Hear Us Speak

Are you planning an upcoming conference, state association meeting, or regional meeting? If so, consider inviting Gary and Sarah to come and speak to your United Ways, and experience a new "Perspective!"

Our Issue-Focused Consultants, Gary M. Goscenski and Sarah Piper, have presented sessions at local, regional, and national United Way conferences.

Gary’s 28+ years of experience and expertise, combined with his engaging, passionate, and high-energy delivery, leaves audiences excited and informed. He has made hundreds of speeches, from presenting keynotes at conferences sponsored or funded by United Way to providing workshops for individual United Ways. Gary weaves first-hand research with real-world examples in a way that allows every United Way to achieve greater success.

Sarah has developed, shared, and communicated the information and ideas United Ways have used to implement community impact and diversify resources. Passionate about United Ways, she puts her nonprofit experience, combined with her degree in public relations and nonprofit leadership from Western Michigan University, to work daily benefiting United Ways.


Here are just a couple of the sessions that we have presented recently:

CEO Workshop: Leading Your United Way to a Successful Future (2018 Great Rivers Conference)

Exclusively for United Way CEOs, Executive Directors, and Presidents, this session showed how to lead your United Way to a successful future by transforming to an issue focus. As the issue-focused experts, we demonstrated the power of an issue focus to simplify your United Way’s message, diversify your resources, and maximize your impact. We provided an in-depth look at a variety of progressive issue-focused United Ways of all sizes, and shared stories of their successes and challenges. Participants learned about the four essential steps for becoming a successful issue-focused United Way and the importance of including all of your stakeholders in the process. This session provided participants with a deeper understanding of what it means to be issue-focused and the knowledge needed to lead their United Way to a successful future. (Average participant rating: 4.87/5.00 with 5.0 indicating excellent)


Positioning Your United Way for 2020: What You Must Plan & Start Doing Today (2017 Great Rivers Conference)

It is all too easy to get caught‐up in the day‐to‐day challenges of managing your United Way. Long‐term success comes from looking ahead at the big picture to understand the opportunities and identify the challenges that will shape your United Way in the future. In this session, participants learned about the greatest opportunities and most significant challenges United Ways will be facing now through 2020. We shared the leading‐edge strategies and methods United Ways should be planning and implementing today that will ensure their success in 2020. We explained the strategies and methods that will maximize impact, resources, and communication, using examples from United Ways that are ahead of the curve. (Average participant rating 4.83/5.00, with 5.0 indicating excellent)

“Fantastic! Promoted change and growth!”
— 2017 Great Rivers attendee
“Thanks so much – I needed you last summer as we are only now finishing our strategic plan!”
— 2017 Great Rivers attendee
“Excellent session! Engaging and dedicated to United Ways!”
— 2017 Great Rivers attendee

Donor-Centric: Leave No Donor Behind (2016 Michigan Association of United Ways State Conference)

If you have ever faced the challenges of getting donors to increase their contributions or slowing donor churn, then you will want to attend this workshop. "Donor-Centric: Leave No Donor Behind" is based on United Way research studies and strategic planning conducted for dozens of United Ways by Perspectives Consulting Group, Inc. During this session, we explained how to make your United Way more donor-centric and how community impact can strengthen your relationship with donors. We also discussed the importance of ensuring your allocation, campaign, and communication activities include essential information for meeting donor expectations.

Six Ways to Supercharge Your United Way (2016 Great Rivers Conference)

During this session, United Ways learned how to enhance what they are doing, and go from being great to AWESOME! They learned six simple ways to supercharge their United Way across the areas of resource development, community impact, and marketing/communication.

Your session was the best of the conference - and the only one I took notes at!
— 2016 Great Rivers attendee
When will you be presenting another session? Your session was so good I wanted my co-workers to hear you speak!
— 2016 Great Rivers attendee

Make Change With No Excuses (Keynote Address at 2015 Southern Institute)

How often do you hear the phrase “But, we have always done it this way?” Perhaps you overheard a volunteer say “Our donors expect us to do this” or a board member declare “We need to do this for our community.” Statements like these make it nearly impossible for United Ways to change, even when change is necessary to grow, adapt, or succeed in today’s super-challenging environment. During this keynote address, we explored what United Way donors really believe and dispelled the myths that have gone viral among United Ways. Using the incredible power of information gleaned from donor research, we shared what we have learned from over 30 years of working with United Ways to unleash the possibilities for changing the future of United Way. We tackled some of the most common misperceptions about United Way donors through stories and examples, and showed how to make change.

Connect With Your Next Generation of Donors (2015 Southern Institute)

Do you wonder what young people know about United Way and what motivates them to contribute? Do you wish you could better connect with the younger generation and effectively engage them? During this session, we discussed how to grab the attention of the younger generation and get them excited about what United Way is doing in the community. Based on our research with dozens of United Ways, we shared what young people want to know when United Way communicates with them. We also shared examples of what other United Ways are doing across the country to engage young people.

