Making Everything Fit

How many issues does your United Way address? Have you found yourself trying to make all of your issues fit into the categories of education, income, and health?

Many United Ways focus on addressing issues in the categories of education, income, and health in their community. However, instead of choosing three issues to focus on within these categories, or raising a few issues to the top, United Ways find themselves trying to make a bunch of issues (programs and partner agencies) fit into one of these three categories. United Ways try to stuff so many issues into these three categories that it is hard for donors to wrap their heads around what exactly their local United Way addresses in their community.

Think of the three categories as an opportunity to present a few key issues to your donors in a simple, easy to understand way. Instead of cramming a bunch of issues into one of these three categories, we suggest simplifying things for your donors by focusing on a few key issues. Choose two or three issues that are important in your community that fit well under each category and communicate those issues to your donors and community members. Use these three categories as a simplified way to communicate to your donors and community members the issues you are focused on addressing and the impact of contributions on these issues. Donors and community members are more likely to give or increase their gift to your United Way if they are aware of a few key issues you address and know the impact of their contributions, rather than trying to recall an issue you address from a long list of issues.

Keep it simple and gain donors and increased contributions by wrapping three issues up in these three categories or “boxes” and presenting them to your donors and the community. Your focused efforts will increase awareness and understanding of what you are addressing and accomplishing in your community.