Campaign Team Guide

See below for a step-by-step guide to planning, executing, promoting and celebrating your United Way of Dane County campaign!

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. 

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

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

Learn about our Commitment to Racial Equity: United Way of Dane County publicly recognizes racism as a public health crisis, understands racism as a root cause of inequity in our society, stands in total opposition to all acts of racism and discrimination and is actively working to become anti-racist. 

Recruit a team to 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: include different departments, consider unique skills such as communication, creativity and energy, and include varying seniority levels on your team. Additionally, 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 am – 12:00 pm 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:

Be Ambitious but Realistic – Provide your coworkers with an attainable goal to reach. 

Assess Prior Year Data – Review number of donors, average gift and campaign total.

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 campaign toolkit for options.

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. Check out our campaign toolkit for options.

Volunteering – Provide a safe volunteer opportunity for employees. Encourage your employees to participate in Seasons of Caring, utilize VolunteerYourTime.org 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. Check out our campaign toolkit for options.

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 them to renew and increase their gift.

Promote Donor Networks and Affinity Groups throughout the campaign. These groups are focused on bringing together like-minded people and making a difference in Dane County.

  • Lead United is our new donor network cultivating community-minded individuals to lead 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. Donate $1,000 or more per household to become a member of Lead United.
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  • 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.
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  • 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!

Engage Retiring and New Employees in your campaign.

  • 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.
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  • 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. Check out our campaign toolkit for 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 and tag @unitedwaydaneco!

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 campaign results 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 Steve.Ticknor@uwdc.org
Haley Canik, Coordinator, Resource Development Operations
(608) 246-4390 Haley.Canik@uwdc.org