END OF YEAR EMAIL SCHEDULE
United Way Worldwide
Date November 29, 2010
To: United Way Worldwide Vanguard Chapters
From: Blue State Digital
Re: End of Year Fundraising Campaign
The calendar below outlines the outgoing email strategy for United Way Worldwide Vanguard’s end of year fundraising campaign. To make the
transition from the Common Good campaign to fundraising as seamless as possible, the calendar also builds off the education messaging of
Teachers Rock by focusing on impact stories. Then, as the fundraising campaign comes to an end, the calendar transitions back to focusing on
the Campaign for the Common Good.
The variation in language, tone, sender, and content will help to keep our lists engaged throughout the fundraising campaign. Donation asks
that focus on timeliness are much different than donation asks that highlight impact stories. One is about the practicality in making a donation
at a particular moment and the other pulls on the heartstrings of recipients. Through this variation we hope to maximize donations from a wider
range of email recipients.
The campaign will close out with a ‘last chance to donate’ email on the 31st, emphasizing the benefit of tax-deductible donations. It’s important
to keep in mind that although there are suggested dates written, none of this is set in stone. The calendar is meant to simply act as a guideline
for the Vanguard chapters to be implemented at a time found suitable.
We have also included complimentary recommendations for social networking outreach in this document. We recommend that your social
networking outreach focus on amplifying your message, reaching and engaging more people, and building your communities. The
recommendations we include are designed with these objectives in mind, and will provide message alignment between your email and social
networking program, and serve as a good introduction to new members of your community that we bring in via our Twitter follow program.
Date Title Suggested Action/Landing Page/ Summary
Wednesday Primary United Way Ask users to donate. Send To highlight the direct impact that United Way has on the lives of
12/08/2010 responder Volunteer email links to a fundraising students, parents and teachers, this email will tell the story of a grant
donation ask #1. or United page. recipient. (This can come from a UWW vanguard staffer, but we’d
Way Staffer prefer if we could write it in the first person, from a primary
Note: it would be Sample donation
ideal if the page: https://give.liveunited.o
sender could be rg/page/contribute/donateno Here is a first person narrative example (from Ruth Rusie, a retired
someone “in the w teacher and devoted United Way reading volunteer):
field”, e.g. an I’m writing to you from Central Indiana where I am a volunteer with
individual who United Way Success By 6, a program that works to make sure
benefitted from children are on a path to succeed in school early on. Please
Test Option: This email should
work done by contribute $XX to help us continue to make a difference in the
also test donation amounts.
United Way. education of our children.
Often, email recipients can be
compelled to take action
when a dollar amount is You may be surprised to learn only 1 in 3 fourth graders are proficient
inserted into the text because in reading. As a retired teacher, I can tell you those children who
they know exactly what is don’t read well often fall behind and end up dropping out of school.
being asked of them. For this It’s a quiet crisis happening right now in communities across America.
send there could be a test of
$10, $25, and $50 in the email
or on the landing page. Programs like Success By 6 help children develop a love of reading by
giving them access to books and caring adults who love to read and
spend time with them. And we couldn’t do it without your help.
Make a contribution today and help build the foundation for a better
life for all.
Here is a Vanguard staffer option: Our work at [[Vanguard name]]
touches so many lives. Today, I want to share a story with you about
someone in our community who has been helped by [[Vanguard
Insert a personal story witnessed by a Vanguard staffer. EX: I’ve been
tutoring at the local elementary for 3 years and on Tuesday one of my
students came up and gave me a big hug. When I asked “what was
that for?” She replied, “For helping me get my first A on a spelling
This work is only possible with your support. Please contribute now
to help us continue to make a difference for people like [[name]].
Tuesday Forward of United Way Donate Kicker. This email This email will be modeled like a forward send to ensure that
12/21/2010 primary Staffer should be a forward of the last recipients had a chance to see the previous email and have another
responder send, and should include opportunity to make a donation. The forward would ideally come
donation ask. additional text at the top of from a UWW vanguard staffer, thereby providing a summary and
This email should the message from a Vanguard reminder of why programs like these are so valuable to the
emulate a staffer. community. If the previous send also came from a vanguard staffer,
Forward style Send email links to a make sure this forward message comes from a different person. The
message. fundraising page. shift in sender names can help to reach new audiences.
Sample donation Message: Last week I received an email from **name++, I’m sure you
page: https://give.liveunited.o did too. It really spoke to me and I wanted to bring it to the top of
rg/page/contribute/donateno your inbox in case you meant to make the donation but got
w distracted. People like [[name]] need support, and a donation made
to [[Vanguard name]] will help make more stories like these a reality.
