How to conduct a successful leadership giving campaign


Conducting a United Way Leadership Giving campaign is one of the best ways to increase success of your organization’s overall campaign. As an integral part of your work-place giving program, Leadership Giving allows your employees to make a greater impact in the lives of people throughout our region and sets your organization apart as a leader in our community.

To Implement Your Leadership Giving Campaign

  • Hold separate Leadership Giving meetings in addition to the overall campaign.
  • Integrate Leadership Giving into all United Way employee meetings.
  • You are encouraged to work with your United Way Campaign Manager to determine the best strategy for your company.

Leadership Giving Campaign Best Practices

Gain CEO and Senior Management Support

  • Meet with your CEO/management staff to make sure they understand and support United Way and Leadership Giving.
  • Work with your United Way Campaign Manager to identify the best person to ask your CEO for a Leadership or Tocqueville Society gift

Recruit a Leadership Giving Chair to Organize your Leadership Campaign

  • Ask the CEO to appoint a well-respected member of your organization already giving at the Leadership level.

Recruit a team of current Leadership Givers to assist the Leadership Giving Chair.

  • Make solicitations in person. Peer-to-peer and person-to-person solicitations make the most effective asks.
  • Your Leadership Giving team can solicit incentives from the CEO, management team and/or local businesses.

Develop a Plan & Timeline for your Leadership Giving Campaign

  • If you’re holding separate Leadership Giving meetings, schedule your organization’s Leadership Giving campaign one to two weeks prior to the kick off of your general campaign.
  • By announcing the results of an early Leadership Giving Campaign, those leaders can set the tone for the rest of the employees, encouraging and inspiring them to give.
  • Set goals for Leadership Giving and Tocqueville Society gifts.
  • Included current and potential Leadership Givers in “Ask” meetings.
  • Potential Leadership Givers are current donors who give $500-999 or those whose salary is over $50,000.
  • Include retirees and/or board members as part of the potential leadership pool.
  • Invite employees with a letter of endorsement from the CEO or Leadership Giving Chair.

Setting Up a United Way Leadership Giving Meeting

  • Consider holding your meeting at an already scheduled managers/directors meeting prior to the campaign.
  • Work with your United Way Campaign Manager to schedule a speaker for your meeting.
  • A Leadership Speaker from a local company
  • A United Way Certified Partner Agency speaker
  • An employee from your organization who is a Leadership Giver or a recipient of services provided by a United Way nonprofit partner.
  • Ask your CEO to make his/her donation prior to the meeting and endorse the Leadership Giving Campaign at the meeting.
  • Hand out materials including United Way’s Leader in Giving brochure and pledge forms.
  • Prepare a PowerPoint presentation (customizable template available at
  • Use incentives to encourage attendance.

Sample Leadership Giving Meeting Agenda

  • PowerPoint presentation
  • CEO endorses Leadership Giving
  • Present benefits of Leadership Giving
  • Employee/agency speaker shares story
  • United Way Campaign Manager speaks
  • Show United Way video
  • Distribute pledge forms and pens and support materials (brochure, etc.)
  • Encourage gifts of stock (if applicable)
  • Highlight United Way’s leadership networking groups including Women in Philanthropy and Emerging Leaders.
  • Explain incentives (if available)
  • Make the “ask”
  • Thank everyone for attending and for their support

After the meeting

  • Collect all pledge forms
  • Personally contact anyone who did not attend the meeting and make a leadership ask.

Include Leadership Giving in all United Way Employee Meetings

  • Discuss Leadership Giving and its benefits in all employee meetings and invite employees to join.
  • Do not assume that employees cannot give at the Leadership Levels. It is a personal choice and many organizations report that “front line” employees often account for a significant amount of Leadership Givers.
  • Work with your United Way representative to schedule a speaker for your meeting.
  • A Leadership Speaker from a local company
  • A United Way Certified Agency Partner speaker
  • An employee from your organization who is a Leadership Giver or United Way recipient.

Thank all Leadership Givers

  • Send a personal thank you from the CEO and Leadership Chair to all donors and team leaders.
  • Hold a thank you event hosted by the CEO and distribute incentives.
  • Recognize all Leadership Givers in a visible way that will encourage other employees to give (i.e. Leadership Giving shirts, plaques).
  • Advise Leadership Givers to expect a “Thank you” letter from United Way.
  • Invite Leadership Givers to United Way’s annual Leaders in Giving Appreciation Event.

Communicate to Leadership Givers Year Round

  • Utilize United Way’s Campaign Coordinator section at to access success stories, funding decisions, program results, current news and events.
  • Promote and encourage donors to attend United Way Leadership events.

Utilize UWCCR Support Materials

  • Leadership Campaign support materials can be downloaded from the For Campaign Coordinators section on United Way’s website,


  • Sample: I ask you join me as a Leadership Giver. Some of you may give because you are financial able. Still others may give because of the potential tax benefits or because your gifts give someone less fortunate a second chance at a new life. Whatever your reason for giving, by investing in our community at the Leadership Level, you will invest in “what matters”- improving the overall quality of life right here in the region we live, work and raise our families.