Q-Tips: Get Connected!

Q-Tips is a semi-regular set of lighthearted musings and observations from Quinn Slayton, Dynamo Director of Resource Development.

I’m guessing, like many Americans, your personal inbox and your home mailbox are full of junk. Newsletters, action requests from your political party or cause, coupons from retailers, forwarded messages from your Aunt Nancy with pictures of cats, and a thousand other offers you’re pretty sure you never signed up for. A quick glance, and then most of it ends up in the real-life or electronic trash.

It’s because of this media overload that people have become increasingly cautious with sharing their personal information. We see it all the time at United Way during the campaign. Pledge cards with blank spaces where a home email or phone number belongs. Some crafty donors might even leave a bogus email address (johnnydonor@don’temailmeplease.no) or phone number (555-555-1212). You got me there, donors.

I understand.  It can be overwhelming out there, and no one wants to be bothered with one more thing. However, there are really good reasons why you should share your personal email, home address, and phone number when you give to United Way.

Here are 7 reasons why:

  1. So we can say thank you. When was the last time you received a call from a real person just to say “thank you”? When was the last time a handwritten note showed up in the mail?
  2. To recruit you for an awesome volunteer opportunity. Every year we recruit hundreds of volunteers to give back for Day of Caring. Imagine spending a work day outside in the sunshine with your coworkers helping a local organization. You’ll have good karma points for life.
  3. To invite you to a really cool event. Like Purses for a Purpose: high end purses auctioned for a good cause combined with delicious hors d’oeuvres and mingling with the coolest women in our region. ‘Nuf said.
  4. So we can tell you heartwarming stories of what your donations are making possible. Have you seen the United Way blog lately? Or the Faces of Your Investment stories on our website? Both are great reading and are guaranteed to give you goose bumps and warm fuzzies.
  5. So we can ask you for feedback. United Way is about bringing the best people together to come up with the best solutions. We value your feedback when we make decisions on how to invest your donations.
  6. So we can keep in touch even after you change jobs or retire. Want to know how to make a fundraiser cry? When an email bounces back because the work address is no longer valid. I’m tearing up right now just thinking about.
  7. Because we won’t bug you or share your information. Our single goal in collecting contact information is to say thank you and keep you informed. United Way sends out monthly e-newsletters, twice a year print newsletters, and invitations to specific events.

My job with United Way isn’t just about raising money: it’s about creating lasting relationships with our donors. The goal is to get to know you, find out what you like, why you give, and involve you in the amazing work we do in the community. Sharing your information with us means we have more opportunities to talk to you about the impact of your gift. We want you to feel great about giving to United Way. Because you’re pretty amazing.