November 22, 2023
This time of year, you may hear us talking a lot about fundraising campaign season. But what exactly is a United Way campaign, and what does it mean for your workplace and our community? Today, we’re talking about community impact and corporate social responsibility.
At United Way of Whatcom County, we want to make sure every person in our community has the tools and resources they need to achieve financial stability. Every year, United Way of Whatcom County raises hundreds of thousands of dollars to help address our community’s most pressing issues. Those dollars are then launched back out into our community in the form of Community Impact grants. These grants support a network of local nonprofits helping struggling individuals and families meet their basic needs, improve their economic mobility, and break out of the cycle of poverty.
We know that financial instability is a complex issue that can often be fed by a lot of different factors. Our network of nonprofits helps to create a community safety net to address every aspect of financial instability, helping people get back on their feet and stay there.
What is a United Way campaign?
A United Way campaign is a fundraising opportunity hosted by local companies to help support our work in the community. United Way’s primary fundraising efforts have always happened in the workplace.
How does it work?
Every fall, our United Way team reaches out to contacts, new and old, at companies throughout Whatcom County to support their employee giving efforts. We supply materials, swag, fundraising ideas, and some Live United spirit to help build morale and raise money to support our community.
What kinds of fundraisers have companies put on in the past?
We’ve seen everything from chili feeds to pet pageants, auctions to bingo, dunk tanks, raffle drawings, and so much more! Fun is key to having a successful campaign, but it’s about more than just team building. Overwhelmingly, the most successful fundraisers are the ones where folks are inspired by the work we do and moved to give back. Our team often comes in to give short presentations on the need in our community, the work we are doing, and the opportunity folks have to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
The benefit of giving back
Not only do workplace campaigns help boost morale, but they can also help boost your company’s image while satisfying your corporate social responsibility.
What is corporate social responsibility?
Corporate social responsibility refers to how a company allocates its resources to better their community and our world. Companies that are invested in the wellbeing and sustainability of the communities they serve demonstrate a level of trustworthiness and responsibility that can help attract and retain current and prospective clients and staff.
Below, we’re highlighting one local company who has mastered the art of giving back and having fun while doing it!
Take a look at Samson Rope and you’ll see a worldwide leader with over 140 years of expertise in producing high-performance synthetic ropes. What you’ll also see is a Whatcom County headquartered business that cares deeply about addressing the complex issues impacting folks right in our backyard. For over 19 years, Samson has partnered with United Way of Whatcom County to support critical services. Over the years, Samson has invested more than $800,000 back into the community between corporate support and employee contribution. As Patricia Boteler, Samson’s Talent Manager and United Way board member, says, “United Way is part of Samson’s DNA.”
Samson supports United Way in a variety of ways that add up to incredible impact.
Sponsorship and corporate gift:
As a Community Builder Sponsor, Samson Rope donates $10,000 every year to help United Way cover the costs associated with our community-wide fundraising efforts. Sponsorships like Samson’s are essential to helping us do the work that we do, and this investment in our cause is truly instrumental in helping us raise charitable dollars each year.
Samson also gives a generous $10,000 annual corporate gift.
Samson is an expert at blending impact with team-building fun, helping raise thousands of dollars each year while boosting morale and setting the tone for their company culture. In addition to their sponsorship, Samson hosts an annual workplace giving campaign to inspire employees to give back and make a difference in our community. Throughout the campaign, Samson offers the opportunity for employees to give one time, monthly, or through payroll deduction. Incentives like drawings for extra PTO and other prizes help encourage giving.
Each year, Samson hosts United Way week, a time to remember and recenter on the purpose of LIVING UNITED: giving back to our community so that our struggling friends and neighbors can get back on their feet.
They also have fun events throughout the campaign to help raise money, including soup cook-offs, chili feeds, paper airplane throwing contests, and Samson’s annual United Way ping pong tournament. Colleagues clash for honor and glory, going head to head in singles and doubles rounds while raising money to support United Way!
Because they believe in the importance of giving back, Samson helps employee dollars go as far as they can possibly go through their charitable giving match. Donations are matched dollar for dollar, doubling an employee’s impact.
Samson’s incredible generosity and commitment to giving back is inspiring. Every year that we work with them we are blown away by the way employees go above and beyond to meet our community’s needs.
When asked about Samson’s campaign, Patricia Boteler said, “It feels good to invest in your community, and to have the opportunity to share that with coworkers (while also having fun) is such a rewarding part of the Samson culture. As someone who has participated in Samson’s campaigns in various roles, I can also say I’ve learned so much about the unique challenges Whatcom County faces, and how we can help tackle them together. What’s better than having your workplace support this kind of meaningful participation?”
Right now, we are in our biggest fundraising time of the year! If you’re interested in hosting a United Way campaign at your place of work, reach out to our team and we’ll get you everything you need.
Workplaces in a variety of industries and of different sizes hold giving campaigns every year. Campaigns raise anywhere from $1,000 to over $100,000! All gifts, big or small, have a massive impact. These funds join with gifts from all over the community to provide lifechanging services, helping parents find affordable childcare, families find safe housing, and individuals across our community achieve financial stability!
Thank you to all of our workplace partners and incredible United Way advocates who rally every year to change lives in our community!
For more information on our work in the community, check out our list of nonprofit partners.