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Bill Rosenberger: Ambassadors key to United Way campaign’s success

If there’s one thing we’ve all learned as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic it’s that the plans we make today could look drastically different in a month. However, a failure to plan is still planning to fail.

For United Way of the River Cities, failure isn’t an option because the consequences for nearly 30,000 people who count on us could be severe. That’s why we’re preparing for a 2020 campaign and holding high expectations that our donors — YOU — will continue to see the value of your United Way.

Connecting with you is always the most important part because we want you to feel connected with the stories of the lives that have been positively impacted. And this isn’t always done by UWRC staff. That’s why we count on campaign ambassadors.

Campaign ambassadors have long been part of United Ways across the globe. These volunteers receive training about what their local United Way is doing and then represent the agency by giving workplace presentations or being the point of contact for campaign coordinators.

So, while we don’t know every detail of what campaign presentations will look like this fall, we do know that ambassadors can and will play an important role in helping to spread the message with our workplace partners.

“It opened my eyes to the many ways I never knew United Way serves our community,” Said Brad Williams, from Advantage Technology and a United Way ambassador. “They are constantly adapting to address the most vital needs of the people right here in our backyard.”

Williams said he saw firsthand how United Way of the River Cities was directly impacting and improving lives — including his own.

“I even discovered that United Way supported a number of programs that greatly aided my mother while she raised two stubborn boys. Through their constantly growing programs and incredible funded partners, the United Way of the River Cities has elevated our entire region.”

Ambassadors typically manage five to 10 accounts. However, we’re also looking for people in specific industries with strong contacts, such as retired school personnel who can help spread the message to teachers and staff.

For some places, you may still be able to make an in-person presentation. For others, it may be through a virtual platform. And for some, you’ll simply provide individualized packets and pledge forms to a campaign coordinator, who handles the presentation and special events internally.

Ambassador training usually takes place in mid- to late-August. At this time, it’s unknown if training will be held in the United Way conference room, another conference space with more room to accommodate social distancing or virtually. We plan to make that decision by the end of July.

If you’re interested in becoming a United Way ambassador or want to know more, please contact Resource Development Director Bill Rosenberger at bill.rosenberger@unitedwayrivericites.org or by phone at 304-523-8929, ext. 112.

Bill Rosenberger is the director of resource development for United Way of the River Cities, Inc. Their website is unitedwayrivercities.org.