Congratulations and thank you for accepting the role as the Campaign Coordinator in your organization’s United Way of the River Cities fundraising campaign. We are excited about working with you and raising funds that will impact lives in our community. As a Campaign Coordinator, you play a critical role in achieving your company’s goal and encouraging your colleagues to LIVE UNITED™.
You’re the leader — the one blazing the trail for a successful campaign, and we’re here to help you through all the phases of your campaign.
Your Role as a Campaign Coordinator
Steps to Success
Special Event Ideas
Tips for Success
What does a Campaign Coordinator do?
A Campaign Coordinator is responsible for enabling co-workers to help create a stronger community by planning, organizing and coordinating a successful United Way campaign within the workplace.
- Coordinate and lead the United Way campaign in your organization and encourage giving.
- Communicate the importance of giving to United Way in meetings, newsletters, emails, etc.
- Provide information about how United Way helps in our community so that employees can make an informed decision about their gift.
- Invite everyone to give. Set an example by making a gift yourself.
- Distribute pledge forms or provide access to United Way (United Way’s online pledging application) to make contributing as easy as possible.
- Answer questions and concerns from potential donors.
- Organize and participate in fundraising events.
- Collect pledges and reports results to United Way.
- Thank everyone for their participation.
- Evaluate and make recommendations for next year.
Here are some helpful tips to help ensure a successful United Way Campaign.
- Put together a winning team
- Don’t try to do everything yourself. Get a team together that includes people from all areas of your organization, from front line workers to management.
- Confirm CEO support
- Ask your CEO to:
• Help determine campaign goals and objectives
• Write a letter encouraging employees to join him/her in contributing
• Support recruitment of campaign committee members
• Attend employee meetings to make a personal statement of support
• Provide recognition to Campaign Committee members and write a thank you letter to all
employees who participated in the campaign
• Determine the amount of your corporate contribution
- Review past performance and calculate goal
- Setting goals will help raise awareness and increase giving levels within your organization. The goals you establish should be challenging, realistic and measurable.
- Sample goals:
- Increase participation by ______%
- Increase average gift by ______%
- Raise $______ through a special event
- Increase giving for a specific population (e.g., administrative staff, young professionals, union
members, etc.) by _______%.
- Establish a campaign timetable
- Notify Campaign Committee members and your CEO of dates for the United Way Kickoff,
fundraising events and closing event
• Establish employee campaign group meeting date(s).
• Schedule times with United Way of the River Cities to bring in speakers.
• Set the campaign end date and schedule a time to turn in your final report to
- Use an agency speaker
- A great way to get employees interested in the United Way campaign is to invite an agency speaker to your kickoff event. United Way of the River Cities has volunteers and clients from United Way partner agencies. Each one has witnessed or experienced the impact United Way’s funded programs have on our community.
Setting up a time for a speaker is easy. Just call United Way of the River Cities or a United Way Ambassador and let us know the date(s) you need and we will confirm all arrangements with you.
- Publicize the campaign
- Keep people interested and motivated in the campaign: send messages via emails, on your intranet, in employee publications and in special displays around the workplace.
Distribute our materials and encourage employees to visit our website at unitedwayrivercities.org.
- Conduct employee campaign
- If you have a CEO Letter, this will need to be sent out one to two weeks prior to date of employee campaign.
- Schedule and conduct a kickoff meeting with all employees. If your organization has multiple
shifts, have a kickoff meeting for each shift.
- Show the campaign video.
- Distribute pledge forms at the meeting.
- Use guest speakers (Ambassadors, agency representatives, employees who have used a United Way
- Throughout the campaign, report progress via email and goal posters.
- Conduct follow-up solicitation. Make sure every employee has been asked to contribute. The number one reason people say they don’t give is because they weren’t asked.
- Materials to Get from United Way
- Report envelope
- Employee pledge forms
- United Way agency list
- Campaign video
- 2-1-1 leaflets
- Thank you certificates
- Report Results to United Way
- Submit your final report and donor list to United Way within one week of the close of your
campaign using the supplied Campaign Report Envelope.
- Carefully complete the information on the front of the envelope.
- Put all cash, checks, credit card, special events money and payroll deduction pledge forms in the
Campaign Report Envelope.
