United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County

Workplace Campaign Toolkit

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WELCOME CHAMPIONS! This past year has a been a time of unprecedented challenge for Windsor-Essex.

United Way remains committed to supporting those most in need in our community, during times of stability and crisis. We will continue to put donations to work when and where they’re needed the most, ensuring local residents receive vital supports throughout the year. 

Now, more than ever, we are relying on volunteer leaders like you who give generously of your time and efforts, to inspire others into action and improve lives in our community.

This toolkit page includes everything you need to run a successful United Way workplace campaign – whether your employees are working remotely or in the office. In this toolkit, you can:

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Don't forget to check out the
United Way Champion Playbook
It's a great resource guide to help you plan your campaign.

Watch this video message from Dave Cassidy, President of UNIFOR Local 444, and the 2020 Campaign Sponsor about why it's so important to give this year. Consider sharing this message at your workplace.

Get to know United Way

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The best way to inspire your co-workers to support your workplace campaign is to understand the issues that affect our community and how United Way is helping to address them.

Covid-19 has seen the most vulnerable in Windsor-Essex pushed to their limits, and beyond. Our social safety net was already stretched thin before the onset of Covid-19, demand for community services is climbing, and the road to recovery is long. The reality is, our community can’t recover without you. But together, we can get through this stronger and more resilient than before.

United Way is committed to putting your donations to work in Windsor-Essex in the most effective way possible, when and where they’re needed most. We’ll continue to provide vital supports for kids and families whose lives have been turned upside down by this global crisis. Here are a few examples of how United Way and its partners have pivoted to support people during COVID-19.

Community Leadership

As the pandemic reached our community, United Way Windsor-Essex County established the Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund to meet emerging needs. Over $545,000 has been donated to the fund so far allowing us to support the most vulnerable in our community. READ THE REPORT

As a trusted partner of the Government of Canada, United Way has allocated $1.73 million in Federal funding to charities who are adapting their frontline services to support vulnerable residents during Covid-19. For more on which charities are receiving support, read the Media Release and the latest update release.

WATCH United Way's Town Hall Update to the community on pandemic emergency response efforts.

Mental Health Supports

A pandemic is a very stressful event for individuals and families. It's understandable to feel anxious, stressed, angry, depressed or fearful. As the impact of COVID-19 in Windsor-Essex community and the need for physical isolation continues, these feelings can become overwhelming and difficult to manage.

The Windsor-Essex Counselling Support Line provides free, safe, timely and 24/7 responsive telephone counselling support to people who are struggling to cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more from the MEDIA RELEASE.

Food Security

Emergency food assistance became a pressing need from the time Covid-19 hit. In response, United Way mobilized the community including partners Green Shield Canada and the WE Covid Care Coalition to respond. A food helpline was established providing safe and responsive support to anyone in need, including low-income families and senior citizens. Grocery gift cards or access to food through food banks or home delivery was provided. For more on our collaborative efforts, read our April 2 Media Release.

For a look into the people working on the front lines of local food security efforts, watch this heartwarming video featuring the staff and volunteers supporting the WE COVID Care Coalition's COVID-19 response.


Seniors in our community are at the highest risk of poor health due to COVID-19 but increased social isolation can also negatively affect their mental and physical health.

As a trusted Government partner, United Way administered funds in the amount of $102,499 through the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Grant Program, providing urgent support directly to local seniors To learn more about the Seniors Call Assurance Helpline and our collaborative of community partners, read our April 20 Media Release.

WATCH: United Way Champion Rodger Dzugan debunks myths around United Way and discusses important messages to share with existing and potential donors.


We love where we live. But local issues like childhood poverty are hurting our community. In our busy lives, these local issues can be easy to ignore or go unnoticed.  And you can’t solve a problem if you don’t know it exists.  We’re working to make this local issue #UNIGNORABLE.

Generosity powers United Way’s work in the community. It allows us to tackle complex, persistent and #UNIGNORABLE issues that are preventing far too many people and families from getting ahead.

