Last week, we were in the Orlando area to meet with Heart of Florida United Way (Orlando, FL) and with clients in the Orlando area. At one of the client meetings, we saw this Publix shopping bag sitting on the counter:
The shopping bag clearly displays the “Give. Advocate. Volunteer. Live United.” slogan with the invitation “Want to make a difference? Find out how at: LiveUnited.org.” This is a great opportunity to spread the United Way message through Publix stores. If all of the over 1,000 Publix stores used this shopping bag, just think how many people would be exposed to the United Way message. We commend Publix for their support of United Way and their willingness to spread a powerful message with something as simple as a plastic shopping bag.
The challenge for local United Ways becomes how do you connect Live United and a shopping bag like this one to a local United Way? Since the shopping bag does not list local United Ways, the average consumer might not realize that their involvement with United Way can and will occur on a local level, and that their involvement will make a difference in their local community. Our research shows that “local” is very important to donors, which makes it imperative to connect this type of effort to the local United Way. Perhaps, local United Ways can highlight Publix’s shopping bags, giving Publix credit for being a great corporate citizen in the community, but also letting people know that United Way is local in their community.
Many times during our travels we have found unexpected treasures like the Publix shopping bags, which help to promote United Ways. We look forward to finding a treasure in your community soon.