- Return the Campaign Report Envelope to your United Way or United Way Ambassador.
- Wrap Up and Say Thanks
- Report final results and thank employees through department meetings, company intranet or
- Distribute CEO thank you letter to all employees.
- Recognize donors with a thank you certificate (available through United Way).
- Recognize and thank your Campaign Committee.
- Evaluate your campaign results and prepare recommendations for next year’s Campaign Coordinator.
- Complete our Campaign Coordinator Survey and let us know what we can do to improve the experience for next year.
CEO Car Wash
Ask employees to donate $5 to have their cars washed by management. Charge extra for special services like cleaning the interior or polishing the rims. Charge for Polaroid or digital photos of the event.
Transform an office into a jail cell. "Arrest" managers and executives and allow them to make telephone calls to their staff members to "bail" them out. All bail proceeds go to your United Way campaign.
Have each department find a large empty water bottle (or other container). Invite employees to drop in spare quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies. For a fun twist, designate quarters as "sabotage" and encourage competing departments to drop quarters into one other's bottles. At the end of the campaign, count coins and subtract quarters. The department with the most money wins a prize and all proceeds go to United Way.
Invite employees to participate in a scavenger hunt requiring them to find unusual items from around the neighborhood or office buildings. For a fun twist you can "plant" items with selected employees for others to "discover." Organize in teams of four and charge an entrance fee. Award different points for various items. Teams have one hour to find items and accumulate as many points as possible. The entire team must be present at the end of one hour. If a team arrives late, assess a penalty of two points per minute (or fraction thereof). Award the team with the most points a special incentive or prize.
Set a price and sell Casual Day tickets to employees for designated dress down days. Designate certain casual days as "Crazy Days" and encourage your employees to show their wild side. For instance: Tuesday — Stupid Hat Day, Wednesday — Outrageous Socks Day, Thursday — Sports Team Day.
Crazy Hat Day Fundraising (or Hair, Shoes, Etc.)
This is a simple fundraiser that is easy to do and works with all age groups. Select a day that staff can wear their craziest hat. Each person pays a fee and gets their hand stamped or wears a sticker to prove they paid. Winners are selected according to originality, creativity and the hat that was most favored by co-workers. You can have a panel of judges or let everyone vote. Regardless, it's a lot of fun! You can do the same with hair, shoes, etc.
Chili Cook-Off Contest
Ask employees to cook a favorite chili recipe and enter it into a cook-off contest. Invite employees to pay $5 for lunch (a sample of each chili dish). Each participant casts one vote for their favorite and the chili with the most votes wins a prize.
Collect employee recipes and helpful household hints into a customized cookbook. Ask children of employees to create illustrations for the cookbook, including the cover. Print or copy and bind books and charge $5 for each copy. This event has been so popular that some organizations have not been able to fill all requests. Plan for an enthusiastic response!
Goldfish Race Fundraising Activity
A fun fundraising activity is a goldfish race. Two 10-foot long rain gutters are placed side by side. Caps are glued to each end so that they will hold water. A goldfish is placed in each gutter and is held at the end by a removable gutter-shaped gate. Employees pay an entrance fee to buy a fish and participate. Participants are given one straw each and are instructed to blow behind the fish and into the water to encourage the fish to swim to the other end of the gutter. The winner gets to keep his/her fish.
Baby Picture Match Game
Invite employees to try their luck matching baby and/or pet pictures with pictures of employees. Charge employees $2 per ballot. Award the winning entry with a prize or fun incentive.
Build a nine-hole course featuring slinkys, ramps, water and sand traps around the office to test the golf skills of your employees. Charge participants an entrance fee and ask them to bring a putter the day of the event. Award prizes for the lowest score.
Guessing Game Fundraising
A guessing game is so simple than many groups never think of it. It’s an appropriate fundraiser for school groups, sports teams, civic clubs, adult work places — just about anywhere. There are many versions but the principle is the same for each. Participants are given the opportunity to guess something and they pay for each guess.
The simplest version is a large jar filled with virtually any item as long as it takes a lot of them to fill the jar. If you use candy, you could vary it by the season — red hots for Valentine’s Day, candy corn at Thanksgiving, multi-colored Hershey kisses at Christmas. You could also use pennies, dried beans, screws, soft drink tabs, paper clips, etc.
