Believe it or not, the 2015 campaign season is just around the corner, so I’ve spent the last couple of months digging into data from the previous campaign in addition to brainstorming ideas on how to make an even bigger difference this year in the lives of those in need. I’ve also made it a priority to meet with the businesses in the area that run workplace campaigns in an effort to better understand how they run the campaign internally and what is important to their employees. That way we can connect with them on a deeper level – it’s all about relationships, right?
However, it’s important to understand that my role at United Way isn’t just about the dollars. It’s about understanding what each individual donor is passionate about, whether that passion be supplying children with clothing for school, helping struggling families get their finances in order, or delivering meals to homebound seniors. If people aren’t passionate about the work or don’t understand what it is that we do, they likely aren’t going to pay it forward…plain and simple. Although this is sometimes a challenge because there are thousands of them and only one of me, everyone who helps with the campaign – our chairs, Employee Campaign Coordinators, volunteers, staff, and Board – gives us the capability to reach even more potential donors. But the work doesn’t stop there.
One of my many goals for the 2015 campaign is to thank existing donors more often and keep them informed about the work both United Way and our funded partners are doing to better the community. Let’s be honest, we should be working just as hard to keep donors on board as we do to get them there in the first place because few people want to support something they aren’t connected to. If it weren’t for our loyal donors, United Way wouldn’t be making a difference in people’s lives every day right here in Southeast Missouri.
So, my challenge to you is to help me out and help our community out. Next time you are talking with your co-workers over lunch or are out with friends and family for a fun activity, talk to them about United Way. Find out what they are passionate about and explain to them that our mission is to help people better themselves and become more independent. Through our many programs and funded partners, we can connect people in need with people who can help, which creates lasting change. After all, we are neighbors helping neighbors, and that’s what makes our community so unique and enjoyable to be a part of.