One of the most common questions donors ask of their local United Way is “What does my contribution accomplish?” Most United Ways have the answer to that question, but it is not always easy for the donor to find, and not always simple for the donor to understand. United Way of Garrett County (Oakland, MD)has made it easy to find a simple answer to the question “What does my contribution accomplish?” right on their home page http://www.garrettunitedway.org/
What are they doing right?
First, this is the home page for United Way of Garrett County. This is the first page you will see if you visit their Web site. You cannot miss this information, which makes it much simpler to find than donor information on most other United Ways’ Web sites. There are Web sites for local United Ways that require you to first choose “Community Impact” from their menu of choices and then select “Education,” “Income,” or “Health,” before you will begin to find any information about what a donor’s contribution accomplishes. By placing this information right at the top of their home page, United Way of Garrett County has made this information easy to find.
Second, each of the hourly examples provides the donor with a clear description of the type of help their contribution is providing. The examples are written in a very basic way to show that the contributions provide meals, clothing, books, housing, etc. The donor can visualize what their contribution is doing in the community when they read these examples. United Way of Garrett County has shown what they do without using generic descriptions like “Strengthening Families” or “Supporting Seniors.”
Third, there is both a subtle and obvious message about donors’ contributions remaining local in Garrett County. The hourly examples include the local partner agencies, many of which have “Garrett County” in their name, which subtly reinforces that contributions are used locally. The first paragraph under the clock includes the phrase “those in Garrett County” and talks about the donor’s gift remaining “here in Garrett County,” both of which are more obvious ways to reinforce keeping contributions local to help people locally.
This home page does a great job of answering the question “What does my contribution accomplish?” for donors to United Way of Garrett County. These easily-accessible, clear-and-simple examples address one of the most common concerns of donors. If your United Way is looking for an example of how to let donors know what is being accomplished in your community, consider how you might make your Web site more donor-friendly like United Way of Garrett County has done. United Way of Garrett County, you are Doing It Right!