Now that your jar is filled, you need to place it in a conspicuous place such as a display case or break area so everyone can see it. Place a sign next to the jar (and in all other areas you can think of) challenging participants to guess the number of "whatevers" in the jar. Your specific organization and participants will dictate how much to charge per guess and how to collect for the guesses. Make sure your signage explains that the proceeds will benefit United Way.
Ask employees to donate prizes (items or services). Put names of prizes inside balloons filled with helium. Charge employees $5 to buy a balloon and pop it to find out what prize they've won.
Ask employees to donate old books, videos, CDs and cassette tapes for an employee book sale. Sell paperbacks for $2, hardbacks for $4 and cassettes, CDs and videos for up to $5.
Ask employees to donate items or services to be auctioned off for your United Way campaign. Outline items and prices in a flyer. Set up a broadcast voicemail or email with messages announcing auction items. Employees call the hotline to record their bids. Update the recorded hotline message daily, announcing the highest bids received to date. Each Friday, announce auction results for the week and introduce next week's items.
50-50 Raffle Fundraising
50-50 raffle fundraising simply involves the sale of raffle tickets with the proceeds being split evenly between the winner and United Way. Your only fundraising expense is the raffle tickets (a double ticket roll, a single ticket roll that you tear in half or a board with the numbers for sale). Winners are always happy with a cash prize. All you need is one or more ticket sellers. Raffle tickets normally sell for $1 apiece, with an incentive for multiple purchases such as 3 tickets for $2, or 5 tickets for $4, etc. Using a price incentive for multiple tickets can often increase your total sales and builds a larger 'prize' to split with the lucky winner. All ticket stubs (or duplicate tickets or numbers, depending on your style of raffle tickets) are placed in a hat or other container from which one lucky number is drawn. The 'take' is tallied and one-half awarded to the holder of the lucky number.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help
An important part of running a successful United Way campaign is getting others involved. Build a strong campaign team to help you work on the campaign. Your team should mirror the diversity of your organization and include people from different levels, divisions and labor unions (if applicable). As Campaign Coordinator, you’re the team leader and your objective is to make sure team members can answer questions, conduct solicitations and do the necessary leg work to help run the campaign. Get your team members involved by…
- Getting their input in creating goals and strategies.
- Delegating and assigning specific responsibilities.
- Educating them about United Way and your workplace campaign.
- Making sure they understand and can explain why supporting United Way is a good thing.
- Ensuring they feel comfortable with their team responsibilities, including the all-important asking others to contribute.
And remember that your United Way representative or United Way Ambassador will be available as you kick off your campaign and along the way to ensure successful results.
From the kickoff to the end of the campaign; it’s important that you keep employees informed about the campaign schedule, the efforts of United Way and its network of agencies, and the goals and progress of your campaign.
Here are a few tips and resources to help you along the way:
- Stay current with the latest United Way news and events: be our friend on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, check us out on YouTube, and bookmark unitedwayrivercities.org.
- Download useful campaign materials posted here such as flyers, United Way logos, and letter templates and use these to help promote your campaign.
- Use your organization’s intranet, internal newsletter, email, voicemail and staff meetings to promote your campaign.
- Place stories in your organization’s publications to communicate your message. Key campaign dates, volunteer recognition pieces, and articles on United Way’s impact in the community will help keep your staff well informed and motivated. Profiling employees who have been helped by United Way agencies puts a face on the campaign and helps motivate people. Feel free to use United Way’s success stories.
- Display print materials and campaign posters in prominent locations. A bulletin board in your reception area could act as a daily campaign update tool for announcing United Way news and your campaign’s progress.
- Show United Way’s campaign video to build awareness. This is a terrific communications tool to get United Way’s message across to a larger audience.
- Use the United Way logo on your materials. Logos can be downloaded in the Media Center.
- Book agency speakers for events to build awareness of United Way’s impact in the community.
Use United Way Resources
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to your United Way campaign. We know a lot about running successful campaigns, and we’ve compiled a library of resources for you to use. Check out the Campaign Tools section of our website, where you’ll find links to information about the programs we fund, campaign planning tools, downloadable campaign materials, sample letters (to employees, to donors), graphics and multimedia (logos, banner ads) and more.