Campaign Toolkit

The tools on this page are here to help Lake Area United Way Campaign Coordinators run a successful employee drive campaign. If you have any questions about running a campaign or need additional information, please call Lake Area United Way at 918.682.1364 or contact Kim Jaquez (director@lakeareaunitedway) or Emerson Thornbrugh (

If you need to schedule a campaign kickoff event, click here.

Campaign Toolkit

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Everyone is dealing with different circumstances and challenges this year. We don’t want your Lake Area United Way campaign to be one of those challenges.
We are offering different options to make your United Way campaign as easy as possible. Check out the options below and let us customize your campaign so that it fits your organization.


  • Most campaigns look like this every year. Your organization holds one campaign kickoff attended by all your employees.

  • You have the option to pass out paper pledge cards or use Lake Area United Way's online pledge card. With the online pledge card, employees can make pledges and credit card payments from their computers.

  • Set a deadline for employees to complete pledges and report your campaign total to the United Way.


  • Some campaigns already take this approach, but it may appeal to you. Your organization can hold multiple, small group campaign kickoffs.

  • You have the option to pass out paper pledge cards or use Lake Area United Way's online pledge card. With the online pledge card, employees can make pledges and credit card payments from their computers.

  • Set a deadline for employees to complete pledges and report your campaign total to the United Way.


  • Your organization would hold a campaign kickoff online. Lake Area United Way United Way would host the kickoff with messages from the Campaign Chairs and the campaign video.

  • You have the option to pass out paper pledge cards or use Lake Area United Way's online pledge card. With the online pledge card, employees can make pledges and credit card payments from their computers.

  • Set a deadline for employees to complete pledges and report your campaign total to the United Way.


  • A Rollover campaign is one where employees continue their current donations and payroll continues to take out the designed amount and sends them to LAUW.


If none of these are exactly right for your organization, let’s talk about what works best for you and customize your campaign.


Again, we want your United Way campaign as easy as possible. Please contact Kim Jaquez - or call Lake Area United Way office at 918.682.1364 to set up the perfect campaign for your organization.

This one-page guide includes information on the benefits of being a Campaign Coordinator, your duties, steps to success, key messages and a campaign checklist.

Campaign Coordinator Guide (Click to Download)



This guide includes information and steps to take to make your virtual Lake Area United Way a success.

Virtual Campaign Guide  (Click to Download)



When should our campaign take place?

Pacesetter campaigns take place in July and August. Most other workplace campaigns occur between early September and mid-November. However, they can take place at any time of the year.

I have limited time. How can I work the campaign into my busy schedule?

Reach out to us. Lake Area United Way staff and volunteers are here to help you every step of the way. Let us know your limitations and we will come up with a plan together to make it easier for you. Another way to ease the strain is to recruit a campaign team. Assign tasks and assume a management role. Most importantly, start planning early. The earlier you start the easier the process will be for you.

How long should our campaign last?

Most campaigns can be wrapped up in two or three weeks. The goal is to distribute and collect pledge cards while the United Way message is still fresh in employees’ minds.

How can I involve our employees in the campaign experience?

Take the campaign to them. Some ideas are to use e-mail, voice mails, videos, and/or letters from the CEO/Leadership to get the word out. Attach balloons with United Way messages to the employees’ desks. Designate one room as the United Way Room and have participants play games on their breaks and turn in pledge forms for prizes. Use your company’s intranet to provide information and results. Create and distribute a company video starring your colleagues sharing their reasons for Living United in prior campaigns.

When do payroll contributions start?

The most common payroll contribution period usually runs from January 1 through December 31. Some companies use their fiscal year as their schedule for payroll contribution. United Way does not set your payroll schedule. It is a company decision.

How do I get a speaker at my event?

United Way can work with you to secure a speaker for your campaign kickoff. We can recommend speakers for your rally based on the interests of your workforce. For planning purposes, please allow at least two weeks to process your speaker request. Since most speakers are doing numerous events throughout the campaign, it is not always possible to get the speaker you request. Email us to schedule a speaker at

Color LAUW Logo
Color with Community Parter
B and W side logo

Sample Meeting Agenda

(Don’t forget the pens for signing the pledge forms!)

