Campaign Toolkit

Welcome, Campaign Coordinators!

United Way's Workplace Campaigns are about bringing your coworkers and staff together through the workplace to inspire change and build your local communities. Campaigns make it easy for your company, agency or group to make impacts on their communities by giving. Not only does workplace campaigns make giving easier by allowing for small increments to build into larger gifts, but it also educates your community about local issues, and connecting them with resources or opportunities to help those in need.

United Way wants to make your workplace campaign easy and successful! The following materials will help you achieve a best practice campaign. If you have any questions or need additional resources, please contact Kara Zielinski at (231) 332-4003 or

It Starts With You!

Running a campaign means that you are playing a critical role in building the communities around us. Every workplace is different, so every workplace campaign is also different! We can help you every step of the way on finding the materials, volunteer opportunities, and messaging that fits for your campaign.

Living united means working together to reach our mutual goals as a community. And in your role as a United Way Coordinator, you are not alone—we are with you every step of the way. Please see below for additional resources and information. Find sample endorsement and thank you letters, United Way logos to download, ways to say ‘thank you,’ and special event and incentive ideas. Learn more about LIVE UNITED as a philosophy and as a way to live each moment of your day.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Call Kara at 231.332.4003, email her at 



12 Ways To Run A Successful United Way Campaign: 

  1. Enlist the support of your company leadership.
  2. Recruit a campaign team to assist you.
  3. Attend United Way training or meet one-on-one with United Way staff.
  4. Develop strategies and set a goal based on last year’s effort and this year’s workplace environment.
  5. Hold employee group meetings (see agenda at right). Use the meetings and other communications as a way to educate colleagues about United Way. These can be virtual!
  6. Use incentives to encourage giving. Hold fun special events that build enthusiasm. Consider volunteering as a team-building project.
  7. Visit our website often to gather ideas and find resources available to you.
  8. Promote the campaign using tools available through United Way including posters, sample emails, guest speakers, and Everyday Hero ($1/day) promotions.
  9. Run a special solicitation for those who are, or have the potential to be, leadership givers (those who contribute $500 or more annually).
  10. Wrap up your campaign and report results—within your company or organization and to United Way.
  11. Say “thank you” to those who contributed to the campaign and anyone who helped coordinate it. Send letters signed by the CEO; hang thank you posters; write thank-you notes; and post a message on your company’s intranet or send an email.
  12. Implement a new hires and retirees program if you don’t have one already. Consider adding a component about United Way into your new employee orientation and retiree meetings.

The 20 Minute Campaign Presentation Structure: 

2 Minutes - Opening remarks from the Employee Coordinator

1 Minute - CEO Endorsement from Company Leadership

5 Minutes - United Way Overview by a UW Representative or Loaned Executive

4 Minutes - Campaign Video presented by Employee Coordinator

5 Minutes - Speaker from United Way Agency or Volunteer

2 Minutes - Ask for gift, Employee Coordinator

Remember to say THANK YOU! 

Campaign Checklist

Prior to the Campaign:

  • Meet with United  Way representative to review last year's campaign. 
  • Attend an Employee Campaign Coordinators Training.
  • Set up a meeting with your company/organization leadership to enlist support.
  • Recruit a strong and diverse campaign team.
  • Plan an Everyday Heroes campaign  (giving  $1/day for a year).
  • Develop strategies, a timeline, and goals for this year's campaign.
  • Reserve room(s) for group meetings and/or special events.
  • Contact United Way to arrange for a speaker at group meetings.
  • Ask a member of senior management to serve as a Leadership Giving Chair.
  • Personalize pledge forms with employee name and last year’s gift.
  • Consider incentives for various levels of giving.
  • Distribute emails and/or post information on the company intranet leading up to the campaign to educate, build enthusiasm, and inform people of key dates. 
  • Send out an endorsement letter from company leadership.

During the Campaign: 

  • Distribute personalized pledge forms as people enter the group meeting(s).
  • Run a separate leadership giving solicitation for those who have the potential to give $500 or more annually.
  • Promote the campaign in company newsletters, intranet, and via email.
  • Hang posters and update thermometers regularly.
  • Make your own contribution to the campaign.
  • Follow up with anyone who has not yet turned in their pledge form.

After the Campaign:

  • Complete contribution report envelope summarizing your results and return to United Way.
  • Hold an event to wrap up the campaign, announce results, and recognize those who volunteered and contributed.
  • Send out thank you notes and/or letters signed by leadership.
  • Promote the results of your campaign in company newsletters, intranet, and via email. People like to find out how they did!
  • Display United  Way thank you posters.
  • Evaluate your results with recommendations for next year.
  • Consider implementing a new hires program.
  • Post information about United Way & 'How I LIVE UNITED' stories year-round.

