Communications & Making the ask >>

Communications play an important role in getting the word out about your campaign, especially when it comes to making the ask. The #1 reason people don’t give is because they weren’t asked. Use these tips and template communications to help you spread the word and take the first steps to make the ask.



Use our template emails and letters as a starting point for writing your own campaign communications and solicitations.

Include our campaign video in your first ask email so your co-workers know how their dollars are supporting our community.

Include a link to one of our recent blog posts to share a story of a real neighbor helped by a United Way partner.

Share how different gift amounts can make an impact:

  • A monthly gift of $5 provides formula for an infant for 36 days
  • A one-time gift of $50 covers 200 meals for families in need
  • An annual gift of $500 (or $21 per paycheck) provides the first month’s rent for a family in crisis
  • Use our impact calculator to find more ideas.

Peer-to-Peer asks

Research shows a peer-to-peer ask is the most effective way of asking for a pledge. Here are a few tips to help you have these conversations:

Start the discussion on a positive, friendly note.

Explain the purpose of United Way and why you support it. Share a personal story, success story or United Way facts.

    • Remember, you are not asking for yourself; you are asking on behalf of someone who needs help.

Bring United Way materials and be prepared to explain them.

    • Answer any questions. Recognize that some donors have real concerns; people have a right to feel good about their gift.
    • Know your materials and answer questions honestly – never guess. If you don’t know the answer, let the donor know you will find out, and follow up with your United Way representative.

For annual givers, encourage an increase. Consider asking for a specific increase, such as one dollar more per week or pay period.

Say thank you. People like to know their gift is appreciated!

    • Regardless of what the donor decides, thank them.


Reaching out to retired employees or newer employees is another way to help reach your campaign goal and raise more money for United Way.

Here are a few ways to connect with your company’s retirees:

  • Ask your HR department to send retirees a letter or email with an ask to consider continuing to support the campaign.
  • Hosting an in-person kickoff or other fun event? Invite retirees to come to the office to attend the event and see their former co-workers and friends.
  • Ask company leaders to make personal outreaches to retirees who they are still connected to and encourage them to give through your campaign.
  • Share how your company has continued to support United Way and how their gift (whether one-time or a monthly payment) can have a huge impact for our community and on your company campaign.

And, with so many companies bringing on new employees recently, make a special effort to ensure this audience understands United Way’s impact in our community and why your company runs a campaign. Use these tips to help educate new employees:

  • Ask HR to distribute this brochure to recent new employees. And, encourage HR to give this out throughout the year during new hire onboarding so your co-workers are primed by the time next year’s campaign rolls around!
  • Host a Lunch ‘N Learn specifically geared for new employees to learn about United Way. Need help planning it? Ask your campaign representative for ideas.
  • Ask department leads to talk about your campaign in department meetings and to share with their staff why they support United Way’s campaign.