Running Your Campaign

You are helping your co-workers participate in creating a stronger community.

Why it matters to Purdue:

  • Recognized as a leader in positively impacting people’s lives
  • Regarded as a caring community employer
  • Relationships with other key community leaders are built

Why it matters to you and your co-workers:

  • Educates about community needs and United Way’s impact
  • Builds employee morale and pride
  • Communicates availability of services for employees in need
  • Provides leadership and development opportunities for employee committee volunteers

Why it matters to your community:

  • A healthier, stronger community
  • An improved quality of life for everyone.
  • A vital economy
  • Wabash Center learner

Here are some quick tips that make asking for a pledge easier:

  • Know the facts.  
    Read the background materials carefully. The more you know about United Way, the easier your job will be. Prepare a solicitation case. Check out United Way’s Web site at for facts and stories that make a compelling case for giving.
  • Make personal contact.
    People give to people. Set up face-to-face meetings to ask for a pledge. It’s best not to just leave pledge cards on desks. Group meetings are the most effective and efficient way to reach all employees in an organization. It can take as little as 20 minutes to convey the key message to your group, make the ask, and even show the United Way video. Please call your United Way to schedule a Advocate to speak at your meeting(s). Remember, people give to people, so don’t overlook this critical step.
  • Be positive.
    Explain the benefits of giving to United Way. Stress the importance of each person’s contribution to our community. Emphasize that you’re raising funds for urgently needed programs to help children succeed in life, help individuals get jobs and stable housing, strengthen families and neighborhoods, and put people on the road to becoming socially, emotionally, and economically self-sufficient.
  • Be prepared for questions and concerns.
    People deserve to know that their money is being used wisely. If you don’t know the answer to a question, find out by calling on United Way staff and get back to your colleague.  
  1. Attend Purdue Kick Off on September 11 at 11:30 a.m., Xerox printing facility (Eastside parking and conference room).
  2. Campaign materials will be available at Kick Off.
  3. Add your name and department to the mailing envelopes before you distribute them, to assure your co-workers know who their team captain is. Have them write their names on outside of return envelope.
  4. Distribute solicitation envelopes by hand to staff members on or soon after September 11th. Tell the United Way story. Schedule an Advocate to talk to your department; a video is available from your area senior chair and on the Web site.
  5. Return pledge forms to Gift Processing, Dauch Alumni Center, daily during the campaign. Employees also may use campus mail to return their forms. (DO NOT send CASH in campus mail!)
  6. Use weekly lists of outstanding pledge forms to follow-up with employees who have not returned their forms. Your senior chair will distribute lists to you. THESE REPORTS are for your information only! Do not e-mail these reports to anyone.
  7. Provide blank forms for those who have lost forms or for new staff members (or direct them to the United Way Web site to download a blank form). Contact Anne Parks at 49-49240 or email with questions about pledge forms.
  8. Give a poster to each employee who returns a pledge form. (Pick up posters for Grad assistants and Vanguards at Dauch.) See below.
  9. Have all forms returned by November 19 so we can meet the Purdue goal of $755,000 by the Victory Celebration.

Important to Know:

  • Pre-printed pledge forms have been prepared for all monthly paid staff, biweekly paid staff, and select retirees (you will not be delivering to grad students; they will get their solicitations in an email).
  • Forms for staff no longer here should be returned to United Way, Dauch Alumni Center, with a notation as such.
  • Do Not Open Envelopes Containing Returned Pledge Forms.
  • If a staff member so desires, the pledge may be sent directly to United Way, Dick and Sandy Dauch Alumni Center, 403 West Wood Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2007. Contributors should be encouraged to return forms through Purdue.
  • Payroll deductions are the easiest way to give. These deductions will begin with the first paychecks of 2014! Checks should be made payable to “United Way.”

NOTE: Grad Students in all areas will be sent their pledge packets in an email.

