Once again, workplace campaign season is in full swing for many United Ways. The pledge form is one of those workplace campaign essentials every United Way prepares as a matter of necessity, often without a lot of thought. One United Way that has thought about the donor when preparing their pledge form is United Way of the Greater Triangle (Morrisville, North Carolina).
Their pledge form includes three sections: how the donor wants to direct their contribution, contribution options, and donor information. The section for how the donor wants to direct their contribution includes giving options and a place for designations. The contribution option section includes payroll deduction information, as well as direct gift and credit card options. The donor information section includes demographic and leadership giving information.
What are they doing right?
First, the pledge form starts with why the donor is giving to United Way by asking the donor if they want to support the Community Impact Fund or one of the three categories: education, financial stability, or health. United Way of the Greater Triangle makes it clear to the donor that their contribution will impact the community by supporting programs in education, financial stability, and health. Most pledge forms do not communicate how the donor’s pledge will be used. Our research has found upwards of 40% of United Way donors do not know what issues their United Way addresses, which makes this information about how a donor’s pledge will be used essential.
Second, the pledge form asks a lot of important questions to help United Way of the Greater Triangle improve their relationship with their donors. For example, the donor information section asks for the donor’s home address, mobile phone, and e-mail, which allows United Way of the Greater Triangle to directly reach a donor outside of the workplace campaign. The demographic questions allow United Way of the Greater Triangle to target their marketing and messaging to the donor, and the leadership giving information allows donors to be recognized for leadership giving. Finally, the donor is given options to give other than just payroll deduction, such as a direct gift of checks/cash, stock or securities, as well as the ability to use a credit card by providing a Web address and telephone number.
Third, there is an obvious and subtle simplicity to their pledge form. The pledge form is divided into three steps, clearly marked and delineated, and labeled with step 1, step 2, and step 3. The design of the pledge form includes plenty of “white space,” which makes the pledge form look less intimidating to a donor. Compared to many pledge forms, United Way of the Greater Triangle has included what needs to be included on a pledge form and not filled their pledge form with additional questions or information that is not helpful to the donor.
A pledge form can be very cold and transactional, with little concern for the donor, or it can be helpful to the donor. United Way of the Greater Triangle has developed a pledge form that helps the donor understand what their pledge will do for the community, as well as provide information that can deepen the relationship between the donor and United Way of the Greater Triangle. The next time your United Way is developing a pledge form, consider some of the ways United Way of the Greater Triangle’s pledge form strengthens the relationship with donors. United Way of the Greater Triangle, you are Doing It Right!