), 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. View our Virtual Campaign Tips
  2. Communicate daily updates. Connect with the United Way mission by sharing storiesvideos, examples of what dollars can dowhat nonprofits we fund, and who we help. Send an email every day of your campaign and consider using our templates for running a 10 Day and 5 Day email campaign along with some Daily Facts to spice up your email communications. Check out more resources at the bottom of the page!
  3. Make the ask. People give to people. Remind your time about the power of even a small gift by using our Impact Calculator. When engaging your CEO in your communication strategy, consider sharing this CEO email template.You can also promote United Way’s Leadership Society and Donor Networks.
  4. 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 and matching dollars to encourage your colleagues to give. 
  5. Share on social media. 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. View some Social Tips and Social Media Toolkit

After the Campaign

  1. Complete pledges. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. Thank donors. Send personalized thank you cards or gifts to donors – even better if leadership recognizes donors. Highlight donors of a certain level on a team call or monthly e-newsletter. If possible, host an event for leadership donors ($1,200+).

What are other Ambassadors doing?

Assemble a Team

"We’re a geographically vast organization. Our department champions are invaluable in getting our messages to the frontlines. These volunteers are trusted by their colleagues and are adept at delivering the campaign messaging in a way that will engage the individuals in their respective areas. This is key to reaching the masses."

 - Robert Kennedy,
We Energies

Leverage Leadership

"Our CEO hosts a United Way leadership breakfast for Milwaukee-area employees who gave at the leadership level of $1,200. As they leave the breakfast, they each receive a letter from the CEO (sample letter) with a personalized request to give to the campaign. By the end of that day, Johnson Controls leadership givers have set the pace for the campaign and provides steps for the rest of the employees to participate."

- Annemarie Scobey-Polacheck,
Johnson Controls

Daily Drawings

"Our most effective special event is our daily drawings. The company has been generous in offering available resources (Packers tickets, parking spots, small grants to nonprofit of choice, etc.) for these drawings. Employees know that the sooner they pledge, the more drawings they qualify for. Because of this, we typically will reach 60-65% of our dollar goal during the first two days of the campaign." View incentive ideas.

- Thomas Rosenthal,
Northwestern Mutual

Host a Campaign Kick Off

"To kickoff the campaign, we use a large company meeting with leadership involvement. We often have a speaker discuss how United Way donations help with funding for their programs. We campaign for 2 weeks with 2-3 activities each week. Spreading it out seems to help with getting more people to engage and make time for the activities."

- Stephanie Neuenfeldt, EMC Insurance 

Department Competitions

"One of our newest special events that we started last year was Department Change Wars. We are very competitive when it comes to winning. The following rules for this event: Add all your coins to your team’s jar to ensure your team’s victory or place dollars in your opposing team’s jar to count as negative coins, helping to ensure their defeat. This event has been the most successful in raising money for United Way." See full list of ideas.

- Der Vang,
Visit Milwaukee