Some of the people you solicit will object to the idea, particularly when you ask them to increase their pledges this year. Rejections are a natural part of the campaign process, so regard them as welcome signals that you are doing your job the way it should be done. However, unless you really understand what objections are and how to handle them, they can present big problems. The following gives some practical insight into the psychology of objections and how to handle them with confidence.

Keep these points in mind:

  • Be empathetic. Listen carefully to what your prospect says. This does not mean that you agree, however. You can be empathetic and concerned without necessarily agreeing.
  • Objections aren’t personal. An objection isn’t directed against you, it is directed at the idea you are presenting.
  • Encourage the contributor to talk. When an objection is voiced, let the individual expand on it at length. If the objection is insincere, illogical, or both, it will tend to fall of its own weight as he/she attempts to articulate it.
  • Objections may actually be misperceptions. Clarify the basis of the objection and present facts to alleviate the misperceptions.
  • Don’t argue with your prospect. If you argue with an objection, you will force your prospect into defending it. Remember the old adage about winning the battle but losing the war? As a campaigner, you may win an argument, but you will lose your sale.
  • Relax and be yourself. You shouldn’t feel that your job is to match wits or verbally “fence” with your prospect. Neither is it necessary to overwhelm your prospect with rhetoric. You have an important idea to present, and you should be absolutely straightforward in so doing. Remember, the solicitation interview isn’t a “win–lose” situation; it is a “win–win” situation! 
  • What local agencies are members of United Way?
    1. United Way of Greater Lafayette
    2. American Red Cross
    3. The ARC
    4. Big Brothers Big Sisters
    5. Bauer Family Resources
    6. Crisis Center
    7. Family Services, Inc.
    8. Food Finders Food Bank
    9. Girl Scouts - Lafayette Service Center
    10. Hanna Community Center
    11. Lafayette Adult Resource Academy
    12. Lafayette Family YMCA
    13. Lafayette Transitional Housing
    14. Legal Aid Corporation
    15. Lyn Treece Boys & Girls Club
    16. Meals on Wheels
    17. Mental Health Association of America
    18. Sagamore Boy Scouts of America
    19. Salvation Army Lafayette Corps
    20. Tippecanoe County Council on Aging
    21. Riggs Community Health Center
    22. Right Steps Child Development Care
    23. Wabash Center
    24. YWCA
  • Why return pledge form to your team captain?
    So the team captain knows you received your solicitation and had the opportunity to make your decision on whether or not to give. Team Captains will give Purdue posters to those who return forms.
  • Who knows what or if I give?
    Only those in Gift Processing and Payroll who process gifts; area heads, chairs, team captains know only the percentage giving and total amounts for the 19 Purdue areas.
  • Who benefits?
    One in three individuals in the community who needs the services of the 23 participating agencies and countless others who benefit from the many programs sponsored by United Way.
  • How much should I give?
    Only you can decide. Purdue does not specify or promote “fair share.”
  • How do I give?
    Complete your pledge form; give by check, quarterly pledge, by credit card, or payroll deduction (the easy way).
  • I give directly to the agencies.
    Great! But please consider an additional small gift to the United Way; it can do a great deal of good throughout the community, extending the impact of your charitable giving.
  • What if I don’t want my money to go to all of these agencies?
    Contributions may be designated to any specific agency within the 25 supported by the local United Way, and all such designations will be honored in their entirety. Note: the United Way planning and allocations committees review the requests of the various agencies, and they do “pre-allocate” the target dollar total for the campaign among the agencies so as to try to ensure the best coverage of community needs. Remember, just because you haven’t seen or heard about an agency in the news doesn’t mean the need is not there. The most generous gift is the undesignated gift.
  • Who decides how the money is used?
    Volunteers who work with our local United Way organizations and partners, many of them Purdue employees. The United Way of Greater Lafayette has a very small staff; the total budget for all expenses is less than 10% of the campaign; budget and allocation decisions are made by volunteer committees.  
