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Heart of West Michigan United Way

“Deb brought a disciplined approach to analyzing campaign data and laid the foundation for the United Way to launch the next campaign in a timely manner. Her strategic thinking allowed our organization to restructure our accounts and reenergize our major gifts donor base. Our donor relations structure is solid and we are expecting growth thanks to Deb’s role. On a personal note, she continues to keep tabs on our work and has become a great mentor.” – Brad Comment, VP Investor Relations




Scope of Work

Heart of West Michigan United Way (HWMUW) hired Philanthropia Partners for a special, year-long ‘embedded’ engagement to provide leadership and counsel across several key areas, specifically:

  • Provide leadership for the resource development team until such time that a new VP of Investor Relations could be hired and on-boarded;
  • Provide strategy for the campaign cabinet and United Way staff leadership with regard to setting the annual campaign goal;
  • Provide structure, framework and pace for the $12 million effort, including the implementation of campaign projections;
  • Ideate, co-construct and re-launch United Ways’ signature giving programs and key events – Leadership Circle and Tocqueville;
  • Facilitate a more interdisciplinary approach to planning; and
  • Provide thought leadership to enable the investor relations team to evolve their thinking and practice toward a more donor-centric approach and philosophy.

This engagement was a terrific fit as acknowledged by the United Way President because of the rich history and deep knowledge Deb Minton had with United Way and the United Way system. Deb worked with a myriad of leaders on the United Way staff team including the President, Vice President of Investor Relations, Investor Relations Team, Vice President of Marketing and Vice President of Impact to achieve the desired goals.


As a result of this engagement, United Way was able to:

  • Conduct their annual campaign and hire the right VP of Investor Relations for an appropriate pace of on-boarding and system orientation; 
  • Refocus and enhance their reporting efforts to project the campaign progress;
  • Set goals based on strategies that build a stronger, wider base of support;
  • Hire the right leadership for the campaign and signature programs;
  • Increase their planning effectiveness and move toward a more interdisciplinary approach with Marketing and Impact; and
  • Facilitate more effective, personal and sustainable relationships with key donors to the organization.