Doing It Right! United Way of Douglas County (Lawrence, KS)

Many United Ways use a video to help communicate their message to employees at organizations during their workplace campaign. A video makes it easy to communicate a consistent message even when United Way staff or volunteers are not able to be present at the organization or the organization will not allow a formal presentation. One United Way that has created a simple but effective campaign video is United Way of Douglas County (Lawrence, KS). They call their campaign video “United Way Lives Here.”

What are they doing right?

First, starting with the opening scenes of the video, the viewer finds out exactly what issues United Way of Douglas County addresses. Starting with education (0:19), and followed by health and financial stability, anyone watching the video will know that United Way of Douglas County provides students the tools they need to succeed in school and life, provides healthy lifestyle supports, and enables people to be financially stable. This is followed with the results of those efforts. For example, more than 4,000 books were distributed to Douglas County students (1:50), and 305 people have been given the financial literacy they need to escape poverty. United Way of Douglas County shows the donor exactly what their contribution will be used for, and the results of their contribution.

Second, the video makes it clear that giving to United Way of Douglas County is local. Throughout the video, there are references to Douglas County including the statement “United Way makes a difference every day in Douglas County” (1:35). There is also a reference to “Support your Douglas County community” (3:20) later in the video. Finally, the title of the video “United Way Lives Here” is also repeated several times throughout the video as a subtle reinforcement of the local aspect of United Way of Douglas County.

Third, United Way of Douglas County asks people to give. If their video was played as part of a workplace campaign presentation, then I am sure a United Way of Douglas County staff member or volunteer would ask employees to give. United Way of Douglas County takes it a step further by asking people to give online (3:43) and to text-to-give (3:48). This makes their video even more effective because if someone sees their video outside of the workplace, they are still asked to give and can do so online or by text-to-give. In addition to donating, United Way of Douglas County asks people to volunteer, stating that even one hour of time can improve lives (2:55).

A video can provide consistent information to a lot of people in an effective manner. However, the video will only be effective if it provides the right information – the information potential donors want to know. The video produced by United Way of Douglas County shares the issues they are addressing, results they are achieving, and how all of that work happens right in Douglas County. When your United Way sits down to figure out your campaign video next year, take a look at the simplicity and basic ideas communicated by the campaign video produced by United Way of Douglas County. United Way of Douglas County, you are Doing It Right!