Campaign Team Guide

United Way is your philanthropic partner of choice, connecting the dots between the change you want to see in our community and those who make it happen. United Way helps engage employees, develop team members and retain top talent. They help us touch and feel the work that truly makes an impact on people’s lives.

Below is a series of tools designed to help you create a successful campaign. Every minute and dollar we invest in our community will help stabilize families and make our community stronger. With your help, we can move toward our vision of a Dane County where everyone can succeed in school, work and life. 

Fillable Campaign Guide

Before you start assembling your team, it’s a good idea to get to know United Way of Dane County. Whether this is your first year running a campaign or you are a seasoned pro, these materials will help you understand why your campaign is so important and show you the impact your dollars make. 

Click to read our Annual Report: Want a quick way to learn about United Way and it’s impact? This is a great place to start.

Click to learn about our Agenda for Change: Our community’s Agenda for Change is a road map for family stability and mobility from poverty. 

Click to discover our New Investment Process: United Way of Dane County is committed to multi-generational, holistic strategies that support families with young children.

Recruiting a team will help make your campaign as successful and stress-free as possible. Team members provide great ideas, support for your campaign and will help you create a more engaging and compelling message. Recruit from all areas in your organization:

  • Different Departments
  • Unique Skills including communication, creativity and energy
  • Varying Seniority Levels

Activate Leadership – Ask your CEO and other Leaders throughout your organization to help on your campaign team.

Register your Campaign Team for ThinkTank on Friday, August 13, 8:00 – 12:00 to learn about this year’s messaging and campaign tools. 

One of the most important first steps to planning your campaign is setting your goal. A well planned goal should generate excitement and participation throughout the campaign. Use the tips below to set a goal for 2020:

Be ambitious but realistic so your coworkers have an attainable goal to reach. 

Assess prior year data – Review number of donors, average gift and campaign total found on the CEO Case.

Identify potential growth – Increase participation and existing gifts. Look for opportunities to increase support through corporate matches, corporate gifts or sponsorships! 

Communicate goal to Leadership  Share your recommended goal with leadership and gain approval to move forward with goal.

Share your goal with United Way  Send your goal to your United Way Liaison, if you do not know who that is, send it to our Campaign Department

Setting your timeline and nailing down how you will share your content should be done as early as possible to ensure a smooth campaign.

Set your Campaign Timeline – Set your start/end dates and kickoff events. Determine the length of your campaign, whether you will host in-person or virtual events and the dates for those events.

Determine Pledge Platform – Provide convenience for your employees through ePledge or prep a data file for personalized paper pledge forms to share with your Loaned Executive after your first meeting.

Use the resources below to create a successful campaign. A strong campaign should include an educational element, an empathy-building element and an exciting element. Keep it simple and fun using the tools below:

Special Events – Include one or more special events in your United Way Campaign to help promote team spirit, raise awareness around community needs and increase your campaign total. Check out our NEW guide.

  • Virtual Trivia Sign-up for a virtual trivia event hosted by United Way of Dane County. We will provide the Technology, Questions and Entertainment. This event can be customized to what you are looking for! Request more information now!
  • Bingo Send out bingo cards and either host an event to call numbers or send out 1 number every hour throughout the campaign. Email us if you’d like PDF Bingo Cards!
  • Virtual 5k Encourage exercise and healthy habits by hosting a virtual 5k run/walk. Send out a sign up, collect funds and have fun! Ask people to share selfies to increase participation.
  • Virtual Fitness Challenges – create real-life human champions out of your employees and allow anyone, anywhere to support UWDC by remaining healthy and active. Use our preferred partner, Kilter, to set up a wide range of wellness and fitness challenges to engage your workforce. Ideas include: all-inclusive wellness challenge, steps challenges, 5K or other runners challenges, cycling challenges, or a virtual triathlon! Kilter is a mobile platform that does all the work for you and for your employees; collects registration costs, allows employees to track any fitness or wellness activity, provides real-time in-app engagement and leaderboards, provides detailed engagement reports delivered back to you, and for your UWDC campaign, it will give employees the ability to seamlessly achieve higher fundraising targets! Email to learn more.
  • Silent Auction Set up a silent auction where employees can bid on items, baskets and experiences. Get creative by offering experiences like virtual coffee with the CEO, virtual paint night or cooking classes. The more creative, the higher the bids! If you’re looking for a virtual platform, check out
  • Bucky Book – The Bucky Book makes a great gift! $12 from each book comes directly to United Way of Dane County and gets applied towards your special event total. Share this opportunity with your staff and help raise money for our community!
  • Virtual Paint Night – Host a virtual paint night with Wine & Design Madison with $10 of each paint kit coming back to United Way of Dane County. They are experts in stream-lined virtual events and can make paint kits available for pickup. 10 person minimum. Email for more information!

