Communicating

Back to Basics?

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In less than two weeks, we will be holding our next webinar: “When the Basics No Longer Work, What’s Next?” If you are struggling with workplace campaigns, how to explain what United Way does, and/or are tired of partner agencies feeling entitled to funding, then this webinar is for you. We will talk about how what used to work for United Ways no longer works so well, and more importantly, what United Ways should be doing now. This webinar will show you how your United Way can be more relevant, sustainable, and impactful in the future.

“When the Basics No Longer Work, What’s Next?” is the next webinar in our series of nine webinars we will be presenting monthly between now through next July. Our webinar topics include: engaging your board, using social media successfully, effective affinity groups, connecting with the younger generation, designing campaign brochures, and what donors want from United Way. Click here for a complete list and description of all nine webinars.

You have two weeks to sign up for “When the Basics No Longer Work, What’s Next?”, which will be held on Wednesday, December 19th. If you can’t join us for the live webinar, we will be recording the webinar which will also be available for purchase.

Two promises for you.

First, we promise you that every one of our webinars will provide you with information your United Way can use and put to work immediately. Following our “Six Methods to Maximize Your Impact” webinar last week, we received an email from an attendee who said: “Great webinar yesterday. It was very informative!”

Second, we promise you that our webinars will be your most productive training investment as you can have everyone at your United Way watch our webinars – staff, board, and volunteers. Additionally, your United Way will have access to the recording of the webinar for one year.

We look forward to having you join us for “When the Basics No Longer Work, What’s Next?” on Wednesday, December 19th and for all of our upcoming webinars.

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P.S. As a reward to people who read the P.S., if you send me an email at Gary@perspectives4uw.com, I will send you a promo code you can use to save on our webinars!

Quote of the Month: September 2018

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Our September Quote of the Month comes from Pat Berger, President/CEO of United Way of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Area, Grand Forks, North Dakota:

“An issue focus has changed everything, from how we speak about our work to how we measure our success.” – Pat Berger, President/CEO, United Way of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Area

In 2015, United Way of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Area became an issue-focused United Way and chose poverty as their issue. Pat says the community is now talking about United Way and their work to help people move up and out of poverty: “Our donors now understand and praise our activities.” One of the biggest changes, according to Pat, is that they now only award grants for programs that address poverty in their community. Pat says: “I strongly believe adopting an issue focus is the way to go. United Ways cannot be all things to everyone.” We have information about the issue focus model and the benefits and challenges of an issue focus on our website. If you have a quote you would like to share for our Quote of the Month, please let me know at gary@perspectives4uw.com

Taking Our Own Advice

We got a facelift.

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You may have noticed and been too polite to say anything. But that’s OK – we’re not ashamed of the work we’ve had done. Actually, we’re proud because the experience of totally stripping down and rebuilding reminded us why we’re here.

Of course, we don’t mean that we’ve had our faces redone – we mean that we redid our website.

Redesigning our website wasn’t easy; it meant facing the fact that we haven’t been following our own advice.

Prior to its facelift, our website was laden with excruciating detail about our processes – how we run board retreats, how we conduct donor research, etc. This made our website was dull and overwhelming. Our web pages were so overwhelming that almost no one took the time to read them, so what we had to offer to clients wasn’t easily understood.

Additionally, the content and design of our website were dated, so despite our consistent good work in the real world, we did not appear relevant.

Redesigning our website was an exercise in empathy. Getting bogged down in discussions of process and struggling to assert relevance despite a portfolio of good work are challenges faced by many United Ways. The opportunity to be in their shoes reminded us why Perspectives exists.

The fact of the matter is that changing the way you’ve always done things is challenging, which is why it’s helpful to have expert guides for the journey. Our adventure into the world of website design did not happen alone. We were guided by our long-time graphic designer, two exceptional copywriters and proofreaders, and the wisdom of several United Way CEOs to make our transition successful.

While our transition took a few months, our path to clear messaging and relevance was relatively straight-forward thanks to the help of our many guides. However, the transformation that most United Ways need to make to assure their relevance, sustainability, impactfulness and clear messaging is far more complex.

We have always seen ourselves as guides for United Ways, but being on the opposite end of the process – facing a change that we knew needed to happen – reminded us of the power of experienced guides.

The best guides prepare you for obstacles before you can even see them and make even the most challenging paths traversable.

Perspectives exists to be the best guide possible for United Ways that desire relevant, sustainable, and deeply impactful futures. While our look may have changed, our commitment to that mission has not. If you believe your United Way exists to impact your community, we are here to help you do that.

To learn more about how we help United Ways ensure their relevance, sustainability, and impactfulness for years to come, check out our newly updated services page or see how our guidance is helping one United Way make real impact on the issue of poverty.

After you have had a chance to take a look at our new website, please feel free to share your thoughts with us at sarah-and-gary@perspectives4uw.com.