YOU are the heart of United Way.

Since 1923, we at United Way of the Midlands have been connecting individuals, organizations and nonprofits to better understand the needs in our community and tackle them.

In the wake of COVID-19, we understand that employers and employees alike are having to make tough decisions, and our team is here to provide charitable giving support during this pandemic.

With social distancing, working remotely and a struggling economy, the United Way workplace campaign will look very different this year. We are here to help you plan and execute the type of fundraising campaign that makes the most sense for your organization, and we are so grateful for your support of local families in need during this difficult time.

When you donate to United Way of the Midlands, you can feel good knowing your donation goes further, helping fund more than 100 local nonprofit programs that are making a difference and providing Basic Needs, Education and Financial Stability support. Please click here to view the programs your gift supports.

Thank you to our Campaign chairs, Clark and Emily Lauritzen!

We are so grateful to Clark and Emily for stepping into this vital role and supporting our 2020-2021 campaign year. Clark is the Chairman and President of First National Bank of Omaha. First National Bank of Omaha is a family-owned, independent banking company that serves customers across seven states. FNBO is committed to community, focused on investing in areas of need including housing, financial literacy and local economies.

Steps for Success

Check out best practices proven to engage, excite and ultimately unite your team.

1. Getting Started

  • Set up a meeting with your donor engagement rep to analyze past results and identify areas of opportunity.
  • Create a timeline. Don’t let your campaign sneak up on you!
  • Develop a communications plan to inspire employees and teach them about United Way.

2. Build Your Committee

  • Find strong leaders in your organization to help you plan and implement your campaign.
  • Ask your donor engagement rep for tips and suggestions about engaging your committee.
  • Ask a Senior or Executive-level employee to be involved in planning and present in committee meetings. Engagement from your organization’s leadership team will help your campaign meet or even exceed the goals you set.

3. Develop Your Plan

  • Work with your committee to choose a theme, create fundraising activities and incentives for employees and plan a thank you event where you can share results with your organization.
  • Make goals and share them in your communications. Everyone should understand what they are collectively working towards. Your donor engagement rep can help you figure out donation impact and share it with your team.
  • Get inspired! Keep scrolling to find fundraising activities in the Campaign Ideas section.

4. Build Momentum

  • Utilize United Way materials. Keep scrolling to find printed and digital materials, emails and success stories.
  • Schedule a virtual or in-person kickoff event for employees to attend, or schedule a rally in conjunction with another meeting, such as a staff or safety meeting.
5. Engage Leadership
  • Have your CEO send a personalized letter or e-mail encouraging employee participation.
  • Encourage them to participate in campaign events and endorse United Way.
6. Kickoff Your Campaign!
  • Take photos and share them on your intranet and social media. If you would like United Way to share your images, send content to your donor engagement rep.
  • For companies using e-pledging, an electronic contribution link will be sent on the day of the kickoff and donors will receive an immediate “thank you” once a gift is submitted.
  • Have FUN!

7. Wrap Up Your Campaign

  • Complete and sign the Campaign Report Form. If there are additional donations after the final report has been turned in, contact your donor engagement rep.
  • Do something nice to say “Thank you!!” Order pizza for lunch, send employees something in the mail, offer a paid day off – anything that helps show your appreciation for their participation.
“How to Run a Successful Campaign” Webinars
June 23, August 20 & September 17

*Campaign Leaders and committees invited

Training

Listen in as Campaign Managers and UWM staff share learnings, tips, ideas and more.

Maximizing Your Campaign’s Success From First National Bank of Omaha

Length: 3 minutes

Employee Engagement & Culture From Physicians Mutual

Length: 2:25 minutes

Special Events & Virtual Fundraising From Lincoln Financial Group

Length: 5 minutes

Increasing Campaign Participation From National Indemnity

Length: 6:20 minutes

Effectively Communicating Campaigns From Visiting Nurse Association

Length: 6:25 minutes

Campaign Ideas

Find the inspiration you need to put on a fun and impactful campaign this year!

With COVID-19, some fundraising activities just won’t be possible this year – but don’t fret! There are still fun ways to engage your team, whether they are in the office, working from home or both.

Below, we’ve compiled ideas for Virtual and In-Person fundraising that you and your team can leverage this campaign season. Explore ideas and our Pick a Partner section to discover how you can still effectively and meaningfully raise funds for those in need while inspiring your team to connect during this difficult time.