Coordinator and/or CEO welcomes and endorses the campaign.  - 1 Minute

Coordinator explains how the pledge cards will be distributed and collected and then introduces UW rep. - 2 Minutes

Coordinator shares a personal story or one of the following speaks: United Way rep, partner agency rep or client. - 8 Minutes

Show United Way video. - 3 Minutes

United Way rep and Coordinator extend invitation to give and ask for employees’ support. - 2 Minutes

Coordinator collects pledge cards and thanks employees. - 2 Minutes

Total Time 18 Minutes


Sample Email

TO: All Staff
SUBJECT: United Way Campaign

Dear <employee name>

Mark your calendars! (Organization’s) United Way campaign begins (date). As Employee Campaign Coordinator, I look forward to the many fun and interesting activities we have planned. This year’s campaign focuses on fighting to make our community better for every person.

Stay tuned for more details. Meanwhile, learn more about United Way at


Sample CEO Endorsement Letter

Dear (Employee Name):

It’s that time of year again when we have the opportunity to LIVE UNITED. When we come together under the umbrella of our local United Way, we share our blessings with those less fortunate here in our community.

Being a good corporate citizen is a core value here at (organization name). It makes me proud of our team year after year to see so many of you participate in our annual United Way Campaign. 

For me, giving to our local United Way makes sense.  It impacts so many different organizations and helps people with a variety of different needs.  When you give to Lake Area United Way, you give people a chance to make a bad situation better. You give them the power to believe in themselves. You give them hope.  I encourage you to learn more about how incredibly effective and efficient our local United Way is by visiting online at

Thank you for being a part of our (organization name) team.  I appreciate your thoughtful consideration in joining me this year in support of Lake Area United Way.  Let’s continue to LIVE UNITED and change lives for the better!

(CEO Signature)


Sample Thank You Letter

Dear (Employee Name):

Thank you for participating in this year’s (Organization Name) United Way Campaign!  I’m extremely proud of our team’s efforts to LIVE UNITED!

All of us at (Organization Name) understand that our strength is in our staff.  We sincerely appreciate your dedication and willingness to help us continue our tradition of civic involvement through your participation in this year’s drive.  Thanks to you and your co-workers, we’ve successfully raised (Insert Amount) this year!

We’re extremely proud of this achievement and all the good it will accomplish through our United Way in the coming year, providing funding to more than three dozen local health and human service programs at 15 non-profit agencies.

Thank you again for the care and concern you have shown for others through your participation this year.  Certainly, you understand how much more we can do together when we LIVE UNITED.

(CEO Signature)


Here are the facts:

65% of single moms with children under five years old live in poverty.

Over 17,667 age-appropriate books have been sent in Muskogee and Cherokee Counties to ensure our children are ready for school success.

9,060 children were served by Lake Area United Way partners last year. 

This is how your donations impact our community.

$1.00 per week provides leadership development, STEM Experiences, and Financial Literacy for one girl living in poverty.

$5.00 per week provides ONE WEEK of afterschool care for an elementary child.

$10.00 per week provides shelter for ONE family after a fire. 

$20.00 per week provides 10 DAYS of SAFE shelter for victims of domestic violence.

One time $25.00 gift will provide 2 children with age-appropriate books for a whole year through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.


Leadership givers are Lake Area United Way's most generous supporters and are an integral part of our efforts to solve community problems and bring measurable, lasting change to the lives of thousands of residents in our community each year. Leadership giving contributions can be combined with a household member, given as a one-time gift or given through payroll deduction.

Leadership Society

Donors who give an annual gift of $500 - $2,499

Legacy Society

Donors who give an annual gift of $2,500 - $9,999

Alexis de Tocqueville Society

Donors who give an annual gift of $10,000 or more

A small deduction from each pay period adds up to make a large impact. There are two ways to be a Fair Share giver. Donate 1% of your annual salary or donate one hour’s pay per month.

1% of Annual Salary Example

Annual salary of $30,000
$30,000 x 1% (.01)
$300 Annual Contribution

1 Hour's Pay Per Month Example

Hourly salary of $10
$10 x 12
$120 Annual Contribution

Win Back Lapsed Donors

A lapsed donor is someone who gave the previous year but did not give during the current fundraising campaign. As you turn in final numbers for your company’s drive you will be given a list of lapsed donors. Once you review the list you will be able to quickly identify whether that person has left your company or was absent on the day of your kick-off.

It is important to follow up with those employees to allow them to participate. This can help your company’s total campaign dollars go up. If the person is no longer employed at your company please let your United Way contact know to help United Way maintain accurate and updated donor information.

