Giving

The Story of Julie Capaldi and the United Way of Pickens County

Have you experienced a loss in your donor base? Do you feel like you need to better connect with your donors and community members?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, you will be able to relate to what Julie Capaldi experienced at United Way of Pickens County (Easley, SC) as President over the past 24 years.

Julie recently shared her story of how United Way of Pickens County experienced a significant loss in their donor base and how she turned things around and now better connects with donors and community members, while riding the Nonprofit Story Tour bus.

During the video where Julie shares her story, she talks about how essential it is to communicate impact about a specific issue and to share "S-S-T" with donors and community members. "S-S-T" is our acronym that we first shared with United Way of Pickens County in 2011, which stands for Statistics, Stories, and Trust & Accountability. Based on our years of experience in conducting research for United Ways, we have found that about one-third of donors want to see statistics, about one-third want to hear stories, and about one-third care about trust and accountability.

Julie also talks about "a consultant from Michigan" and gives a shout-out to Gary at approximately 10 minutes into the video, referring to Gary Goscenski, one of our Issue-Focused Consultants here at Perspectives. Gary has been working with Julie and her team at United Way of Pickens County since 2011 to focus and maximize their impact, resources, and communication.

On the homepage of our website, we share a quote from Julie, which says: "You were so right! We are a little United Way, and focusing on the issue of early childhood education and summer learning loss has resulted in raising more money from grants and campaigns, attracting new donors, and reduced designations. This is all we talk about – at campaign presentations, to donors, and to our community – and now everyone knows what United Way of Pickens County does in the community."

We love how Julie talks about how people felt moved to give to United Way of Pickens County when she shared a story about summer learning loss and their Camp iRock program. We encourage you to come along for the ride as Julie explains how focusing on a specific issue has been the key to engaging donors in the community – check out the video here.

To learn more about an issue focus, visit www.perspectives4uw.com/issue-focus. If you are interested in becoming issue-focused, you can find more information about how we can guide your United Way in your transformation at www.perspectives4uw.com/develop-your-issue-focus.

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Make an Impact in Honor of Your Mom This Mother’s Day

Is your United Way offering opportunities for people to give outside of campaign? Are you giving your donors and community members the opportunity to make an impact on a specific issue?

United Way of Pickens County (Easley, SC) encouraged people in their community to give the gift of reading this Mother’s Day with their Women United Camp iRock Honor Card Program. By making a $25 donation to Camp iRock, you could send a Mother’s Day card to your mom, letting her know you made a gift in her honor.

In addition to the Mother’s Day card explaining that you gave the gift of reading to a child in honor of your mom, it also explained Camp iRock, which is United Way of Pickens County’s summer program for struggling readers in rising 1st through 4th grades that helps students improve their reading skills over the summer. Each Mother’s Day card donation went toward funding a child to attend Camp iRock.

United Way of Pickens County promoted this opportunity to give and make an impact in honor of your mom on their website and social media.

 
 
 
 

This is a great example of an opportunity for people to give outside of campaign and I love how United Way of Pickens County tied this opportunity to Mother’s Day. It also communicates the impact of donors’ contributions in a simple and powerful way – for only $25, both you and your mom will know you helped a child learn to read. Note that United Way of Pickens County highlighted one of their own programs rather than a partner agency’s program. In order to encourage donors and community members to give to your United Way, it is essential to communicate how your United Way is making a difference in the community, and how their donations will make an impact by giving to your United Way.

United Ways who have transformed to an issue focus find it easier to communicate their message, engage their donors and community members, diversify their resources, and maximize their impact. At Perspectives, we are the creators of the Issue-Focused Model and have helped successfully guide United Ways of all sizes to an issue focus. Click here for more information about an issue focus, or contact me for information about how we can guide your United Way in the transformation to an issue focus.

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

P.S. Check out my blog post from May 2016 to see what United Way of the Bay Area did last Mother’s Day.

Virtual Lemonade Stand

Are you providing opportunities for people to support your United Way outside of campaign? Have you tried raising money for your United Way online?

If you’re thinking to yourself, "We’ve tried raising money for our United Way online and it hasn’t been successful," take a look at what United Way of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Area (Grand Forks, ND) did this year.

United Way of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Area held a "Virtual Lemonade Stand" for their Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program. They promoted this virtual fundraiser in their e-newsletter and on social media.

United Way of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Area tied this virtual fundraiser to Dr. Seuss’ birthday (March 2nd) and encouraged their donors and community to help them provide a year of free books to 60 children by March 2nd. They also communicated results of the program, saying "Locally, 87% of parents who had a child enrolled in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library said their child graduated from the program better prepared for kindergarten," and "Locally, over the past five years, 106,618 books have been distributed and 1,705 children have graduated from the program." Most importantly, they communicated the impact of a donor’s contribution, saying that a $30 donation will provide a year of books to a local child.

United Way of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Area ended up exceeding their goal of providing a year of free books to 60 children and thanked their donors for their support on their website and social media.

 
 

The key to holding a successful fundraiser is to communicate about a specific issue and the impact of a donor’s contribution, just as United Way of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Area did with their fundraiser. Many United Ways do not succeed in holding a virtual fundraiser when they communicate about multiple categories, like education, income, and health, and only share a monetary goal. Successful virtual fundraisers are based on communicating a clear message about a single issue and sharing the specific impact of a donor’s contribution.

It is important to provide opportunities for people to give to your United Way outside of campaign, especially for those people who aren’t exposed to a workplace campaign. Also, you will find that your current donors will support your United Way through additional giving opportunities as well as continue giving to your United Way through the workplace campaign.

If your United Way is having difficulty communicating a simple and specific message, you may want to consider an issue focus. United Way of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Area is issue-focused, and has been able to simplify their message and raise additional resources outside of campaign because of their issue focus. To learn more about an issue focus, visit: www.perspectives4uw.com/issue-focus