Here’s how your donation is helping to tackle the #UNIGNORABLE issues in our community right now:  

#UNIGNORABLE Issue: Childhood poverty continues to grow in Windsor-Essex County.

Our Response: Cradle to Career is a strategy that focuses on children and youth from the time they are born until they find a career. A generation from now, we want Windsor-Essex to be a more prosperous community where all children achieve their dreams and reach their potential.

WATCH: learn more about our community’s new Cradle to Career strategy

#UNIGNORABLE Issue: Children living in low income have fewer opportunities to expand their knowledge of STEAM subjects (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) outside of school.

Our Response: United Way’s WE-STEAM program helps to improve performance and confidence in STEAM subjects at school, sparking young minds to the possibility of STEAM-based career fields and 21st Century jobs. Last year WE-STEAM was embedded in nine local after-school programs, engaging 336 kids over the past two years.

WATCH how we’re continuing to encourage curiosity and learning during a global crisis:

1 in 3 food bank users in Windsor-Essex County are children, and many kids who rely on school meals struggle to get enough to eat during the summer months when school nutrition programs are closed.

Our Response: United Way's Summer Lunch Program provides a free healthy lunch to kids growing up in low-income families when school is out for the year. Last year, we reached more kids in more locations and increased the quality of food offered.

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: Students from low-income families have a 38% likelihood of attending college or university but students from higher-income families has a 63% chance. Research shows that 4,000 children in Windsor-Essex growing up in low-income won’t escape poverty.

Our Response: United Way’s On Track to Success (OTTS) program wraps supports around a family helping economically disadvantaged youth stay in school, graduate and successfully transition to adulthood. We’re removing barriers to prosperity with academic and financial support and social and career mentoring.

Last year, 106 students were supported and 72% are attending post-secondary education programs this Fall.

WATCH: OTTS 2020 graduate Leah receives a life changing financial award toward her post-secondary education.

Looking for more stories of success and the impact your donation makes possible? We’ve got you covered: www.weareunited.com/impact

Fundraise for United Way

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Plan for a great campaign

Although many of us continue to work remotely, the need in our community continues to grow. As a workplace champion, you have the opportunity to bring your colleagues together to support their local communities through an exciting and engaging fundraising campaign.

We’ve got all the tools you need to help support your fundraising efforts. Whether it’s virtual or in-person, planning a great campaign is as easy as 1-2-3:

1. PLAN: Set the stage for a successful campaign

2. SHARE: Deliver an engaging and fun campaign in your workplace

3. WRAP-UP: Thank your donors and volunteers and lay the foundation for next year


Set your fundraising goal

The most effective way to motivate your campaign team and workplace is to set goals and work towards them.

Be sure to set separate goals for fundraising and staff participation that will help your workplace celebrate all of their accomplishments.

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Thermometers help track your success and meet your goals. Download a poster from our resource library.

Check out our Virtual Special Events Guide and our Workplace Special Events Guide to help you reach your fundraising goals. Here you’ll find lots of fun and team-building ideas to keep your colleagues engaged.

Need help goal setting? Your United Way staff partner is here to help! Reach out for assistance at any time at 519-259-6177.

Build your campaign team

Assemble a superstar team to help plan and execute your campaign. Some suggested roles:

  • Canvassers: ensure everyone in the workplace is asked and given the opportunity to participate in the campaign
  • Special Events Coordinator: designs and implements events to support your fundraising efforts
  • IT Coordinator: ensures virtual meetings/events run smoothly
  • Be sure to also include representatives from various levels of staff including Senior Management and Labour/Union reps

Ready to launch!

Once you’ve decided on your team and your goals, the next step is to execute and achieve your fundraising goals. Already know what you need to do? Jump to our Resource Library to grab your tools and materials to get started.

