Monday, February 23, 2015

The Cliff Effect

It's time for a change. Everyone who says, "Why don't they just get a job; or work a little harder" needs to consider this issue. It could be you or someone you love in the future.
#TheCliffEffect #DontJudge #BeAPartOfTheSolution #LiveUnited

Friday, February 20, 2015

Become a Mentor

Mentoring is one on of the most impactful things you can do to help our community. Male, African American mentors are especially needed in our community; but anyone can become a mentor and make a difference. Please consider becoming a mentor in LaPorte County. Our future depends on you.
#MentoringMatters #FindTheTime #LiveUnited

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Women's Leadership Council Kicks Off at Wine, Women and Impact

Our kickoff event last month was a great success! Over 40 philanthropically–minded professional women from LaPorte County were in attendance to help the kick off the new Women's Leadership Council at United Way of LaPorte County. Guests shared their suggestions for improving LaPorte County and learned more about the Women’s Leadership Council’s mission: "to mobilize the power of women’s philanthropy to advance the common good in our community."

Our Wine, Women and Impact event had the support of several local businesses, including Al’s Supermarket, Great Lakes Catering, Horizon Bank, and Shady Creek Winery.

Our Executive Director, Kris Pate gave an introduction of the Women’s Leadership Council initative and Steering Committee members Sharon Wright, AVP, Commercial Lender at Horizon Bank, Bobbi Petru, Director of the Community Chapter of the American Red Cross, and Alexis Pontius, Vice President of Lakeshore Foods, spoke in greater detail about what the WLC hopes to accomplish in LaPorte County.

Sharon also shared some interesting facts about women’s philanthropy:
  • Single women donate almost twice as much as single men
  • Married women give more than both single and married men.
  • Women are 43% of the nation’s top wealth holders, and give an average of 3.5% of their wealth to a charity, whereas men give an average of 1.8%.

The Women’s Leadership Council hopes to continue to build their membership as the 2015 LaPorte United Way campaign kicks off this fall. Members of the council have the opportunity to select and support local causes that matter most to them, and see the direct results of their involvement.

"It is incredibly exciting to see the energy and enthusiasm of such an engaged group of women," said Kris. "There are great things in store for LaPorte County!"

We invite women all across LaPorte County to join us and learn more about how you can have a direct impact on improving the community through the Women’s Leadership Council! Visit our website to learn more about the WLC at and contact Valerie Lambert to get involved, at or (219) 210-3534 ext. 16.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fundraising 101 - Push the Easy Button

Not-for-profit fundraising can be anything but easy these days; but here are a few key points to help you push the EASY button. Let's start by stating the obvious - you have to be able to articulate why your cause matters. Why does it matter to you, and why should it matter to others. Ask yourself how life would be different if you closed your doors tomorrow. What would change for the people who currently receive your services? And, what would happen to your community as a result? And, don't forget to share all the personal benefits of giving they’ll experience. I highly recommend that you check out Gaiam Life’s “5 Reasons to Donate to Charity”.
Next, let's talk about the donors you will approach. Describe each of these groups and educate yourself about the differences among them. Consider which parts of your message are most likely to reach across boundaries, and build these key points into your main case for support. Then take a look at how these groups differ. Research and commentary on this topic abound. For example, you’ll find the EASY button for fantastic generational information from the West Midland Family Center.
Easy, however, doesn't mean effortless. After you've learned about the various groups you plan to reach out to, focus your efforts on removing the barriers that stand in the way of engagement. So you've made a great case for support; and you've developed focused messages that you can deliver from various platforms to deeply touch the audiences you’ll approach. Now let’s think about WHY they might say “no” and consider how you might be able to turn their response into a “yes” by removing their reasons. Think about how you can be flexible; ask yourself lots of “What if?” questions: “What if we offered an easy payment plan or a payroll deduction option, etc.?" The sky’s the limit on this one – be creative!
Finally, fundraisers continuously lament the lapsed donor phenomena. So let’s sum it all up with the EASY button we can never stress too much or too often. Actively invite your donors to become your agency’s true FRIENDS! Seriously, making lifelong friends who will engage their hearts along with their checkbooks beats a one-time donation any day! If this isn't your strong suit, do some brainstorming with your co-workers and board members. Think about organizations and causes that you’ve felt strongly about through the years. What did they do to engage you; how were you invited to share their missions? Connecting with friends is much more fun than “mobilizing donors”. If you follow these steps, you may even begin to think it’s EASY.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Hello LaPorte County!

Hello! Welcome to the OFFICIAL United Way of LaPorte County blog! We are so excited to finally be out here in the blogosphere, connecting with all of you wonderful people!

My name is Kris Pate, I am the Executive Director here at United Way of LaPorte County, and we will be using this blog to help engage, empower, and inform our community. We want to share the good news in LaPorte County with you; empower you to make positive change right here at home; and keep you informed on the issues that affect us all. Above all,
We Are Going to Be Positive! There are so many wonderful things here in LaPorte County and so much potential for our community to grow, and we want to talk about THAT!

So let’s get started!

First, some good...

We would like to congratulate our very own Dave Sisk, Manager of Community Engagement, for his Good Life Award from our friends at Ideas In Motion Media.

“Dave is passionate about the United Way, passionately appreciative of what we we’re doing on behalf of the United Way, and generally just positive and happy to be alive. Dave did not just say thanks, he has helped us communicate and connect to tons of people. Dave is the kind of guy that just makes you want to work hard,” said Chris Mahlmann of Ideas In Motion.

We are very proud of Dave and so glad his hard work and dedication is being recognized by others. Way to Live United, Dave!

We would also like to tell you about Mark Keen. Mark joined us as an AmeriCorps Volunteer this past year. Not only did he help connect local agencies and volunteers to opportunities through the United Way Regional Volunteer Center, he and our other AmeriCorps, Alex Buchannan, spearheaded the Community Garden project planning in the city of LaPorte.

We are proud to announce that Mark will be joining Centier Bank in their accounting department at their headquarters in Merrillville this fall. Mark definitely knows what it means to Live United, and we wish him all the best on his new adventure!

And now, we need your help...

The food pantries of our local Salvation Armies are dangerously low on non-perishable food items, and we need your help to replenish them. These are OUR pantries. We’re not talking about feeding people in other counties or states. These are our neighbors, friends, and maybe even our own family members.

More than 700 people count on their local Salvation Army pantry to help make ends meet each week. With their shelves at dangerously low levels, the pantries won’t be able to feed those in need for much longer. Without your help, that is…

Here is where you come in… Imagine how much food it takes to feed 700 people. That’s a big job for just one group to handle. But we’re not just one group. We Are LaPorte County!

Imagine that every adult in LaPorte County gave 2 non-perishable good to their local Salvation Army food pantry. With just over 91,000 adults currently in LPC, we would collect 182,000 non-perishable food items!

Now, we know that not everyone can give; but we also know that those who can give are generous in LaPorte County. Working together, we have made many positive changes here. This is just one more great thing that we can do together to help our community thrive. So, if you can give, please join us in supporting our local food banks and help us to replenish their pantries. Whether it’s one can or one hundred cans, every little bit helps! That’s how we LIVE UNITED in LPC.

Well, I hope these few bits of good news and our call for action with the local food pantries will inspire you to give, advocate, and volunteer for the things you’re passionate about in our community. If you would like some help finding a cause to champion or a place to volunteer, connect with us. We would love to hear about your aspirations for our community and help you get involved. Let’s take action for positive change! In LaPorte County, we ARE better together!