Three Essentials for Effective Community Impact (2015 Western Regional Conference and 2015 Southern Institute)

Is your community impact effective? Have you ever wondered what you could do to have more impact on the needs of your community? After years of working with United Ways on adopting and implementing community impact, we have identified the three essentials for effective community impact: focus, strategies, and measurement. We examined each of the three essentials and talked about how United Ways can make their community impact more effective by tuning-up their work in each of the three essentials.

I was deeply inspired by Gary’s presentation on creating and implementing a strong issue focus around our work!
— 2015 Western Regional Conference attendee

Offbeat Fundraising: Beyond the Traditional Workplace Campaign (2015 Great Rivers Conference)

As workforces, donors, and United Ways’ roles continue to change, how can we evolve our fundraising efforts to engage our communities in the most effective way possible? We’re moving beyond workplace campaigns and exploring ways we can generate more resources and increase engagement with your entire community through strategies such as: cause marketing, issue-focused special events, targeted affinity groups, corporate program sponsorship, and volunteering to change your community.

I was lucky enough to sit in on your break out at the Great Rivers Conference – it was stupendous and I learned a lot!
— 2015 Great Rivers attendee
I truly enjoyed your session—it was the best one I attended all week!
— 2015 Great Rivers attendee

Community Impact That Works and How to Get There (2014 Southeast Regional Conference)

Community impact is so much more than organizing your partner agencies or funded programs into the categories of education, income, and health. During this session, we explained why going further with community impact will make your United Way more successful and open up opportunities you never knew existed. We examined how to take the next steps toward community impact in your impact/investment, resource development, and marketing efforts. Simple explanations with real-world examples from United Ways make community impact understandable and achievable.

Becoming a Donor-Centric United Way of the Future (2014 Southeast Regional Conference and 2015 Western Regional Conference)

Many, many years ago, workplace campaigns were easier than they are now. Every day brings a new challenge to the workplace campaign, making it important to start becoming donor-centric now. During this session, we discussed why focusing on individual donors in a donor-centric way is essential and explored ways that United Ways can generate more resources and increase engagement with their entire community through strategies, such as: cause marketing, issue-focused special events, targeted affinity groups, corporate program sponsorship, and volunteering.

Your session was the best workshop I attended and I am so glad to have participated!
— 2015 Western Regional Conference attendee

Effectively Communicating United Way's Work Through Social Media (2014 Southeast Regional Conference, 2015 Western Regional Conference, and 2017 Great Rivers Conference)

Do you wonder if you are using social media effectively to communicate your United Way's impact in the community? During this session, we explained what donors and community members want to know and how United Ways can use social media to effectively communicate their message. We discussed the appropriate role of social media and shared examples of United Ways that are communicating effectively.

Cause-Related Marketing: Making the Case for Your Cause (2014 Southeast Regional Conference)

Engaging your donors and community starts with awareness of your initiatives and causes. During this session, we talked about how to increase awareness, resulting in giving, advocating, and volunteering for your cause. We showed how to encourage potential donors to contribute to and volunteer for your United Way and discussed examples and ideas for communicating and including your cause in what you do, including social media and special events.

Thank you for teaching us so many great best practices at the Southeast Regional Conference 2014.
— 2014 Southeast Regional Conference attendee

Donor-Centric: Leave No Donor Behind (2016 Michigan Association of United Ways State Conference/2013 Southern Institute)

Every United Way faces the challenges of getting donors to increase their contributions or slowing donor churn. This session is based on research studies and strategic planning conducted for dozens of United Ways by Perspectives. During this session, we explained how to make your United Way more donor-centric and how community impact can strengthen your relationship with donors. We discussed how to ensure that your impact/investment, campaign, and communication activities include information essential for meeting donor expectations.

I really enjoyed the session and learned many things. You are a great speaker!
— 2016 Michigan Association of United Ways State Conference attendee

Keeping It Fresh After 125 Years (2013 Midwinter Institute)

Over 125 years of fundraising and community problem solving can make keeping things fresh and donors engaged challenging. During this session, we shared how in this current competitive marketplace, United Ways are “keeping it fresh” by communicating and engaging effectively with their constituents around their priority issues. We provided new ways to connect and grab constituents' attention while strengthening their connection to the work of United Way.

Highlighted below are a few comments from United Way board members, staff members, and volunteers who have attended our speeches, workshops, and training sessions:

We are committed to making your next event informative, inspiring, and memorable. Our passion and dedication to United Ways guarantees your group will be charged-up with practical ideas you can put to work at your United Way immediately!

To bring our consultants to your next event, contact us at info@perspectives4uw.com or speak with Gary or Sarah directly by calling (269) 657-5400.