Hope to reach more with Facebook, PayPal
Although the Hopkins County United Way’s goal is set a little lower this year at $150,000, campaign chairman Mike Horne and volunteer Brandon Williams hope to utilize Facebook and online payment system PayPal will reach that goal, they said at the workers’ luncheon Tuesday at the First United Methodist Church.
“I think we are going to greatly exceed that goal,” Horne said. “To make sure, we lowered it just a tiny bit.”
The goal was lowered from last year’s $165,000 because of concerns related to fundraising during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Horne, but he thought the year’s theme was important at this time.
“Our theme this year is ‘United Together,’” Horne said. “I thought that would be the perfect theme just because of what 2020 has been.”
Williams will run the HCUW’s new Facebook page to drive more engagement among the community and possibly garner more donations via its “Shop Now” donation button. It also helps the HCUW to keep up with the changing technological landscape, he said.
“A Facebook page isn’t the newest, latest and greatest thing,” Williams said. “But it is for Hopkins County United Way, and I think this might help us attract some more attention to our campaigns year after year.” The HCUW is also creating videos of the 19 local organizations they support to share on their Facebook page, and Horne added these videos will help to reach out to businesses and the community.
“I really want people to know what United Way is and really know who United Way helps,” Horne said. “These videos could go a long way to do that.” PayPal will also be used to gather smaller donations from people who may have not donated in the past, Horne said. Not only would PayPal donations help the organization reach their goal, it would take the load off some of the bigger county businesses.
“Now, they have an avenue to go donate, whether it’s a dollar or $5 or $10 or $20,” Horne said. “Every donation adds up, and I’m hoping that this year is the start of something that is going to grow bigger and bigger every year.”
Another decision made by the HCUW is to not measure businesses’ donations in terms of percentage this year, a move stemming from the idea of valuing all donations.
“What we realized is that every donation is important, whether it’s 100% of what their goal was or whether it’s 80%, and sometimes all they can afford is that 80%,” Horne said. “We don’t want to people feel like their donation isn’t important.”