How does your United Way involve the community? Do you ask them for their opinions on what issues you are focused on addressing or for advice on how to address the most pressing needs in your community? Do your community members have a voice?
United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley(Boston, MA) has implemented a great tool on their Web site, used to gather the thoughts and ideas of their staff members. They call it the United Way Idea Bank, where users submit their ideas, the community discusses and votes for ideas, and the best ideas bubble up to the top. We think this is a great way to get staff involved and to brainstorm ideas together, and would suggest using a similar tool to involve your community members as well.
Whether you use an Idea Bank or another tool, we want all of you to get to the same result. Involve your community by asking them for their ideas and opinions, and make them feel appreciated and heard. Give community members an opportunity to have a discussion about what they think is important and what they think United Way should be doing in the community. By giving them a voice, they will not only be moved to contribute their ideas, but their time and money to your United Way as well.