We have always enjoyed highlighting and sharing the great work of United Ways from across the United States on our blog. Our monthly Doing It Right! blog posts shine a spotlight on the work of one United Way each month, and throughout the year we share examples from dozens of United Ways when we blog about topics like marketing, affinity groups, special events, community impact, social media, and volunteering.
This is the first blog post in a new series we are calling Make It Awesome! Our goal with our Make it Awesome! series is simple – take a good idea and make it even better. In our Make It Awesome! blog posts, we will take a look at something good that is currently being done by a United Way and then provide a couple of suggestions of how to Make It Awesome! We promise we’ll keep the suggestions simple, so it's easy to implement at your United Way.
Campaign season is underway for many United Ways across the country. Campaign kick-offs are happening every day, United Way staff members are busy preparing and meeting with workplaces and donors in the community, and signs are going up around town…just like this banner I saw while traveling this past weekend:
I am always excited when I come across a United Way banner, billboard, or sign, especially when it is from a local United Way. This banner, along with dozens of other banners, lined the main street in the downtown area I was visiting.
This banner, as is, is a great example of raising awareness of your local United Way in the community. As people are driving or walking by, they can easily see that there is a local United Way and that they can support it.
However, while this banner is great for raising awareness of your local United Way, I have three ideas to share with you to take this banner and Make It Awesome!
How to Take This Banner and Make It Awesome!
- Add your Web site address. If someone is not familiar with your local United Way, they will not know how to support your United Way, unless you tell them. Make sure to connect people back to your Web site, by providing your Web site address on your banner, so they can support you.
- Invite people to give, advocate, or volunteer. Instead of saying “Support United Way,” say “Donate to...,” “Advocate to…,” or “Volunteer to...,” and follow that phrase with the text suggested in the third idea below.
- Communicate impact. Use the space on the banner that says “Support United Way” to communicate impact. The United Way logo and name is already included at the bottom of the banner, so it is not necessary to repeat “United Way” again. Also, people will not know what will be accomplished if they choose to support your United Way, if you do not communicate impact. End the phrase with the impact of their contribution; for example, “reduce poverty,” “end hunger,” or “increase graduation rates.”
If you implement these three ideas, the message at the top of your United Way’s banner will say something like: “Donate to reduce poverty,” “Advocate to end hunger,” or “Volunteer to increase graduation rates.” In four or five words, you are inviting people to get involved with your United Way and you are communicating impact.
The bottom of your United Way’s banner will include your United Way’s logo and name, plus your Web site address, so people know who you are and how to support your United Way.
If you implement these three simple ideas, you will take this banner and Make It Awesome!
If you would like us to review something your United Way is doing and Make It Awesome! send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. As your marketing consultant, I will share great tips and ideas with you about how to enhance your materials, and will provide you with the information your donors and community want to know, based on our research and experience in working with United Ways.