There comes a time in an organization’s life cycle when its leaders ask, “How far is our community willing to go?” It is such a time for United Way of America.
In 2008 United Way launched its LIVE UNITED campaign “to advance the common good” around three core issues: Education, Income and Health. After undertaking significant rebranding and PSA efforts with partners such as the Ad Council, United Way is ready to tackle a great opportunity: The digital road.
Thousands of people have already signed up to be a part of the LIVE UNITED community. Livingston Communications is proudly partnering with United Way to give stakeholders what they want, and how.
With nearly 1,300 local member organizations, United Way will face a common challenge for most membership agencies and associations: The coalescence of internal and external constituents.
- Externally, United Way of America aims to build relationships with its target audiences. When current and prospective donors, activists and volunteers end up at www.liveunited.org, they’ll have the opportunity to connect to their local United Ways, and each other. But they also need the flexibility of connecting in their existing online/offline locales.
- Internally, the United Way network seeks to get local groups on board. Dozens of local United Ways have already taken to social media, but need a more unified effort for the LIVE UNITED community take flight. Healthy levels of commitment, support and education are required to build such a framework.
United Way has tremendous brand equity thanks to the impact from decades of workplace giving programs and countless other service points. But the organization’s smart leaders know better than to rest on their laurels when it comes to cultivating their community online.
Only through research, education and word of mouth from loyal influencers can United Way take this bull by the horns. It will be a matter of tapping into systems and people who are willing to be influenced – including internal stakeholders – for the common good. In the case of social media and WOM, ‘Living United’ starts from the inside, out.