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United Way Fundraising Campaign Checklist

Our corporate partners are the backbone of the work we do.  More than 1,000 local companies partner with us to run workplace fundraising campaigns and participate in volunteer events. This post is part of a series of articles designed to celebrate our corporate partners, highlight the amazing work they’re doing, and help ECMs in their role. 

We know many companies are launching their internal fundraising campaigns soon, and since we recently wrapped up our own internal campaign, we wanted to pass on some advice and lessons learned. Here’s how to get started.

1. Recruit your FUNDRASING Campaign Planning Team 

Start with sparking engagement by inviting all colleagues to join you in the planning process (colleagues with different backgrounds, different departments, etc.). Getting collaborators on board from the start increases the buy-in in the planning process, promotes better brainstorming sessions, and increases overall fun!  

2. Choose your dates 

Think about dates that could work for staff with different schedules. For example, staggering your campaign over 2 weeks from Wednesday-Wednesday. Some people may be on vacation or have time off during part of one week but could participate the other half of the week. This year, we held our internal campaign from August 25th to September 1st. 

3. Set a budget 

Identifying a budget is key when starting to plan any event. The budget can also help decide the type of campaign you’ll have (virtual, in-person, or hybrid). 

4. Choose your FUNDRAISING goals & theme for the week  

Is the goal to raise a certain amount of money, increase participation in the campaign from the year before, or both? Once you’ve set that – it’s time to come up with a fun theme that your employees can have fun with. Our theme this year was Re-United! 

5. Identify your audience  

Identifying the audience is helpful when narrowing down the overall goal, planning events, and games. Inclusivity is key to increase participation and bring in donations. 

6. Select your cause 

It can be helpful to choose a cause that the majority of your employees care about. United Way’s focus areas include ending homelessness, moving families out of poverty, early childhood education and preparing youth for success. By centering your campaign around these themes, you can provide more in depth information on the impact your organization will have.  

7. Discuss safety measures and comfort levels 

Does your company prefer a virtual campaign? Or a hybrid model with safety measures? This year, we decided to hold a hybrid campaign, with all virtual events except one optional outdoor in-person event 

What’s next?  

After identifying dates, budget, overall goals, theme, and vision, begin thinking about: 

  • Kick-off and events: in-person or virtual
  • Games 
  • Speakers
    • United Way 
    • Employees 

Choosing the right technology  

There are tons of platforms to use for virtual or hybrid campaigns. Here are a few suggestions:   

  • Zoom  
  • Microsoft Teams  
  • One Cause (for virtual auctions)  

Wishing you a fun and successful 2021 campaign! Share your experience with us @unitedwaymabay.