Communicating with Your Community

How do your community members know about your United Way and what you are accomplishing in the community? Are you using multiple methods of communication to reach your community members?

United Way of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County (Harrisonburg, Virginia) is my local United Way and I know what they are accomplishing in the community. I saw a television commercial the other day that not only shared with me the results they are achieving in the community, but also thanked community members for donating. It informed me about how contributions to my local United Way are making an impact in my community.


A commercial is a simple, yet effective way to communicate with community members. In 30 seconds, United Way of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County communicated results, said thanks, and informed community members about what they are focused on addressing in the community.

Another United Way that is communicating results with their community members is United Way for Greater Austin (Austin, Texas). United Way for Greater Austin is sharing the results of Middle School Matters, a project in their Target Graduation program to help middle school students graduate. Two years ago, they set out to change the culture of three middle schools serving low-income communities with Middle School Matters, and now they are sharing the results with the community. They have an article and an interactive infographic on their Web site, as well as a full report that outlines the 2013 End of Year Results.


This is a great example of communicating results about a specific issue in the community. Community members aren’t left wondering what United Way for Greater Austin is focused on addressing and they can see that they are making an impact on an important issue in the community.

Donors and community members want to know the issue(s) your United Way is addressing, the actions you are taking to address the issue(s), and the results you are achieving in the community. It is important to communicate these three things and to use multiple methods of communication to reach all of your donors and community members. Check out our free webinar about communicating your issue(s), actions, and results: IAR – Three Letters for Simple and Effective Community Impact.

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