Workplace Giving Success Story

‘Cutest Pet Contest’ Benefiting United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut

United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut needed a fresh idea to grab its constituents’ attention — something unique that would simultaneously intrigue and motivate to support United Way’s cause.

UWCNC huddled with its new donor engagement partner DonorPoint to identify a compelling new twist on traditional Workplace Giving campaigns.  DonorPoint conducted sweeping research — within its nationwide United Way network and across other nonprofit industries — for Workplace Giving ideas not only breaking through the clutter conceptually, but most importantly achieving set fundraising objectives.

The Research

Once a handful of finalists were determined, DonorPoint asked a simple yet thought-provoking question: Which new idea would supporters get most passionate about — a passion so strong that it would spur their passing interest into action?  Further research regarding one specific candidate uncovered a handful of fascinating data points:

1) Since 1988, the number of U.S. households with pets increased +14% (from 56% to 70%) by 2020

2) 98% of dog owners consider their pup part of the family

3) Owning a dog can lower the risk of an early death by 24%

4) Two-thirds of all pet owners (and 78% of dog owners) say their pet helps them to be more physically active

These learnings propelled one particular idea from possibility to no-brainer as something constituents would surely rally around — a Cutest Pet Contest!

The Execution

A major Northeast health care provider (and valued UWCNC supporter) signed on for the agency’s inaugural Cutest Pet Contest. The provider’s employees used DonorPoint’s solution to set up ‘contestant’ pages featuring photos and loving descriptions of their dogs and cats — and even bunnies, guinea pigs, horses, hedgehogs, a snake and a raccoon joined the party!  The pets’ owners then solicited colleagues, family and friends peer-to-peer, leveraging UWCNC’s website, emails and personal social media platforms asking for as many $1-donation ‘votes’ as possible across the six-week contest — with every facet automated through DonorPoint’s giving solution.

The Results

The first-ever Cutest Pet Contest by United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut launched November 7, 2021 and ran for nearly six weeks. In all, the contest drew nearly 200 pet entries from the corporate partner’s staffers and raised nearly $6,000 for its local United Way agency.