New Hires Program

Through employment changes, job loss, and moving, United Way incurs contribution losses.  A New Hire Program can help replace those contributions.  Please help your community by making sure your company holds a New Hires Campaign through which new employees are asked to support United Way at the time of hire.  Materials are available for your orientation packets.  Email us at for info!

Retirees Program

United Way relies on the support of retirees as the needs in the community grow.  Many retirees have the support of pensions and benefits; there are many more who live around us who don’t have that security.  Ask your CEO and United Way rep to help you get a Retiree Program started.

Recruit a Campaign Team

Don’t rely on one person. Recruit a team to lead your campaign and increase awareness of the United Way campaign.

Set Goals

Set goals for your United Way campaign. And not just for a total amount raised. You could set a goal for participation or leadership givers.  

Pick a Theme

Brand your United Way campaign with a theme. It's easier to work with something that has meaning to you and your company. Let a children's book guide you, or a touching story from one of your employees. Tying it in to something personal or something that has meaning to the whole groups helps build passion and excitement for your cause. Googling United Way Campaign Themes or using pinterest will really get those creative juices flowing. 

Campaign Kickoff

Invite your employees to a campaign kickoff. Food or snacks are always a good way to get them there! Bring in a speaker from one of United Way’s Funded Partners.

Support from the Top

The most successful campaigns are the ones with visible support from the CEO. Have them speak at your campaign kickoff. They can also send a company-wide email about supporting United Way.

Culture of Giving

Create excitement in your office and make sure employees have fun while raising funds for a great cause!

Incentives to Give

Most successful campaigns include an incentive to give. A few examples :

  • Paid time off for Fair Share and Leadership Givers.
  • Fair Share givers are eligible for a daily gift card drawing
  • Prizes given to donors such as a scooter, gas gift cards and grocery gift cards
  • Employees who turn in their pledge card at the Fair Share level on the first day are eligible to be entered into a drawing for a prize


All of our most successful campaigns do a number of fundraisers in addition to collecting pledges from employees. These range from chili cookoffs to pie in the face contests to gift basket auctions.

As a Company Coordinator, you encounter some questions about United Way that are hard to answer.  We have listed the most frequently asked questions below to help you.  Of course, if you come across another question that you cannot answer, please don’t hesitate to contact your Lake Area United Way representative. We would rather be asked tough questions than leave people with a misunderstanding or misconception of United Way.

What is United Way’s overhead Ratio?

Lake Area United Way is committed to responsible stewardship of your donations. About 99-cents of every dollar goes directly to those most in need. United Way has taken many steps in the past year to reduce expenses and our overhead ratio, defined as fundraising and administration expenses divided by total revenue. Based on the current IRS 990 Form, Lake Area United Way's overhead is 11%. That is well below the Better Business Bureau standard for nonprofit organizations, which is 35% or less.

Are all United Ways the same?

No. There are more than 1,200 separate, autonomous United Ways. Lake Area United Way is one of 19 United Ways in Oklahoma. We have our own local Board of Directors, which establishes policies. We support United Way Worldwide with dues that help provide training and national advertising, but it has no authority over your local United Way.

Does United Way fund abortions?

No. No single United Way anywhere in the country has ever provided funding for abortion services. The abortion issue is a divisive one on which United Way takes no position.

My friend wasn’t helped, so I’m not giving!

Last year, Lake Area United Way helped thousands of people.  However, there are still people who will not be served due to the limited funds that our partners have available. That is why it is so important to participate.

Can I designate my gift?

Yes! We allow designations to support programs of any of our current funded partners. You find those partners in the Lake Area United Way brochure. Designations not meeting requirements will be redirected to Lake Area United Way's Community Fund.

Is giving to United Way voluntary?

Yes! We never want someone to feel like they are being coerced into giving. If you feel this way, contact Jenny Jamison at 918.682.1364. Together we can help with the presentation of our United Way that will hopeful give you the information you need to make an educated decision of your own.

Why do some United Way partners charge fees?

United Way funds provide only a portion of the money agencies need to provide services. Some agencies charge sliding scale fees so they can help more people.

I never use agency services - why should I give?

You never know when you, a member of your family or a neighbor may need a United Way service due to job loss, loss of a loved one, illness, disabilities, or family problems. Your gift helps ensure that United Way services are available to as many people as possible when they’re needed the most.