United Way partnered with DEG to create its first direct-to-donor campaign, which quickly had to be pivoted to address the COVID-19 pandemic affecting Kansas City.
What do you do when your first direct-to-donor fundraising campaign is set to launch in two weeks, and a pandemic looms on the horizon? You pivot your strategy, messaging, and creative to meet the needs of the community.
Since 1918, United Way of Greater Kansas City has assembled service agencies and programs, volunteers and donors to provide a far-reaching network of support for those in need in the Greater Kansas City area. Initially, United Way partnered with DEG, an Isobar Company to create its first direct-to-donor campaign for raising funds to support its 140 partner agencies and 200+ programs.
As the COVID-19 pandemic grew, DEG and United Way knew the campaign needed to pivot to address the new impact on the lives of Kansas Citians. As DEG got to work doing exactly that, United Way began working with organizations around the metro on a COVID-19 response fund with a $10M goal, supported by KC organizations that pledged to meet donations up to $5M.
More Kansas Citians were affected by the impact of COVID-19 than infected—some losing their jobs, going hungry or without shelter, and needing child or home care. DEG focused on this insight to develop a new campaign strategy, messaging, and creative for United Way.
To highlight the impact on the Kansas City community, DEG humanized the issue through micro-stories demonstrating those affected by the pandemic. The messaging strategy focused on making the audience stop scrolling, empowering them to make a difference, driving them to donate, and asking them to share their story and join the social conversation.
Next, DEG developed an integrated, multi-channel strategy encompassing United Way’s digital channels to reach as many donors as possible and raise funds for the Kansas City Regional COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.