United Way of Central Maryland

Building Alignment Among Dozens of Stakeholders


  • Communications Strategy
  • Institutional Messaging
  • Message Training

In advance of a fundraising campaign and in response to significant changes in the way that individuals manage their philanthropic priorities, the United Way of Central Maryland (UWCM) engaged Libretto to develop a messaging platform that would inspire increased giving from current donors and new engagement from prospective supporters—especially younger audiences.

We conducted an extensive discovery process that included interviews with current donors and staff members from across the organization. Based on our findings, we developed a comprehensive messaging platform that addressed key questions for prospects: What are UWCM’s key strengths and differentiators? What are the focus areas where they concentrate their efforts? How do they approach their work in order to create the maximum impact for those they serve? This framework allowed staff, board, and leadership to better communicate how their diverse strategies—including focuses on education, homelessness, employment, and health—combine to create a sum that is greater than its parts.

To complete the process and ensure that everyone across the organization was speaking from the same hymnal, Libretto traveled to Baltimore for two days of on-site training. Participants included all staff members—from the CEO to program managers to the organization’s long-time bus driver—as well as the full board of directors. As a final deliverable, Libretto shared a custom version of the training document with comprehensive speaker notes so that the communications team could perform additional workshops in the future should new team members come on board.