Award-winning giving: How do they do it?

Editor's Note: RJE Business Interiors was a 2009 recipient of the Spirit United Award, the first year United Way gave the annual recognition. Spirit United is awarded to companies that deliver exemplary and consistent volunteer and financial support for UWCI’s mission. We asked the experts at RJE Business Interiors how they've achieved a decade of 100 percent participation in United Way's campaign. Their President & CEO Denny Sponsel (pictured) provided us their secrets below.


1. Lead from the top.

Leadership is required. Expectations must be set and the example displayed. Everyone wants to be shown “the way.” The problem is they don’t always know how to get there to achieve greatness. Leadership must set the tone.

2. The entire company must know why!

It is not enough to just be told it is important. Everyone deserves to an explanation of WHY it is important. They need to know it is good for business. They need to know the impact. They need to know the power of their dollar. They need to know the results.

3. Make it important!

At RJE we make our United Way kickoff a marquee event every year. We take the time to organize and invite the United Way representatives who will help us make it special. We make this event A REALLY BIG DEAL!

4. Make it fun!

Because this is a big event for the business, we make it fun! We build in incentives for early pledge returns. We have special drawings for all participants And… we offer an incentive of an extra day vacation if we reach 100 percent. But note… the 100 percent must have all participants at a minimum amount donated.

5. Emphasize GENEROSITY!

We make sure that everyone understands the power of GENEROSITY! It is impactful. It makes you feel good.  t is the single word that is the secret to all success.

Denny Sponsel
President & CEO
RJE Business Interiors