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. 

Campaign Presentation Guides -

This 2 sheet document outlines everything you need to know to run a campaign. It also includes our most asked about data, What A Dollar Does, and the 2019 ALICE report for each specific county. Click the respective county below to download the documents. 

Muskegon        Newaygo        Oceana

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 - 

This 1 page lists all of our funded partner agency programs that are in Muskegon, Newaygo, and Oceana.

Agenda For Change -  

The Agenda for Change is a working document of our community impact framework that includes 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. 

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 Presentation 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. 


Muskegon Video

Newaygo Video

Oceana Video

Check out our previous campaign videos on our Vimeo Channel by clicking here! 

Campaign Forms: 

Campaign Envelope Sheet-

Finished your campaign? Use this form to attach to the envelope to help keep track of the donations!

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. 

Message 1 to Workplace Donors

Let’s Show Up for {Community (Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana)}
It takes all of us working together to advance the common good. 


With your help, more neighbors will be able to navigate the long recovery ahead as they rebuild their lives.

As some parts of life begin to return to normal, so many here in [COMMUNITY] and around the world are still dealing with the impact of COVID-19. The global pandemic not only exposed unjust systems in our community, but it also widened existing divides and hurt people already vulnerable in our community. 

The best way to close this widening gap and help more people thrive is for all of us to Show Up. That’s why we are excited for you and your colleagues at [COMPANY NAME] to join this year’s workplace campaign. 

United Way of the Lakeshore has always worked to serve under-resourced communities, making sure everyone has access to health care, receives a quality education and can build a financially stable path. With generous support from people like you, we can make sure we’re helping people recover today and reimagining a future for our community that is more equitable, where everyone can thrive.

Join us today for this year’s workplace campaign. <Insert workplace campaign info here>

Message 2 to Workplace Donors

People Are Still Struggling
Show up with generosity to help your neighbors feel connected again. 


Thousands of vulnerable people in our community continue to struggle to rebuild their lives.

But you have the chance to make a difference for them, and people around the world. 

When you give to your company’s workplace campaign you help more people in our area:


  • Put books in hands of children
  • Graduate high school
  • Get trained for a job
  • Save money
  • Access health care
  • Find healthy food
  • Stay in a safe home

Helping people in our community overcome these challenges is what United Way of the Lakeshore has done for over a hundred years. We have been there year after year for our community’s most vulnerable. Now we’re asking you to Show Up too. 

Show Up United for your neighbors who are still feeling the pandemic’s lasting effects.
They deserve the opportunity to thrive. With your support we can help people recover while rebuilding more equitable communities. 

No one person, organization, company or government can do this alone. We have to Show Up for each other.

How will you Show Up United for your community?

Message 3 to Workplace Donors

You Can Still Show Up United Way
Together we can build a stronger community where everyone thrives. 


A stronger community where everyone thrives is possible. But we all need to Show Up United to make it happen.

COVID-19 exposed and exacerbated many challenges in our community, impacting our most vulnerable neighbors the hardest. If we act together we can reimagine our region and rebuild resilient, equitable communities where everyone can thrive.

This is possible with generous donors like you. A gift to United Way of the Lakeshore will help:

  • Give Confidence to Kids by investing in leadership development programs, mentors for youth, and afterschool tutoring!
  • Give Strength to Say No by investing in child abuse prevention programs, domestic violence intervention supports, counseling, and initiatives to combat human trafficking!
  • Give Comfort in Crisis by investing in disaster relief services, affordable housing programs, financial literacy courses, transportation assistance, and the 211 Helpline!

Let’s come together to show our neighbors what is possible when we all Show Up United!

Message 1 – Workplace/Letter/Blog

Join United Way of the Lakeshore and Show Up United

Be part of giving back in [COMMUNITY NAME] to help others thrive

People in [COMMUNITY NAME] are still struggling. Together we can create more opportunities for them to recover and to rebuild our community stronger than ever.

[Video Link]

The power of caring and connection has never been greater. 

The collective effort of donors and volunteers in [COMMUNITY] helped our community get through the pandemic. Thanks to those efforts United Way of the Lakeshore and our partners were able to respond quickly and help more people than ever.

But there is still more work to do.

Over [ALICE Percentage] of people in our community are still struggling. Many face complex problems that existed before the pandemic that got worse during COVID-19. 

We give immediate relief to people through programs and resources that help them recover from crises. But just as important, supporters of United Way of the Lakeshore help make long-term solutions possible. The kind of solutions that help us rebuild a community that creates more opportunities and fewer divisions. The kind of solutions that help us reimagine our community and change the unjust systems that hold so many back. 

You can power this kind of good. More people in our community need help to put food on the table, pay rent, develop strong work skills and so much more. We have programs and partners who can help our most vulnerable and you can ensure more people have access to the help they need. 

When you donate to United Way of the Lakeshore you will:

  • Give Confidence to Kids by investing in leadership development programs, mentors for youth, and afterschool tutoring!
  • Give Strength to Say No by investing in child abuse prevention programs, domestic violence intervention supports, counseling, and initiatives to combat human trafficking!
  • Give Comfort in Crisis by investing in disaster relief services, affordable housing programs, financial literacy courses, transportation assistance, and the 211 Helpline!

Will you come together again to show our most vulnerable neighbors what is possible when we all Show Up United? 


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.