Staying Safe During COVID-19

Have your fundraising activities become a tradition? Read on to see ways you can modify your tried and true activities to maintain normalcy for employees while following health guidance.

 

When you’re in the office:

  • Ensure employees are practicing proper social distancing during all activities (6 feet apart or more).
  • Consider the health and safety benefits of wearing masks during activities.
  • Split up activities involving large groups into different time slots so there are less people in a room at once, or hold activities in several different rooms to space employees out.
  • Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize! For group games and other activities that may require employees to use the same equipment, sanitize items and spaces between rounds. Consider using disposable materials so employees do not have to use the same equipment.

When possible, consider modifying your event into a virtual version. Explore the Virtual Ideas and Virtual Tools sections below for virtual fundraising ideas you can implement this year.

 

For more health guidance and to learn more about COVID-19 symptoms and available community resources, please feel free to visit and share our COVID-19 Resource page with your team.

Virtual Ideas

If your team is working remotely, here are some new, virtual options you can consider this year! Modify these however you please so that they work best for your workplace and fundraising goals. If you have questions or would like to brainstorm, please contact your donor engagement representative. You can find our team members and their contact information here.

 

  • SPIRIT WEEK Use this high school throwback for a full week of virtual fun; pay a set amount to participate in things like Crazy Hair Day, Favorite Team/Jersey Day, Hat Day, Company Color Day, Opposite Day, Fun Zoom Background Day…you get the idea! Set a time for a virtual call to show your spirit, or just let it show in video meetings. Raffle a prize at the end of the week for all who participate.
  • COOKING LESSON Find team members who have always wanted to host a cooking show; have them record or host a live cooking demonstration and charge “admission” (donations) to join the meeting or view the video link.
  • MENTORSHIP AUCTION Bid out or raffle a virtual coffee chat with C-level executives.
  • TALENT SHOW Line up virtual performances from your most talented team members who play an instrument, sing, dance, do comedy or have a special hidden talent. Charge “admission” to view, and vote on the winners with an extra donation.
  • DRESS UP DAY Flip the Dress Down Day and charge a donation to wear your best suit, favorite dress, trendiest tie . . . anything to get out of quarantine-comfy clothes!
  • SPECIAL DELIVERY Beep beep . . . have your company executives deliver lunch to the highest bidder or raffle winner (wave and door drop only, please).
  • DEPARTMENT CHALLENGE Challenge internal departments with prizes for the most United Way campaign donors, the highest increase in average gift, or first department to complete donations.
  • BABY PHOTOS Have employees send their baby photos to be included in a virtual document or presentation; charge a small amount for each entry and challenge team members to match the photos. Send a prize to the person who matches the most!
  • CUTEST PET CONTEST Post pet pictures on your intranet or send via email and have people vote with dollars on the cutest furry friends.
  • RECIPE EXCHANGE Have team members submit their favorite recipes to share in an electronic cookbook. Charge a set amount to “buy” the book.
  • LUNCHTIME BINGO Send Bingo card documents and call numbers via Zoom. Charge for each card, and offer a prize for the winners.
  • CANDY COUNT Send a picture of a packed candy jar and charge a small donation to guess the count. The winner will come back to their office with a big jar of candy!
  • HOME DATE NIGHT RAFFLE Enter to win gift cards to GrubHub/local restaurants and Red Box. Maybe add a delivery from a local winery or brewery, too!
  • COMPANY “CRIBS” Charge a donation for a virtual tour of coworkers’ homes, gardens, cool office set-ups, blinged-out BBQ areas, or interesting collections.
  • VIRTUAL VACATION Have people submit their favorite vacation photos and a brief description for a virtual tour around the world. Charge “travel fare” to view. As an added bonus, offer a drawing for a timeshare or vacation home rental for use at a later date!
  • TIKTOK CHALLENGE Senior leaders offer to make TikTok videos if company fundraising goals are met or between departments as a competition (dept. leader with smallest % of fundraising goal makes TikTok); the virtual equivalent of doing a dunk tank or other fun in-person activity.
  • VIRTUAL TALENT SHOW Company offers for employees to sign up for a Zoom talent contest. The entrants would have to pay a certain amount to participate. Employees that do not want to participate but would like to watch pay a higher amount. The company finds a panel of three judges. This could be outside individuals, senior employees, or anyone else with the company.
Virtual Tools

