What issue does my local United Way address?
Many people are left wondering what issue your United Way addresses, including your own donors, if you are not using multiple methods of communication. You must use multiple methods of communication, in order to get your message out to everyone.
A great example of a United Way who is using multiple methods of communication to promote their issue is United Way of Greater Toledo (Toledo, Ohio).
On their Web site, they explain how graduating kids is their #1 priority and how the categories of education, income, and health play a role in helping to graduate kids. They include a diagram that serves as a great visual for understanding how their work in education, income, and health will achieve their goal.
In their YouTube video, they tell you a story and show you statistics on the importance of the issue in the community and what they are doing to address the issue. They take you through the steps of helping graduate kids through the strategies of education, income, and health.
In their annual report, they make it clear that their goal is to graduate kids. There is no guessing when it comes to United Way of Greater Toledo’s focus – from the beginning of the report where it states “We know it takes more than dollars to move the needle – to graduate kids. It takes passion. It takes muscle. It takes an entire community to make a difference. LIVING UNITED is recognizing we are all united and getting involved.” to the end of the report where it states “We don’t just give money. We help people stand on their own. We all win when a child succeeds in school, when families are financially stable, and when people have good health.”
My favorite page in their annual report is page 10:
This page grabs your attention, with the bold use of color and text written in all caps, and makes a simple, yet powerful statement. It makes you realize you are needed and that you have the power to make a difference in kids’ lives in the community. Through this statement, United Way of Greater Toledo has made their issue known.
What are they doing right?
1. Using Multiple Methods of Communication
United Way of Greater Toledo is using multiple methods of communication to communicate the issue they are focused on addressing in the community. This is something your United Way must do, in order to get your message out and reach a variety of demographic audiences.
2. Promoting an Issue
United Way of Greater Toledo is making their issue known in the community. It is important to connect your United Way to an issue, so that your donors and community members are inspired to give. Remember, people connect first with an issue, and then with an organization.
3. Using Stories & Statistics
United Way of Greater Toledo is using stories and statistics to demonstrate the importance of the issue in the community and to communicate what they are doing to address the issue. People relate to stories, and statistics provide factual information about the issue. Both are important and must be used in all of your marketing materials.
People want and need to know the issue you address, in order to give to your United Way. Follow United Way of Greater Toledo’s lead and give your community and donors a reason to donate. Promote your issue and let your community members know they are needed, just as United Way of Greater Toledo has done. United Way of Greater Toledo, you are Doing It Right!