The Little Book of BIG Campaign Ideas

Your Commitment. Our Experience.

Together, we can create a better future for all. 

Thank you for serving as an Employee Campaign Coordinator (ECC) for Untied Way of South Wood & Adams Counties! Your Energy and effort is greatly appreciated.

As an ECC, you have the unique opportunity to harness the generosity, talent, and energy of your workplace to give back to the community and help United Way's efforts in building a stronger, healthier south Wood and Adams Counties. 

As and ECC, you'll have an array of support materials to guide you each step of the way. There are four things you need to remember in this role and winning ideas for successful campaigns:

  • Engage - Make giving personal and meaningful.
  • Motivate - Create specific events that inspire action.
  • Ask - "Not being asked" is one of the top reasons for not giving. 
  • Thank - Recognize everyon's contributions to the campaign, not just their donation. 

Whether this is your first year as an ECC, or if you are an ECC veteran, the information in this guide will help you plan and execute a smooth and successful United Way campaign. We encourage you to use the materials we've provided and know United Way of South Wood & Adams Counties is always ready to support you in every possible way.

Thank you again for joining the United Way team!


8 Easy Steps to a Successful Campaign

1.  Be Informed:  Know Your United Way

Knowledge is power! If you were to ask most people what United Way of South Wood & Adams Counties (UWSWAC) does, they will tell you we raise money and give it away to other nonprofits. And they'd be correct, but that's not the WHOLE story.

UWSWAC is a charitable nonprofit that works closely with community leaders to identify the biggest needs of south Wood and Adams Counties.

We offer grant opportunities to programs that address these identified issues to improve the quality of life for everyone. We believe in making our community stronger. By working together on critical issues, we take steps to improve our communities where we work, live, and raise a family. 

With your support we can transform lives and create positive change by improving four areas: Education, Income, Health, and Safety Net Services.

2.  Build Your Team

Gain support! Develop a campaign team. Things to think about:

  • Review past performance and explore upcoming campaign themes and materials
  • Get CEO's personal endorsement
  • Approval for events, incentives, payroll deduction, etc.
  • A corporate gift
  • Include a representative from all areas of your organization
  • Recruit people who believe in United Way and will help others get excited about the campagin
  • Set up regular committee meetings and delegate responsiblities

3.  Plan and Prepare

Decide what will work best for your company’s environment.

  • Decide on activities, incentives and a thank you event.
  • Develop a timeline.
  • Set a challenging goal based on total dollars raised and/or percent of participation.
  • Determine when employee meetings will take place.
  • Remember to include retirees in your activities.
  • TIP:  check out our “TOOL KIT” of resources that can help you plan yourcampaign.  Tools are listed under the “Campaign” tab and includes “Campaign in a Bag,” Success Stories, Quick Facts, etc.

4.  Promote United Way

Educating employees about the value and work of United Way is the best way to gain their support.

  • Use United Way literature (brochures, posters, event flyers).
  • Invite United Way staff to speak to employees at a kick-off/employee meeting about how to invest in their community and change lives (use our online order tool to reserve a speaker).  
  • Use email, social media, company website/intranet, employee newsletter/e-newsletter, payroll stuffers, etc.

5.  Make the Ask

Did you know... the number one reason why people don’t give to United Way is because they were not asked?  That is why it’s important to make sure every employee is given an opportunity.

Asking people to donate may seem intimidating at first, but here are some easy tips to make you feel at ease:

  • Ask for the pledge: With new donors, ask for a first-time gift. For annual donors, thank them for their past support and encourage an increase
  • Answer questions and handle concerns: Answers questions honestly and if you don't know the answer contact UWSWAC
  • Leverage incentives: Employees prizes and incentives are a way to reward employees for participating
  • Say thank you: Regardless of what the donor decides, thank them for their time.

6.  Develop a FUN Campaign

Office Luncheon
Invite employees to participate in an office luncheon and charge a nominal fee. Easy ideas include: Baked Potato Bar, Taco Bar, and Pancake Breakfast.

Variation of Pink Flamingos
Make cut-outs of flamingos and host a "flocking" by charging staff $1.00 for a flamingo to "flock" other offices.

Donut Days
Bring in donuts one day each week and serve with coffee or juice for a nominal cost.

Mini-Golf Tournament
Have a mini-golf tournament at a local miniature golf course - or set one up in hallways or conference areas in your building.

Golden Tickets
Create your own Willy Wonka and Golden Tickets - place the golden tickets inside chocolate bar wrappers. Use donated prizes and correspond a number inside the wrapper with each prize. Each person who returns a pledge form recieves a candy bar. 

Half and Half
Employees donate a dollar (or more) to be kept in a container. Hold a drawing where the employee who wins keeps half the "pot" and United Way recieves the other half.

Midnight Breakfast
If your organization has a third shift, charge employees for a midnight breakfast served by executives and day employees.  Ask your United Way representative to schedule a speaker.

Quirky Holiday
Use a quirky holiday to raise money. For example, have a nacho bar in the lunchroom on November 6th - National Nacho Day. Or sell giant cookies on December 4th - National Cookie Day. 

Mystery Package
Have employees bring a gift in a brown bag to be sold or auctioned off during lunch hour sight unseen. The gift should cost no more than a few dollars and be something interesting, humorous and/or useful.

Raffle Prize or Incentive Ideas

  • Preferred parking for a month
  • Gift cards to local restaurants
  • Gift certificates to golf
  • LIVE UNITED T-shirts (please call United Way ahead of time)
  • Bonus vacation days
  • Casual dress days
  • Longer lunch period
  • Movie passes
  • Company product giveaways
  • Department lunch
  • Oil change certificates
  • Sleep-in-late coupons
  • Leave-work-early passes

7.  Report Results

  • Tally and report your results to your co-workers; let them know the community appreciates their time and dollars.
  • Report your results to your Loaned Executive or United Way office as soon as possible.  Use the report envelope provided.

8.  Say Thank You

Saying “Thank You” may be the most important element in maintaining the long-term support you’ve worked so hard to achieve.  Just a small token of appreciation is often enough to convey the message.  You can use some of our campaign supplies (pens, buttons, postcards, book markers, etc.).  Even a simple post card sized letter of thanks goes a long way toward making a donor feel appreciated (use our online tool to order free supplies).

Campaign Awards

Generate excitement for United Way by winning an award!  The following are the requirements for a business or organization to be a United Way award winner.  Winners will be recognized at the Thank You and Recognition Celebration in January.  These awards represent combined employer/employee giving.

  • Community Service Award: given to employers with a 10% increase over the previous year and at least 75% of the employees make a gift.
  • Participation Award:  given to organizations that experience high employee participation during their campaigns and a minimum of $50 per capita giving.  These are distributed in three levels:  Bronze, Silver & Gold.
  • Per Capita Award:  given to organizations with at least 5 employees and have per capita giving of at least $70.  There are three levels: Bronze, Silver & Gold.

The 20 Minute Program

Click here for an outline if you will be holding an employee meeting.  You can also download an entire script.

Sample Letters

Not sure what to write?  We’ve got you covered.  You can use these as a starting point.