This is a paid piece from Sioux Empire United Way.

Simplified: The nature of philanthropy is changing, and with those changes, Sioux Empire United Way (SEUW) is seeing fewer individual donors. Here's how they're looking to reverse the trend – and how you can help.

Why it matters

  • About 1 in 3 people in the Sioux Empire are helped by a program funded by SEUW. The organization funds 75 programs each year to help children, vulnerable adults and people in crisis.
  • SEUW had long been able to avoid the national United Way trends of seeing fewer donors, but locally Campaign Director Olivia Essig said the number of donors has gone down significantly in the last decade. It speaks to SEUW's success that they've continued to hit goals, she added, but SEUW is seeing larger donations from a smaller subset of people.
  • One reason for the decline is the shifting nature of philanthropy in the workforce. Larger corporations are moving away from employee giving models, Essig said, and an increase in remote work makes it harder to reach individual donors.
"We're in the beginning stages of trying to find ways to connect with donors in new ways" Essig said. "Regardless of whether you work in a place that is supporting United Way, you can give."

Tell me more

A gift to SEUW is a way to ensure your dollars are being spent locally, efficiently and effectively.

  • Each year, volunteers spend over a thousand hours going through funding applications to find programs that are having the greatest impact on the community, 2024 Volunteer Campaign Chair Tim Blotske said.

As the organization focuses more on finding donors in new ways, it's looking to establish a footprint with community givers by creating presence at community events, partnering with local small businesses, and increasing social media outreach.

"We need to be able to reach individuals that aren't involved in our traditional giving campaigns," Blotske said. "By getting through to different audiences, it not only sets our community up for future growth, but also fills some of that gap we're seeing (in the number of donors)."

How can I help?

There are three main ways to help:

Give online. Work from home? Not in a workplace that has an option for giving via employee payroll deductions?

Invite a SEUW speaker. If you're a decision maker in your workplace, you can invite a speaker to come and share the importance of employee giving.

  • Speakers will also share the work impacted by SEUW, and it's possible that conversation could help connect someone in your office to resources they need, in addition to raising funds to ensure those resources continue.

Get involved. Not all gifts involve money. Volunteering is an important way to connect with the community and give back in a tangible way.

  • SEUW provides folks with meaningful volunteer hours, a safe place to donote their time and learn about the impact SEUW partner agencies are having on the community through hands-on volunteer activities. You can sign up to volunteer here.

What happens next?

SEUW staff and volunteers will continue promoting the Campaign through the end of the year and into early 2024 in hopes of meeting their goal for the 29th year in a row. Β 

It’s thanks to donors like you that SEUW can serve children, vulnerable adults, and people in crisis within the four-county area of Lincoln, McCook, Minnehaha, and Turner.