Running a United Way campaign in your workplace can be challenging, rewarding, and a great way to bond as a team while helping improve lives in central Iowa. 

If you are organizing a campaign at your workplace, are working with a team to run a campaign, or are just curious about what it takes to put a campaign together, the best place to start is by contacting your company's United Way Corporate Engagement Manager.
He or she will help make it easy and share best practices, materials, ideas from other, and more. If you don't know your Corporate Engagement Manager, call us at (515) 246-6500 or email


How To Run A Great United Way Campaign

Over the years, we have learned a lot from teams like yours about what makes a United Way campaign successful. We have compiled this booklet of best practices, tips and tricks, and sample timelines and messages to help you make your plan.

It's a great place to start if you are new to campaign, or an excellent resource to remind you of some fundamentals if you've done this before.

Download the PDF



Fill out the form below to receive updates when we add or edit campaign tools.


These tools and resources are valuable in helping you build and plan your United Way campaign.

Sample Campaign Timeline

Sample Rally Agenda

Various ideas for campaign themes and fun activities associated with each.

Campaign Themes & Ideas

In July we invited campaign managers to attend a series of virtual meetings to learn some of the fundamentals of running a United Way campaign. The following are recordings of those meeting sessions.

July 9: United Way Campaign Refresh

July 16: Engaging Your Employees

July 23: Growing Your Campaign Through Affinity Groups 

July 30: Build Your Campaign Plan

Nominate your organization for a LIVE UNITED Award, recognizing individuals and organizations who go above and beyond in supporting our community.

Several categories are available honoring giving, advocating, and volunteering for companies of all different sizes.



The following documents can be used to help you create messages for your workplace campaign. Click on the buttons below for letter and email templates in Word document form. 

Donation Request to Vendors Message

CEO Campaign Kickoff Message

Campaign Preview Message

General Message to Employees

Letter to Retirees

Email-A-Day Message Series

Last Call Reminder Message

LEAD UNITED Event Invitation

Donor Thank You Message

Campaign Team Thank You Message

One way to help your employees get engaged in your United Way campaign is to help them find volunteer opportunities.

Find great ways for people to donate their time virtually or in person, and individually or as a group.

Volunteer Opportunites

Many organizations provide incentives tied to their campaign goals. A large budget is not necessary for incentives: There are many free incentives you can offer to employees for participating in the campaign. These items can also be donated and used in silent auctions or raffles.

Campaign Incentive Ideas


Special events can be used to raise awareness of the campaign and are held as kick-off or wrap-up events. 

Special Event Ideas

Custom Fundraising Page

If you are planning a special event that will ask employees to make small donations in addition to their United Way pledge, we may be able to create a special landing page for your event with a donation form.

Sample Custom Fundraising Page



LEAD UNITED - yellow

Donors who give $1,000 or more are automatically members of LEAD UNITED, a group of some of our most generous philanthropists who are also often leaders within your organization.

LEAD UNITED Campaign Tools


LINC is United Way's fast-growing affinity group for young professionals. Donor must give $250 or more, and as a member have access to special volunteer, social, and professional development opportunities throughout the year.

LINC Campaign Tools

ELI Logo

The Education Leadership Initiative (ELI) is an affinity group of central Iowans who give at a leadership level ($1,000 or more) and lead the fight for the success of middle school and high school students.

ELI Campaign Tools

Women United

Women United is an affinity group of central Iowa women who give at a leadership level ($1,000 or more) and lead the fight for children in central Iowa who face difficult barriers in the areas of education, income, and health.

Women United Campaign Tools


The Tocqueville Society is an affinity group of our most generous donors in central Iowa who give $10,000 or more.

Tocqueville Society Campaign Tools


Help encourage donations by sharing how United Way uses those dollars to make real, impactful change in central Iowa.

Throughout the campaign – and especially during kickoff and leadership events – it is important to highlight United Way’s impact in our local community through our partnerships with nonprofits across Central Iowa.

One great way to do this is to have a director of a local nonprofit program speak to your employees and share how important their donations are.

Nonprofit Tours & Speakers


United Way of Central Iowa is excited to offer a new Emerge United Fund to our community. A donation to Emerge United is an investment in addressing systemic equity issues and supporting the emerging and rapidly changing needs of health and human services organizations, schools, job training programs, and – ultimately the individuals and families they serve – during and after the pandemic.

