#ILGive Case Study: Fox Valley United Way

Thursday, March 22, 2018

On #ILGive for #GivingTuesday Fox Valley United Way raised over $70,000...for the second year in a row! We interviewed Cathy Schwirger, Director of Development, about the secrets to their success and how Fox Valley United Way used #ILGive to unite their community around local issues. 

Forefront: This was your second year participating in #ILGive and both years you raised over $70k. Tell us more about why you participate in #ILGive and what you do to have such a successful campaign?

Fox Valley United Way: We have truly enjoyed participating in #ILGive the past two years. The extra support from the Dunham Fund and the Forefront team has really made this campaign a wonderful experience for our organization. It’s fun to be part of a campaign that so many other non-profits in our community are also involved in. The Leader Boards are a great way to get everyone on our team engaged in how well we are doing or if we need to push harder. I had board members, volunteers, and committee members all watching and so excited that day as we would move in the rankings. In the end, the more money raised for ALL of these agencies means more help for our local community. Everyone wins in this effort!  

Forefront: How do you get the word out about #ILGive?

Fox Valley United Way: We used a variety of ways to get the word out about our #ILGive efforts. I created a communications calendar that was a combination of eblasts, social media, and web promotion. We were also fortunate to receive media coverage on the front page of our local paper, The Beacon News.

Forefront: How did you run your email marketing around this? When did first announce your campaign? Did you send out any reminders along the way? 

Fox Valley United Way: We started our email marketing on November 10 and ran a series of eblasts for this campaign. Each eblast tied back to our overall theme, which showed how Fox Valley United Way brings people together in our community to solve local problems when we Live United.

Forefront: Did you have p2p fundraisers? How did you keep them engaged?

Fox Valley United Way: We had twelve p2p fundraisers. This was the first year that we offered this. This group consisted of board members, committee members, volunteers, and staff. We kept them engaged by sending reminders and updates via email, and talked about it at our committee meetings.

Forefront: Did you arrange social media ambassadors?

Fox Valley United Way: I had two people helping me to create our social media posts. Alyse Plattos and Brendan Daly (a volunteer) were a huge help! I could not have done as many posts without their efforts. I did at least two posts per day using a combination of inspiring quotes with photos as well as statistics with a related image.

Forefront: Did you hold an event?

Fox Valley United Way: We did not hold an event either year. I think it would be a great addition, though. We did, however, create a Facebook event for #ILGive. 

Forefront: What other creative ideas that worked for you?

Fox Valley United Way: My theme for this campaign was Live United. I wanted to show how Fox Valley United Way brings people together in the community to solve local problems by Living United. When we come together, we have even greater impact on local issues and we all have the power to make a difference. My favorite part of our campaign this year was the creation of our #ILGive video. This was done very quickly - about a day and a half of shooting - with the help of a wonderful volunteer named Colin Parker. The video featured local volunteers, businesses, municipalities, and residents. It was the perfect way to illustrate how we bring people together to Live United!

Forefront: Anything else?

Fox Valley United Way: Thank you to everyone at Forefront and at the Dunham Fund for YOUR hard work on the #ILGive campaign. The support, guidance, and on-going communications really make a difference for all of the non-profits in Illinois and for our communities.






#ILGiveCommunity, Illinois' Spring giving day, is May 3rd! For 24 hours we'll celebrate giving in Illinois by encouraging our friends and neighbors to give where they live. All Illinois nonprofits are invited to register, have fun with fundraising, and join the #ILGive movement! Learn more and register by visiting the #ILGive website. (Check out the tools, webinars, and downloadable graphics while you're there!)