Change Their Story

How are you grabbing your community members’ attention? Are you inviting them to change someone’s story?

In searching for United Ways who are using stories to communicate impact, I came across two United Ways who are doing different things with similar messaging – and I LOVE the messaging.

Changing someone’s story = making an impact in the community and these two United Ways are both working to get that message out:

United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region (Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI) – From the moment you land on their Web site, you know how you can help make an impact. They make it simple for you to help out and make a difference, by asking you to donate a tweet or post to help someone.

Their Web site URL is and right on their homepage are pictures and stories of people who have been helped. You see who has been helped, can read about how they have been helped, and can help instantly by clicking on the Twitter or Facebook icons to spread the word.

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas (Dallas, TX) They recently launched a story book advertising campaign, in which they are using children’s stories to inspire people to volunteer as readers, tutors, and mentors. The focus of the ads is to volunteer to change a child’s story and they have a volunteer Web page specifically dedicated to this issue.

They are informing the community through multiple media methods – from TV and radio, to billboards and buses. They even have a message pop-up when you arrive at their Web site that says, “This little piggy went to COLLEGE. Change a child’s story. Join us as a volunteer reader, tutor or mentor.”

What I like about both of these United Ways’ messaging is how they grab your attention and make it easy to get involved. Their messaging motivates you to want to help, to change someone’s story, and they make it easy for you to take action immediately, by tweeting about someone’s story to spread awareness or signing up to volunteer as a tutor.

I encourage your United Way to use creative messaging and get your message out in multiple ways, as well. Tell your community members why it’s important that they help out and let them know how they can get involved. Inform them of the impact your United Way is making in the community – tell them your story.

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