As the Emerge United funds address urgent and current needs, your contribution will be invested more rapidly than other designation options with no minimum and no administration fee. 

Learn more at


These simulations are designed to help others better understand the various challenges and issues people face in our community. They may be intended for individual participation, or for groups, and can be conducted online or in-person depending on the activities involved.

Simulations & Activities

Share real stories of people right here in central Iowa whose lives have been impacted by the programs our donors help to fund.

Stories of Success Blog

Stories of Success Videos

Take a virtual tour of some of the nonprofit agencies and programs that United Way funds with your donations.

Virtual Tours


The following tools are available for you to use, paraphrase, or repurpose to help promote your United Way campaign.

The following documents can be used to help you create messages for your workplace campaign. Click on the buttons below for letter and email templates in Word document form. 

Donation Request to Vendors Message

CEO Campaign Kickoff Message

Campaign Preview Message

General Message to Employees

Letter to Retirees

Email-A-Day Message Series

Last Call Reminder Message

LEAD UNITED Event Invitation

Donor Thank You Message

Campaign Team Thank You Message

Social Media Guide

Browse this guide to enhance your campaign through social media, or on internal communications tools.
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Stories in an Image


Use these images for social media or Intranet posts. They can also be easily included in emails, newsletters, slideshows, and more. Each one has two images, one sized for Facebook and one for  Instagram, and  a Word Doc if you also want to use the text.



Conveniently broken up into smaller pieces, these infographic chunks are perfect for social media or intranet posts. But they can also be used in emails, newsletters, or flyers.


Dozens of videos are available for you to use during campaign events, to share via email or social media, or to play during your campaign on monitors around your workplace. Visit the Campaign Videos page on our toolkit to find a variety of content.

Visit the VIDEOS Page

Blogs copy

Click the image to view more than 40 blogs and stories you may use on your organization's intranet, social media pages, email newsletters, or wherever you choose. If using in social media, don't forget to tag @UnitedWayCI and include #LiveUnitedDSM. Browse BLOGS & STORIES

A collection of various materials that you may use to promote your United Way campaign with others. From brochures to posters and flyers and more.


Download and print these 11" x 17" posters yourself, or contact your United Way representative for printed copies.

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Photos & Images

Visit our album to find a variety of photos and images that you may use in your campaign materials and communications. All images are approved for reuse, and subjects have signed appropriate releases.


Logos & Resources

Download various treatments of the United Way of Central Iowa's logo in a variety of graphic formats, as well as brand guidelines. If you have questions about use, placement, or versions, please contact your Corporate Engagement Manager.

Logos & Resources


Order directly from the United Way store to get LIVE UNITED t-shirts, signs, balloons, bags and hats, decorations, and more. If you prefer to work directly through United Way of Central Iowa, please contact your Corporate Engagement Manager.



If you're hosting a virtual meeting or campaign event, here are some background options for you from United Way. Some virtual meeting platforms, like Zoom, will reverse your background images. Please download and test the backgrounds in advance to see which will work best for your meeting or event.

United Way Background


United Way Reversed Background

ELI Meeting Background

ELI Reversed Background

Women United Meeting Background

Women United Reversed Background


The United Way Corporate Engagement team is here to support you, whatever your needs. Below you'll find contact information for our staff. Not sure who your contact might be? Call us at (515) 246-6500 or email and we'll connect you to the right person. 


Melanie photo for web

Melanie Campbell

Chief Donor Engagement Officer   (515) 246-6547



lindsay cannaday-1

Lindsay Cannaday

Director, LINC and LEAD UNITED, United League   (515) 246-6554



Ramona Moni Gaukel

Ramona (Moni) Gaukel

Volunteer Engagement Officer   (515) 246-2513



Cayla Nord


Corporate Engagement Manager   (515) 246-6539



Kelly Sparks 2021


Tocqueville Society Director   (515) 246-2510



Geena Staiert


Corporate Engagement Manager   (515) 246-2516



Corporate Engagement Manager   (515) 246-6540


Jaclyn Wulfekuhle 

Women United Director   (515) 246-6548



Education Leadership Initiative Director  (515) 246-6504

Kristin Young for web


Corporate Engagement Officer   (515) 246-6503






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