2018 Great Rivers Conference

We invite you to join us at the upcoming 2018 Great Rivers Conference, a regional United Way conference being held from March 5th-8th in Indianapolis, Indiana. Gary and I will be presenting two sessions at this conference:

 

CEO Workshop: Leading Your United Way to a Successful Future   

On March 6th, we will be presenting a special session exclusively for United Way CEOs, Executive Directors, and Presidents. This session will show you how to lead your United Way to a successful future by transforming to an issue focus.

As the issue-focused experts, we will show you the power of an issue focus to simplify your United Way's message, diversify your resources, and maximize your impact. We will take an in-depth look at a variety of progressive issue-focused United Ways of all sizes, as we share stories of their successes and challenges. You will learn about the four essential steps for becoming a successful issue-focused United Way and the importance of including all of your stakeholders in the process. This session will provide you with a deeper understanding of what it means to be issue-focused and the knowledge you need to lead your United Way to a successful future.

Strengthen Your Financial Position by Effectively Diversifying Your Resources               

On March 7th, we will be presenting a session about diversifying your resources. We know workplace campaigns have been the bedrock of United Way fundraising for decades, but future financial stability will depend on effectively diversifying resources beyond workplace campaigns.

In this session, we will explore several proven methods for diversifying resources that will allow your United Way to strengthen your financial position in the future. We will begin by discussing a variety of possibilities for diversifying resources and evaluating the requirements and potential for each possibility. You will learn how to implement these possibilities to diversify your resources, illustrated by examples from progressive United Ways. Strengthen your United Way's financial position by learning how to effectively diversify your resources at this session.

For more information and to register for the 2018 Great Rivers Conference, visit https://unitedwaywi.site-ym.com/page/GRC2018. We hope to see you at one or both of our sessions in March!

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Quote of the Month: January 2018

Our January Quote of the Month comes from Julie Capaldi, President of United Way of Pickens County in Easley, South Carolina:

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“It used to be money drives the work, now work drives the money” – Julie Capaldi, President, United Way of Pickens County

This quote from Julie encapsulates the most profound change in United Ways over the past couple of decades. We refer to United Ways where the money drives the work as fundraising-focused United Ways, and several decades ago all United Ways were fundraising-focused. At fundraising-focused United Ways, the money comes from the workplace campaigns, which United Ways use to drive the work by investing that money into programs provided by partner agencies. The change Julie is talking about seems simple – just switch the order so the work drives the money. But this switch is anything but simple as issue-focused United Ways must start by clearly identifying their work – addressing a single issue, such as reducing poverty, increasing the graduation rate, or ending homelessness. Only after identifying their work, can an issue-focused United Way go out and successfully ask for the money to support the work. This quote should be a reminder to all United Ways that changing times require United Ways to change with the times. If you have a quote you would like to share for our Quote of the Month, please let me know at gary@perspectives4uw.com

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What is Your United Way’s Purpose?

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As we enter into a new year, many people have made resolutions to improve in various aspects of their life, from choosing to eat healthier or going to the gym more often, to traveling more frequently or spending more time with family and friends.

At your United Way, you have probably reviewed how you did the previous year and set a goal to raise more money this year. However, as workplace giving decreases and campaigns continue to decline, many United Ways across the country have recognized that something needs to change in order to succeed.

The essential question you must be able to answer is "What is your United Way’s purpose?" However, just like New Year’s resolutions, it can be challenging to have the discipline to answer this question.

The good news is that we are here to guide you. During our Introductory Board Retreat, we will facilitate a conversation with your board and staff about your United Way’s reason for existence, and whether your United Way exists to raise money or make an impact. If you feel passionately that your role is to serve as a fundraiser in your community, then it’s important to have a conversation about what you are currently doing, whether or not it’s working, and to discuss ideas for how to improve and be the best fundraiser you can be in your community. However, if you decide that making an impact in your community is your United Way’s purpose and you truly want to maximize your impact, then you may want to consider looking at becoming issue-focused.

During our retreat, we will explain what it means to become issue-focused and share the benefits of being issue-focused. Your board and staff will leave the retreat with an understanding of how to maximize your impact with an issue focus, and with enough information to determine if an issue focus is the right direction for your United Way.

Don’t wait to have this important conversation – make the commitment to get this year off to a great start by scheduling a retreat to have a conversation with your board and staff about your United Way’s reason for existence.

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P.S. We are here to help you succeed! As you plan for your United Way’s success in 2018, we invite you and your staff to attend our free, 90-minute webinar, "Trends 2018: The Top 5 Trends That Will Change Your United Way."

Quote of the Month: December 2017

Our December Quote of the Month comes from the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela:

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“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” – Nelson Mandela

When you think about what your United Way will accomplish next year, do you think about the stark realities of campaign, or do you think about how many people your United Way will help become self-sufficient or enter kindergarten ready to learn? United Ways have the power to change their communities like no other nonprofit organization, but only when they are focused on the hopefulness of changing lives. With 2018 right around the corner, think about what your United Way could accomplish next year if you measured how many lives were changed, and not how much money was raised. Every choice an issue-focused United Way makes changes people’s lives. We hope that your United Way experiences the hopefulness that comes from changing lives in 2018!

If you have a quote you would like to share for our Quote of the Month, please let me know at gary@perspectives4uw.com

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