United Way of Greater Philadelphia & Southern New Jersey

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

The Situation

Almost 1 in 3 children lives in poverty in our southern New Jersey communities while Philadelphia is America's poorest big city with a poverty rate of 26%. These statistics drove the United Way of Greater Philadelphia & Southern New Jersey (UWP) to reassess their approach and adopt a cause-focused strategy centered around ending intergenerational poverty. Untuck was approached to conceptualize and execute United Way's annual campaign for the 2017–2018 fiscal year in order to harness the collective power of its donors, advocates, and volunteers. With support through the campaign, the United Way can help individuals and families break the cycle of poverty in the region.

Our Approach

The annual campaign—United Way's most robust fundraising effort—posed some new challenges and opportunities for our team. To start, UWP wanted to target a new segment of donors—the individual—in addition to the major gift donors and corporate partnerships made through workplace initiatives. And it was crucial to demonstrate the significant shift in the organization's strategic plan to convey that UWP is a hands-on, cause-focused agency working to end intergenerational poverty—instead of a more typical convener and fundraiser.

We opted to segment out and tactically target five different key audience groups—mature business partners who have been hosting workplace campaigns for years, new business partners in their first campaign, employee campaign chairs (ECCs handpicked by CEOs to run the campaign), individual major donors, and (new) individual micro-donors—and adjusted the campaign message accordingly.

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Tailored Kits to Fit

The design solution we developed includes a custom folder, personalized letters, booklets, brochures, fundraiser cards, various leave-behinds (buttons, stickers, postcards, notepads) and custom Sharpies. We also developed digital assets—email templates, social media graphics, PowerPoint templates, desktop, and phone wallpapers—to be customized and used by the communications team and ECCs for their specific workplace campaigns. This flexible system of materials allowed UWP teams to easily assemble a tailored kit for each potential donor meeting as well as providing ECCs to have a powerful Toolkit at their disposal to suit their needs.

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Be Clear. Be Direct.

The dark reality of poverty in our region that stretches across generations became a driving force in the campaign's identity. The core messaging of "End Poverty" clearly states the target outcome, challenging donors to make a conscious and intellectual choice, while "Do Good. Feel Good" appeals to their hearts. These bold key messages and supporting direct appeals are surrounded by powerful imagery and balanced by airy patterns and hits of color for a hopeful and vital aesthetic.

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Talk to your audience

Audience-specific Toolkits and Welcome Packets with information on how to start and run a successful workplace campaign were designed as a suite for Employee Campaign Chairs (ECCs). We included a fundraising graphic to set workplace goals and track progress in order to keep employees engaged. The idea of donor transparency allowed individuals to see how their dollars created impact, to help them reach a goal.

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This campaign won a PRSA Philadelphia Ladle Award for Integrated Communications.

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