Monday Abandoned New United This email is designed to go to Message: Do you have five minutes to change a life? That’s all it
12/27/2010 shopping cart Way Staffer people who clicked the links takes and you can get started right now by making a donation to
on previous messages but [[Vanguard Name]]. Your donation will go towards improving the life
failed to complete the of a child by providing them with the building blocks needed to
donation. That means this succeed: education, health and income. Make a donation today.
email is only intended to go to
a small, targeted universe of
Friday Donation ask Same End of year donation appeal. Short simple message to capitalize on end of the year tax-deductible
12/31/2010 staffer from Send email links to a donations.
12/21 fundraising page. Message: There are 24 hours until 2011. That means you still have a
chance to make a tax-deductible donation to [[Vanguard Name]]
before the New Year. Every dollar donated will go towards helping to
improve the income, health and education of people right here in
[[location]]. Thanks for your support.
This email should go to
everyone but those who
donated in December.
Tuesday Transition email Same Overview of the impact of the This message is intended to summarize the success of the fundraising
1/4/2011 staffer from fundraising campaign and campaign and carry the momentum into the next initiative for the
12/21 transition into CFCG. Campaign for the Common Good.
Landing page is still to be
determined. Message: Thank you for all of your incredible support throughout the
holiday season. Because of you, [[Vanguard name]] will be able to
continue our efforts to create a better life for all. I hope you will
continue playing an integral role as we move into the next steps for
the Campaign for the Common Good. [[Insert specifics about the next
call to action]].
Non-openers engagement strategy
Despite the compelling content included in the email calendar, there will always be subscribers who don’t take action (or even open) a single
email. For those recipients we suggest implementing a few tests (such as testing more creative subject lines) and maximizing the Blue State
Digital toolset to draw them into the campaign. This is especially important given the nature of the End of Year Campaign. Being primarily
fundraising focused, it’s crucial to remind recipients that the Vanguard Chapters value other, non-monetary types of support as well, and
perhaps offer these non-action takers involvement opportunities that are not donation related.
Below are a few ways to push engagement of those who haven’t engaged, or to tweak the calendar execution as you go.
Those who are unable to make financial investments can instead pledge to make a personal one. Use the Blue State Digital sign up tool to create
a Volunteer Pledge so that recipients can commit to dedicate time to United Way in 2011. These “Pledgers” can then be directly messaged as
volunteer opportunities arise. This tactic might be especially effective if planned around the end of the year, when many subscribers will be
thinking of New Years’ resolutions.
Including more people in United Way’s efforts is just as important as having the money to make the efforts possible. Encourage recipients to tell
their friends, family and neighbors to get involved. Newer supporters are much more likely to take an active role in the ongoing campaign.
Sometimes the first step to getting users involved is as simple as creating a compelling subject line. But there is no ‘right’ subject line for a
particular list. There is only what works and what doesn’t. The Blue State Digital tools will enable Chapters to test different approaches on their
list. An email can include the same content but the subject line can vary. Try testing a question, a subject that evokes emotion, or something
that makes people want to know more. Then use the most successful subject line on sends to follow.
Facebook & Twitter
Email is still the primary driver of online donations. However, you should still be engaging constituents within the social media space to reach
new people and bring in new constituents. This social media outreach should be aligned with your email program. The following lays out how
you can engage your Facebook and Twitter followers.
The main goal remains the same: to let your community know what you've been doing over the last year as the New Year approaches.
Start by coming up with a list of ten specific successes that you can Tweet about, e.g. "We supported XYZ and helped feed 100 families in
#CITY". While we're following local users for you, it's important to show off work being done in the community to retain these new users
and get them up-to-speed on United Way as quickly as possible.
12/08 – Primary Responder Ask
Twitter: Our work at United Way touches lives. Read about what your support has made possible: LINK
Facebook: Our work at United Way touches so many lives. Today, I want to share a story with you about someone who has been helped
by United Way Worldwide this year. This work is only possible with your support. LINK
o Both messages should be filled in with specifics that match the content of the email you send.
12/21 – Primary Responder Donation Kicker
Twitter: Last week we told you a story about how United Way changes lives. You can still help here: LINK
Facebook: Last week we told you a story about how United Way changes lives. Remember a donation made to United Way Worldwide
will help make more stories like these a reality. LINK
12/31 - EOY Donation Ask
Twitter: There are just XX hours left in 2010. Still time to give your tax-deductible donation to United Way before the New Year. LINK
o What's your New Years resolution? Help make a difference in 2011, sign up to volunteer in your community. LINK
Facebook: There are 24 hours until 2011. That means you still have a chance to make a tax-deductible donation to United Way before
the New Year. Every dollar donated will go towards helping to improve the income, health and education of people across the country.
Thanks for your support. LINK
o What’s your New Years resolution? My goal this year, and every year, is to make a difference. And right now you can do
something big in 2010 with the help of United Way. Sign up now to volunteer in your local community. LINK