Finding the right tool to pull off a virtual campaign or fundraising activity can be tough, but we’ve compiled some resources to get you started! Please message your donor engagement representative directly if you have questions about utilizing one of these tools for your campaign. You can find our team members and their contact information here:

 

  • Zoom
  • GoToMeeting
  • BlueJeans
  • Duo by Google
  • Facebook Live
  • Youtube
  • Youtube Live
  • OneCause
  • MobileCause
    • Set up an online fundraiser, including text-to-give, with the help of our Donor Engagement and Marketing teams! Contact your donor engagement representative to learn more and express your interest.
    • Local companies, including Conagra, Valmont, OPPD, Nebraska Furniture Mart and Lamson, Dugan & Murray have leveraged this tool as an additional payment method for fundraising – allowing them to handle less cash, easily track dollars raised and offer a simple and convenient way for employees to give in the moment during campaign events.
The Classics – In Person

While COVID-19 has changed a lot of workplace environments, we understand that many teams are still working in the office. Because of this, we wanted to share some classic fundraising ideas that you can modify for your needs. Please be sure to read through our “Staying Safe During COVID-19” section above to ensure you are prioritizing the health and safety of your team while fundraising. If you have questions or would like to brainstorm, please contact your donor engagement representative. You can find our team members and their contact information here.

 

  • BINGO Distribute Bingo cards to employees (pay to play). Every day, email a Bingo number to all participants. The first one to reply with “BINGO” wins. The Bingo game continues until all prizes are distributed.
  • TAILGATE PARTY Hold a pay-per-plate cookout during lunch. Cook brats, burgers and hot dogs with condiments. Have chips, pretzels, soda and other tailgating items.
  • CHILI COOK-OFF Participants pay to enter their chili into the contest. Choose judges and determine prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. After judging, employees can pay to sample each chili. Remember to supply cheese, sour cream, crackers, TUMS, etc.
  • COMPLIMENT GRAMS Design notes of thanks or congratulations for co-workers to buy and send to each other.
  • CHANGE BANDIT A co-worker dresses as a bandit and visits employees to procure spare change.
  • SPARE CHANGE JARS Place empty jars near vending machines or gathering places. Ask employees to deposit spare change throughout the year for United Way. This can be a competition between departments.
  • WHITE ELEPHANT SALE Employees donate odd items for the sale. Co-workers have the opportunity to buy items and can pay to display items in someone’s workspace.
  • SPELLING BEE Hold a spelling bee and charge an entry fee. Have galley observers place bets on their favorite participants.
  • DONATION DRIVE Employees donate new or slightly used books, videos, DVDs, board games, puzzles, etc. and hold a sale to benefit United Way.
  • HAUNTED CUBICLE Offer the opportunity to “lease” an empty office or cubicle space that employee teams can decorate. The final day of the campaign, have employees vote on the best cubicle space by donating to the one they like the most.
  • OFFICE OLYMPICS Have a plaque, medal or stuffed animal as an incentive for the department that wins the highest per capita giving award or raises the most money at a particular fundraiser. They keep said item until next year’s campaign.
  • EXECUTIVE DUNK TANK Pay per ball for a chance to dunk your boss or pay a higher fee to walk up and press the “dunk” button. Participants pay extra to add a bag of ice to the dunk tank water.
  • EMPLOYEE 5K FUN RUN Have employees and family members participate in an informal 5k run/walk and charge a fee with all proceeds going to your campaign.

Pick A Partner

 

Fundraise for a good cause, support local business AND save yourself time and effort! We are so excited to work with amazing local business partners that can help make your fundraising campaign seamless and special. Explore below and find the right fit for you and your team today!

Make Your Team “Nothing Bundt Happy”

Do your employees need a pick me up? Consider organizing an on-site event to sell Nothing Bundt Cakes bundtlets, decorated bundt cakes or decorated bundtinis at your workplace, or host an online sale.

Nothing Bundt Cakes will donate 20% of your purchase towards United Way. Click below to learn more and download a flyer about this *sweet* way to fundraise for a good cause.

Pick Your Pronto Pack and Support UWM!

It’s easy to enjoy the great taste of Biaggi’s at home or on the go. Their Pronto Packs are perfectly-sized to serve 4-5 people and include your choice of a House or Caesar salad with freshly-baked bread and Biaggi’s Butter for dipping. Choose from 14 different pasta dishes and take a night off from cooking – it’s good for your community!

Biaggi’s will donate 20% of your purchase to United Way. Click the button below to learn more and to download a flyer you can share with your team.