Click the Headings to Download Files: 

Campaign Manual - 

The Campaign Manual is an in-depth document that contains everything you would need to know about running a campaign. In this manual, you will find a list of UWL Board Members, Staff, and committees; community solutions through agency programs; volunteer engagement opportunities; an overview of campaigns; strategies for success; planning documents; best practices; and affinity groups. 

Coordinator Guide - 

A brochure that gives a complete walkthrough step by step of how to run a workplace campaign as an Employee Campaign Coordinator (ECC)

List of Funded Programs (Agenda for Change) - 

This 1 page lists all of our funded partner agency programs that are in Muskegon, Newaygo, and Oceana. It also contains the community impact framework of our goals in Education, Income, and Health. 

Campaign Giving Posters - 

Hang these 11x17 posters around your workplace to let your employees the campaign is coming or to remember to give! Great for bulletin boards and employee lunchrooms. 

Campaign Giving Flyers - 

Similar to the posters, these 8 1/2 x 11 flyers can be placed around your workplace to remind your team about the campaign. They would be great in offices, by the fax machine, the watering hole, or even on the bathroom stall doors. Anywhere that may be seen frequently by your team. 

What A Dollar Does - 

This 8 1/2 x 11 Flyer highlights the significance of how much a donation does for our community. It outlines the impact of $1, $5, $10, and $20 a week! It is a great tool to stress the importance of the campaign. 

Community Impact Poster - 

Want to share and highlight all of the wonderful things and families United Way of the Lakeshore helps in your community each year? This poster is a snapshot in time of all of the impact United Way has had in Education, Income, Health, and Volunteerism. 

Goal Poster - 

Keep track of the success of your campaign with this thermometer! 

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library Flyer - 

This fan-favorite program shows the growth and success of the program over the last 5 years! 


United Way of the Lakeshore Powerpoint Presentation: 

2021 Presenation coming soon! 

Downloadable Logos: 

Click here to access our shared file folder of downloadable logos for United Way of the Lakeshore, 211, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, and the AmeriCorps Seniors program. 


Our 2021 Video is coming soon! In the meantime check out our previous campaign videos on our Vimeo Channel by clicking here! 

Campaign Forms: 

Campaign Profile Sheet- 

Let us know more about your workplace so we can better serve you! 

Speaker Request Form - 

Would you like an program agency, volunteer, or family come to your workplace to speak about how United Way has helped them? Fill out this form so we can connect your with one of our ambassadors! 

Campaign Materials Request Form - 

Need extra flyers, or something special for your office? Let us know and we will send over the materials ASAP. 

CEO Ask Letter To Employees: 

Dear <insert employee name>,

During the next few weeks, you will be hearing a great deal about our local United Way.  United Way of the Lakeshore unites 3 counties and 33 agencies to provide over 76 programs that help build a brighter future for all.  From putting books in the hands of our littlest learners to making sure that our working families can meet their basic needs, we work together to make our community stronger.

Your donation to United Way of the Lakeshore supports our bold goal of helping 10,000 more working families meet their basic needs by 2025.  A group of local volunteers, who are also donors, determines the best use of total donations to make the most impact in our community. In 2018, $364,567 was invested in health programs to ensure a healthy and safe community for all; $439,913 was invested in education programs to help build an educated workforce, and $439,913 was invested in income programs that will help people have long-term self-sufficiency.


We hope you will join us as we “Build a Brighter Future Together” by making your pledge to support our community.  Please return the enclosed pledge form, text GIVEUWL to 41444, or make a secure gift online at
Please contact <insert employee campaign coordinator name(s) and contact information> for more information or to get more involved.  Thank you again for supporting our work and for LIVING UNITED!

Please take time this year to learn more about how United Way is uniting to inspire change and join me and many other employees who LIVE UNITED.  There is a lot you can do.  You can give, you can advocate, and you can volunteer.

Over the next few weeks, you will have many opportunities to hear and learn more about the difference United Way makes in our community.

Thank you.

Health Story: 

Health In Action: A little boy without shoes wandered in the street looking for food, appearing to be malnourished. When police investigated the situation, they found that he was starved and suffered from physical abuse. His caretaker admitted to the abuse/neglect and is now in prison. A CASA volunteer was assigned to this case shortly after the boy was removed from his home. The CASA volunteer advocated for this little boy to stay in his foster home and to be adopted. This little boy's dream came true when he was adopted by a loving family with a safe home. At his adoption hearing, the little boy glowed with happiness!

