Gary and I had a great time at the 2014 Great Rivers Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin! We met new people, ran into many of our United Way friends, and learned new things!
United Way of Greater Milwaukee (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) shared the great things they are doing, including how they spread the word about the issue of teen pregnancy in their community. Their advertising materials were awesome! They shared some unique and creative advertisements in a presentation and had them on display at the conference:
We love these examples because they are focused on a specific issue and really grab your attention.
One of the great sessions was a branding session by Holly Miller from United Way of Midland County (Midland, Michigan). Holly shared a lot of great marketing samples, including their elevator speech on a folded business card that they handed out during campaign and some “trading cards” that they passed out for people to collect during campaign. On the front side of the trading cards were two-sentence stories about community members who give, advocate, and volunteer and on the back side of the cards was information about issues in the community, how donations can help, and results from the previous year. People were encouraged to collect all of the trading cards to decode a message and receive a Live United t-shirt.
Gary and I talked with people from various United Ways and we found a lot of United Ways are still struggling to implement community impact effectively. The challenge of making the move from a category focus (a United Way that is focused on categories, such as: education, income, and health) to an issue focus (a United Way that is focused on a specific issue, such as: poverty, hunger, or graduation rates) still exists. It can be difficult to make this shift, which is why we have been helping United Ways to make this transition. Our Direction-Setting process has been our most popular service for the past two years. We have helped United Ways advance their community impact efforts and become issue-focused.
If you have questions about our Direction-Setting process, shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at (800) 724-9994.
It was great seeing our friends at the conference! We look forward to seeing everyone at the 2016 Great Rivers Conference!