  1. Brown Bag Lunch Day — Co-workers bring in their lunch, and the money they would have spent on going out to lunch goes toward the United Way campaign. It’s nice if the company can provide either the lunch, some treats, or raffle off some prizes. You could also collect the money to get into a designated area that is specially decorated for the event.
  2. Garage Sale — Co-workers bring in items, and proceeds go toward United Way campaign.
  3. DVD/VHS/ and or book sale — Co-workers bring in DVD’s or videos they no longer watch; proceeds go toward United Way campaign.
  4. Kiss a Pig — We did this one back in high school, and it was a big hit. The favorite (or least favorite) managers are persuaded to join in. Jars with each manager’s name are placed in a prominent location. The manager who has received the most money by a given date has to “kiss the pig” in front of everyone. This is a fun fundraiser that all will enjoy.
  5. Goofy Olympics — Pick fun and silly games for an “Olympics” lunch hour. Participants pay an entry fee per game or for the whole hour. Prizes (donated) are given to winners of each contest or game. Combine this program with food booths for more fun and profits.
  6. Spirit Chain Fundraising — This has been a great fundraiser for high school students, but can be used in the workplace. Have a competition within the different departments to see who has the most spirit. Each department has a paper chain with two colors. Sell each strip of paper for 25 or 50 cents. Keep the chains hidden, and then at an assembly have representatives bring out the huge paper chains that have accumulated over time. The department with the longest chain receives a prize, such as extra vacation hours, a better parking spot, free meal, etc. This is a great activity to do right before a function when spirit is high. The only thing you have to pay for is paper and staples/glue/tape.
  7. Sticky Fly Fundraising — A friend and I came up with this one a few years ago for Child Abuse Prevention Month (which happens to be April). Find a popular person in upper management willing to participate. You'll also need lots of duct tape. Post flyers around the office a week ahead of time advertising your fundraiser. On the appointed day, during lunch hours, find a spot where coworkers pass by regularly. Set a chair up against a wall so that the side of the chair (NOT the back or front, otherwise it won't work right) is firmly against the wall. Place a couple of gym mats or cushions in front of the chair as a precaution. Have the manager stand up on the chair with his/her back against the wall. For 50 cents per yard of duct tape, coworkers can tape the manager to the wall. When the manager is firmly taped to the wall, stop selling tape. Announce that you will now remove the chair to see just how long the "fly" can stick to the wall.
  8. Dinner Auction — Our local auxiliary hosts a dinner auction two or three times a year. We have raised a considerable amount of money for various organizations. Ask for volunteers to make a single dinner (for example, pork chops, mashed potatoes, a vegetable, and roll). We supply the take-out containers to package them in. Pick a night to hold the auction. Everyone brings the dinners on that particular night. Arrange all dinners on a table so that people can see what they are bidding on. The "auctioneer" then starts the bidding; most dinners start at $5.00 each. It’s amazing how much a particular dinner can go for! At our last auction, a chocolate hot fudge cake went for $27.50! Have people sign up to make the meals and write them down on recipe cards; do the bidding a week ahead of time, and have people bring the meals to the winners the following week (more time to eat lunch this way!).
  9. Other Auctions — Prime parking spot, half or whole day off, free lunch, art, come in late/leave early, “Boss for a Day,” etc.
  10. Moustache Growing Fundraising — A group of over 40 University of Georgia veterinary students grew mustaches to raise money for the Wildlife Treatment Crew, a student volunteer organization that assists wounded animals. Each participant was sponsored individually.
  11. Operation Beard Off — Our school principal had never been seen without his beard. We managed to convince him to shave it off at our school country fair if we had enough donations to encourage him to do this. We set a minimum amount that we wanted to raise and advertised this as a “secret minimum” — this meant that the donations kept coming in, because no one knew if we had reached the minimum or not! Our fair usually raises about $13,000. We actually raised $1,600 from this single promotion (our minimum had been set at $1,000) and we were thrilled with the response from such a small school community. Make sure you choose someone with a recognizable beard.
  12. Other CEO challenges — If a campaign goal is attained, the CEO does something crazy (dresses up in costume, sits in a dunk tank, gets a pie in the face).