A great campaign begins with an exciting kick-off

Start your campaign off on the right foot. A kick-off has many benefits:

  • Marks the start of your United Way workplace campaign
  • Provides employees with an opportunity to hear about the impact of their donations so they can make informed decisions about donating
  • Builds morale by bringing employees together virtually or in-person around a common cause
  • Gives senior management an opportunity to rally and motivate the staff
  • Throughout the campaign, clearly communicate United Way’s impact via stories, videos and other materials through email or your office intranet. We’ve assembled an online impact library to help, and you can find FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS here.
  • Distribute pledge forms or email links to online giving platforms immediately after your kick-off event

P.S. We’ve developed a great presentation that can be used to support you during the event:

Learn about using social media to raise awareness and funds for our local community from United Way Champion Matt D'Asti:

Your United Way staff partner is here to support you and help you plan & customize your kick-off. Don’t forget to reach out to them for assistance. Don't know who to call? Reach out at 519-259-6177.

Ask Donors for Support

The #1 reason people don’t give? They weren’t asked!

There are many ways to ask your colleagues for support and inspire them to donate. Make sure you and your canvassing team find an ask that feels authentic and genuine - consider sharing why you donate or sharing the story of someone impacted by a United Way funded program or service.

Remember, by asking for donations, you will help people who need it the most, connecting them to the supports they need to thrive.

Some helpful tips as you begin to canvass:

  • A 1-to-1 canvass is always ideal but if not possible, distribute pledge forms or email links to online giving platforms immediately after your kick-off event or campaign presentation
  • Keep a list of the colleagues you are going to reach out to. This will ensure that everyone gets asked for their support. Be sure to follow up with individuals who are away from work or on vacation.
  • If working remotely, consider meeting with staff virtually to ensure you can accomplish a face-to-face ask of everyone
  • Remember, people give to people, so making the extra effort to connect with your colleagues personally can make a significant impact in the success of your campaign.
  • Finally and most importantly, make sure to thank each donor after they’ve pledged their support!

Wrap-up and say thanks

The end of your campaign is a time to celebrate achievements and thank supporters. Follow these easy steps to ensure the perfect wrap-up:

1. Add it up all funds raised through your campaign and workplace special events should be collected, counted and remitted to United Way in the envelope provided in your kit. Reach out to your United Way staff partner with any questions.

2. Say thanks a small but very important gesture. Donors, campaign team members and other volunteers need to be thanked. Consider using avenues already available in your workplace and other resources like emailing certificates, publicly recognizing individuals at a staff meeting or sending out a message through email or your intranet.

3. Look ahead after all your hard work, take some time to note your successes and areas of opportunity for next year. This will help to set you up for success next year. Set a date and time to meet with your United Way staff partner to debrief and plan for the year ahead.



Campaign Toolkit Resource Library


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The Workplace Champion Playbook is a great resource guide for running a fundraising campaign for your organization.

French version here. Online tools are also available.


Campaign Planning Checklist

Digital Campaign Playbook

Digital Impact Kit

Pledge Form |  French 

Retiree Pledge Form

Poster - Show Your Local Love |  SYLL 2  |  #UNIGNORABLE  |  French

Poster - Thermometer

Poster - Emerging Philanthropists

Dollars a Week Flyer

Donor Information Flyer  |  Fillable Form

Frequently Asked Questions Link

Virtual Events Guide

Workplace Special Event Planning Guide

Leadership Giving Flyer

Social Media Toolkit

Campaign Presentation Powerpoint

To request hard copies of these documents, please contact info@weareunited.com.

Stories and videos to help you communicate United Way's impact in the community:

COVID-19 - Fall Impact Report

Impact Newsletter - Brooklyn |  Mikaila (French)

Impact Report  | French

Videos - 2020 Campaign video  |  COVID Food Security  |  COVID WE-STEAM  |  On Track to Success 2020 Graduation  |  What is Cradle to Career?

More videos on United Way's YouTube channel

More Impact Stories to share with co-workers

Ways to get involved with United Way:

About Women United  |  LEARN MORE

About Emerging Philanthropists  |  LEARN MORE

About Retirees  |  LEARN MORE


United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County
300 Giles Boulevard East, Unit A1, Windsor, Ontario N9A 4C4

t: 519-258-0000 | f: 519-258-2346 | info@weareunited.com | Charitable Registration #: 108160334 RR0001