Does your United Way have a road map that explains the issues you address and how those issues work together to achieve your goal? It can be hard for a community member or donor to wrap their head around all that you do. By creating a “road map” or some sort of visual aid that explains how all of the issues you address work together to achieve your goal in the community, your donors and community members will be able to more easily understand what you do and what you plan on accomplishing in your community.
In preparation for meeting with United Way of Greater Kingsport (Kingsport, TN) a few weeks ago, I was reviewing information about their United Way on their Web site. I came across this map called, “GPS: Life’s Highway Map,” and fell in love with this idea! I was so excited to talk with United Way of Greater Kingsport about their awesome map and was even more excited to see the map sitting on a desk with a car on top of it when we arrived! This is not only a great visual, but a great tool to use, as well. United Way of Greater Kingsport uses this map to explain what they are focusing on in their community. How cool would it be to hand out a little car and road map to each business that holds a workplace campaign or to replace the thermometer with this road map and show the car going further on the map, as the campaign went up and issues were addressed?
A lot of United Ways focus on the areas of education, income, and health – but few United Ways have taken it a step further and use those categories to address an issue of focus, such as poverty. This map would be a great way to show donors and community members how you are using the categories of education, income, and health to address your issue of focus, or your main goal, such as “Reducing the number of individuals living in poverty by 50% by 2020.” Each category could be listed on the map, with the issue of focus/main goal listed at the very end of the road map.
Whether you choose to use United Way of Greater Kingsport’s idea of creating a road map or you decide to go another route, make sure you are showing your donors and community members how you are making a difference in your community.