What Kind of Statistics is Your United Way Promoting?

It’s campaign season and United Ways are promoting themselves to donors and potential donors throughout their communities. How are you promoting your United Way? Are you using statistics? Do the statistics you are using look anything like these statistics?

Donors have thought of United Ways as organizations that fund agencies and programs throughout the community for years. These types of statistics will only reinforce donors’ perceptions of United Ways as fundraisers, as these statistics focus on process and not results.

We want your United Way to use statistics that show the results you are achieving in your community, in order to motivate your community to give and your donors to give more. From the research we have conducted with community members and donors across the U.S., we know that United Ways will receive more contributions and an increase in contributions, if you communicate statistics that are issue-oriented, and show results. Your community members and donors are more likely to contribute if they know what issues you are focused on addressing in your community and the number of people you have helped in your community. Give your community members and donors the statistics they want to see and hear, in order to be motivated to give to your United Way.

A great example of a United Way that is using statistics well to communicate the issues they are addressing and the results they have achieved is Greater Twin Cities United Way (Minneapolis, MN). They have provided these statistics in the form of a report that outlines the community results they achieved in 2011. Some of the statistics that are included in the report are shown below:

We would encourage you to follow Greater Twin Cities United Way’s lead by communicating the issues you are addressing and the results you are achieving in your community, rather than providing statistics that communicate the process you are using, such as the number of partner agencies and programs you are funding. Motivate your community members and donors to give and increase their gifts to your United Way by giving them statistics that show them what you are accomplishing in your community and how they can make an impact on an issue or issues in your community.