United Way for Greater Austin’s 2016 campaign season is just beginning, and we’re excited to work with more than 200 companies with nearly 700 locations in the Greater Austin area to raise money to invest back into our community.
We could not raise as much money as we do annually without the help of some very important volunteers: UWATX Employee Campaign Leaders (ECLs). ECLs are representatives from our corporate partners that lead their company’s employee giving campaign. They host fun events to teach their coworkers about our programs, set up time for our development officers to stop by and speak about UWATX, and inspire their coworkers to give through each paycheck and set fundraising goals.
Two of our seasoned ECLs, Melanie Zamora of Texas Gas Service and Kim Perry-Klotz of KPMG, share their experiences in this crucial role.
Where do you work and how long have you served as an ECL? How did you become the ECL for your company?
Kim: “I work for KPMG, LLP in Austin, Texas. I was asked to be the Involve Coordinator for our office three years ago and gladly accepted. As the Involve Coordinator, one of my roles is to organize and lead the Giving Campaign for our office each year.”
Melanie: “I work for Texas Gas Service. I have been an ECL for two years. I was nominated to be an ECL after being with the company for an only a short period of time and gratefully accepted the challenge.”
What did you like most or find rewarding about being an ECL?
Kim: “I enjoy bringing people together for the community. It’s important to me to engage people in a way that allows them to be fully connected to the communities around them. I enjoy getting people involved in community activities, as well as helping them determine what organizations they feel most passionate about. Statistics show that people give to organizations that they feel most connected with. We can all make a difference, and helping people realize that brings me a lot of joy!”
Melanie: “I have enjoyed the community involvement projects I’ve been able to participate in. We have done Fall Day of Caring the past two years. Last summer we volunteered one day at Mendez Middle School and I recently joined the Women’s Leadership Council, which will open doors for many more opportunities for me to give back to the local community.”
What do you feel made your company’s campaign successful?
Kim: ” Our office campaigns are successful because we have some very creative people who participate in setting up the campaigns. However, I personally think the biggest reason we have successful campaigns every year is because our people are so generous and truly value giving back to the community!”
Melanie: “I believe leadership engagement and a strong campaign committee helped make our campaign successful. If you have a strong foundation, the sky’s the limit for your campaign.”
What advice would you give to first time ECLs?
Kim: “Ask for help, no matter how small your campaign is. The more people involved in the creative process, the better the campaign will be.”
Melanie: “Keep a positive attitude and have fun! Yes it will get stressful, but it will all be totally worth it.”
Why do you support United Way?
Kim: “I support the United Way because they care about the Austin community. That is best represented by the community programs they have established in Austin, including the 2-1-1 call center and the early childhood education program.”
Melanie: “United Way is heavily involved in the local community. I was born in raised in Austin; so were my parents and my grandparents. It’s important for me to keep Austin a place where people want to live, work and raise their families. United Way makes this possible.”
Thank you Melanie and Kim and all of our ECLs for spending your time so generously in order to raise money for our community! Your company can be one of our excellent corporate partners too.