Let’s Raise Some Dough!

Choose from two different fundraising options:

  1. Purchase Krispie Kreme products at a discounted rate and sell them for profit.
  2. Pre-sell Krispie Kreme products by utilizing the company’s order forms.

You get to choose your selling price so you can determine how much you want to raise for United Way. Click the button below to learn more about these two fundraising options today!

T-Shirt Fundraiser

Purchase a Nebraska Strong or Iowa Strong t-shirt today and help those in need!

Show your pride for your community and support local basic needs programs that provide food, shelter and more for those who are struggling. By helping our neighbors meet their basic needs, you help them gain stability during difficult times like these.

Employees will record their company during checkout so your campaign will receive credit.

Looking for more ideas? Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram to stay in the loop. Please email our Marketing team with questions, thoughts or if you’d like to brainstorm at marketing@uwmidlands.org.

Materials and Content

Find printable and digital materials to help educate your team about United Way.

Print Materials

Digital Materials

Emails

This Word Document features multiple emails you can customize to meet your organization’s needs.

Success Stories

This PDF features several community success stories for you to share with your team.

Images & Graphics

Here you can explore assets for you to use in emails, digital displays, on social media and more!

Our Blog

Visit our blog to learn more about community needs and how your gift makes an impact.

Videos

Explore our video page to hear from:

Local agencies who share how they are responding to COVID-19 with support from United Way

Agency speakers from local nonprofits who share how your donation makes a difference

Local corporate leaders who share how you can take your campaign to the next level this year

People in our community who share how United Way and partners have helped change their life

Why United Way?

Learn more about United Way of the Midlands and how, together, we're making our community a better place.
Serving our community, together, since 1923.

 

At United Way of the Midlands, we’ve been through tough times before. And as a leader in the human services industry, we’re best-positioned to rally donors and coordinate a “united” approach to our community’s challenges.

Due to COVID-19, thousands more people are struggling to meet their basic needs for food, shelter and health care. Because schools aren’t in session and children have spent less time in the classroom, hundreds of children are at a higher risk of falling behind. And as the economy slips into recession, unemployment rates have reached new heights, leaving a staggering number of people without stable jobs.

When you make a donation, your gift is invested in more than 100 local nonprofit programs that work together to form a Circle of Support for people who are struggling.

A message from our President and CEO, Shawna Forsberg
Top 10 Reasons to Partner with United Way

Volunteer Opportunities

Learn more about what your donation can do by volunteering.
Visit Our Volunteer Page

Volunteer Opportunities

 

Interested in learning more about what your dollars do in our community? Schedule a volunteer opportunity with your team! Despite COVID-19, nonprofits still need your help. Whether it’s volunteering from home or following safety and health precautions while rolling up your sleeves at an agency, there are still ways you can share your time and expertise.

Contact our Director of Volunteer Engagement to create a custom volunteer opportunity at 402-522-7949.

GOOD on the Go

This opportunity helps boost employee engagement, foster teamwork and build morale as employees work together to assemble materials for local agencies, such as a Hygiene Kit for someone experiencing homelessness. Align your company’s philanthropic values with volunteerism and give your employees the opportunity to give back in a tangible way, even while social distancing.

Contact our Director of Volunteer Engagement for more information and pricing at 402-522-7949.

Meet Our Team

Our donor engagement representatives are here to support you every step of the way!

Laura Tatten

SVP, Donor Engagement
402-522-7962  ltatten@uwmidlands.org

Maureen Irish

Director, Corporate Relations
402-997-7061 mirish@uwmidlands.org

Patrick Kilcoyne

Director, Leadership Giving and Campaign Administration
402-997-7061 pkilcoyne@uwmidlands.org

Mindy Lerum-Bieck, MPA

Director, Corporate Relations
402-522-7907 mlerum@uwmidlands.org

Shanna Murphy

AFL-CIO Community Services Labor Liaison
402-346-4800 smurphy@uwmidlands.org

Danielle Ohlman

Director, Volunteer Engagement
402-522-7949 dohlman@uwmidlands.org

Evan Schmeits

AFL-CIO Community Services Labor Liaison
402-522-7987 eschmeits@uwmidlands.org

Jermaine Blackson

Coordinator, Donor Engagement
402-522-7914 jblackson@uwmidlands.org

United Way of the Midlands   |   2201 Farnam Street   |   Omaha, NE 68102   |   402-342-8232

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