Income Stability Story:

Income Stability In Action: A letter from a single parent: I am a single working mom with 3 children, working as a substitute teacher. The barriers for any single parent on a daily basis are great. When I swallowed my pride and finally asked for help, I was denied because I had a job and made just $100 over the maximum income level for assistance. I couldn't afford to keep the insurance on my vehicle because of my expenses and having to pay for daycare so that I can go to work every day and make only enough to get by. Mission for Area People saw that I was doing my best and went above and beyond to help me when the system could not. I want to take the time to express my appreciation for the assistance that has greatly helped my family.

Education Story: 

Education In Action: Comments from parents about the Imagination Library: "I love seeing my daughter get excited over a new Dolly book coming in the mail. At almost 2 years old, she is learning new words every day!" "I read about 20 minutes each night to my son because I know how important reading is and this is just something I feel I need to do for him as a parent so he can be a successful reader later in life. Thank you!" 'This is such a wonderful program for children. We are lucky to be in a community that values education from the very start. This program changes the way kids think, speak and problem solve."

Sample Thank You Letter: 

Dear <insert employee name>,

Thank you for your gift to United Way of the Lakeshore.  Your contribution will help make the community stronger and shows the real spirit of living united.  The generosity of our employees will enable United Way help thousands of children and families to achieve their full potential and lead, healthy productive lives.
Through your participation in our company’s campaign, you have helped unite us in our effort to make a real and lasting difference in the community.  Your gift brings hope and opportunity to the lives of thousands in Muskegon, Oceana and Newaygo Counties.
Your tremendous spirit and compassion for our neighbors empowers us to accomplish great things together.  On behalf of United Way of the Lakeshore, thank you for your generous support and investment in building a brighter future for all.

Thank you.


Dear <insert employee name>,

Your teamwork proves that when we work together, we win together.  And, together with United Way of the Lakeshore, we can accomplish more than any single group can on its own.  Thanks for helping make our United Way fundraising campaign a success.  Because of you, our community is stronger and thousands of lives are improved across Muskegon, Oceana, and Newaygo Counties.

I sincerely appreciate your commitment – but it is those who are helped through United Way who are indeed grateful.

Congratulations on a great 2021 fundraising campaign and thank you for your generous support and investment in building a brighter future for all.

Thank you.




Can I contribute by check, cash, or credit card?

All contributions are graciously accepted. United Way of the Lakeshore encourages payroll deduction as a convenient and easy way of spreading a generous gift over a year’s time. However, we do accept cash, check or credit card.

What happens to my pledge if I stop working? 

We know that your pledge is made in good faith and is based on your earnings. Should you cease to be employed, it will be up to you to determine your ability to continue your pledge based on your personal circumstances. You can stop your pledge at any time by notifying your payroll office.

Who supports United Way of the Lakeshore and why?

Individuals are asked in the workplace for contributions. Businesses and industries give corporate gifts. Donations are also received from retirees and others who cannot give through a workplace campaign. Many people believe the United Way of the Lakeshore is the best way to maximize charitable contributions because of the thoroughness and care that go into reviewing and monitoring agency programs. United Way’s coordinated planning makes the most efficient use of donations.

Why should I contribute when I don't use United Way-funded services? 

United Way of the Lakeshore funds programs which address a wide variety of concerns. While you may not have had any occasion to turn to a United Way-funded agency in the past, you could need assistance in the future. By making a pledge, you are making sure that human service programs will be there for you and your family or friends and co-workers if you need them.

How can I be sure that the money I give remains in the community in which I live or work? 

All donor requests are honored. Our pledge forms let you choose where and how you wish your gift to be distributed. Agency finances are monitored by an accounting firm and dedicated volunteers from each community are involved in every aspect of United Way, including fund distribution.

Does United Way have a high overhead and fundraising cost?

United Way keeps its administrative and fundraising costs to a minimum. Administrative costs were 9% and fundraising costs 9% in 2020. The Better Business Bureau suggests administrative and fundraising costs are at 35% or less. United Way has historically been well below the acceptable level. We keep our costs low due to generous sponsorship by local companies and media. Our corporate partners fund the majority of our fundraising and administrative costs. This allows most individual gifts to go directly to programs and services. In 2020, 1.4 million was raised by individual donors, and 2.5 million was allocated to programs and services.

Someone I know didn't get the help when they needed it. 

Chances are that the individual was not dealing with the most appropriate agency to meet their needs. Call 2-1-1 is a 24-hour information and referral organization that helps connect people to the help they need.

Do you have to give to United Way to receive services from an agency? 

Agencies provide service to people based on need; they do not require that people receiving services contribute to the United Way. Fees for service, if any, are based on the person’s ability to pay. Agencies do not turn away clients because they cannot pay.

Why should I give?

Government programs take care of some human care needs, while others are handled by voluntary agencies such as those funded in part by United Way. Those agencies supply many services offered by no other source. If United Way did not exist, many programs would have to be cut or eliminated.