An Intraorganizational Study of Communication Effectiveness at United Way of America: How Effective is United Way of America National Corporate Leadership Staff at Communicating to Local United Way Campaign Professionals?
The researcher examines communication effectiveness within the National Corporate Leadership program, which is a service provided by United Way of America. The UWA NCL program is designed to work with local United Ways to increase contributions at their locales. I attempted to determine whether or not the UWA NCL staff respond to telephone calls promptly, are helpful when contacted, and provide adequate levels of communication to local campaign professionals, and are perceived as beneficial. Local United Ways are classified by metro size (IXI) based on amount of funds raised and are grouped geographically into five regions of the country. For this study, only those local United Ways that raised more than $2 million were selected. Literature from previous research of United Way and other philanthropic organizations and research on gender and proximity are reviewed. One hundred and twenty-five local United Way campaign professionals were contacted through telephone interviews. The data were compiled and analyzed to determine whether proximity, region, size of the local organization, and gender, age, and tenure of the campaign professional affected respondents' satisfaction with UWA NCL services. Distance and region of the country were found to be irrelevant to the four dependent measures of communication effectiveness - promptness, helpfulness, level of communication, and benefit to the local organization. While correlations between size of the organization and communication effectiveness were low, there were significant differences between two of the five metro sizes on measures of helpfulness and level of communication. There were no significant differences in means on the dependent measures associated with gender, age, or the number of years the respondents had worked in the United Way system. Future research topics are suggested.