Engagements – Educate and engage your employees by utilizing one of these customized engagements. These have been built to help employees understand the obstacles our neighbors in Dane County live through each and every day. Click here for our NEW Engagement Menu!

Volunteering – Provide a safe volunteer opportunity for employees. Encourage your employees to participate in Seasons of Caring, utilize to find opportunities or request information about corporate volunteer opportunities through the Business Volunteer Network.

Incentives – Add Incentives for attending meetings, submitting pledge forms or increasing annual gift to encourage participation.

It’s important to communicate to all groups at your company throughout the campaign. Use these tips to thank donors, encourage participation in United Way groups and engage new audiences.

Thank Past Donors at the beginning of the campaign. Past donors are the base of your campaign, let them know you appreciate their support and encourage continued participation.

Get Staff involved with our new Donor Network (Lead United) and encourage participation in our Affinity Groups (LINC and Women United). These groups are focused on bringing together like-minded people and making a difference in Dane County.

  • Lead United – NEW in 2020! Lead United is our new Donor Network focused on cultivating community-minded individuals in their workplaces, in our community and through their philanthropy. This group of local leaders is invested, compassionate and focused on understanding Dane County’s critical issues and achieving professional growth.
  • Women United is a diverse circle engaging women as an emerging and powerful philanthropic force. This group is impacting and investing in the future of the community through education
  • LINC (Lead. Impact. Network. Change.) is a volunteer-driven group that learns about the issues facing our community and personally helps make a difference. It is an opportunity to elevate your community, connections and calendar through unique volunteer events, then connect over food and drinks!


  • Retirees – Invite retirees to continue giving with your organization’s campaign to keep them connected with your events and increase the impact of your campaign.
  • New Hires – Include campaign information and a pledge form when onboarding new employees. This shows your company’s social responsibility and invites new employees to start participating before your annual campaign.

Having a clear communication plan is key to a successful campaign. Use the tips below to keep your campaign fun and top of mind with your employees.

Develop a communication plan – decide how often and what type of communications you’ll be sending. Some examples include CEO Endorsement Communications (could be an email, letter or video), Invitations to United Way Events, or craft an email campaign using United Way templates. 

Use Social Media to spread the word about your Campaign. Follow and tag us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Update Employees on Campaign Progress – send participation levels and dollars “in” to date to keep working towards your campaign goal through your intranet or an email. If you have successes, share on social media!

Congrats on your successful campaign. Connect with your United Way Liaison about results, documentation and next steps. 

Report Results to your United Way Liaison to debrief final results, document your 2020 campaign and identify campaign strengths and opportunities. Take a moment to enjoy this time, it’s a great opportunity to celebrate your successes and start planning for next year.

Conduct Follow-up with any individuals who missed the campaign deadline or were out of the office during the campaign. Ask your Liaison if you need donor details.

Thank All Donors through personalized messages or by hosting an event. As we mentioned before, employee donations are the base of your campaign. Make sure everyone feels appreciated and happy with their participation in the annual campaign.

It’s never to early to begin planning for next year. Consider year-round engagements and get involved with United Way outside of the campaign.

Develop a year-round Engagement Strategy – Share and participate in United Way events and communications, connect on social media and make 211 resources available year-round.

Promote Your Service We appreciate all your work with raising funds and awareness for programs that make measurable results in our community. Please take this time to add your service and accomplishments on your Resume or LinkedIn.

Contact us for help identifying employees’ interests, coordinating events and volunteer opportunities that match those interests and meet community needs, and to make meaningful connections to nonprofits across our communities.

Steve Ticknor, Director, Development Operations
(608) 246-4386
Haley Canik, Coordinator, Resource Development Operations
(608) 246-4390