Steps in the Process for Achieveing Internal Buy-In
- Know your purpose. A clear understanding of UWSF and a strong belief in the opportunities for community change that it presents will help you clearly and persuasively explain the initiative. Keep in mind that UWSF eases work by creating a unified internal voice that speaks loudly externally and is built on the solid and sustainable foundation of the protective factors.
- Some of our sites suggested that using alternative terms for buy-in, such as investment and mutual interest, are less off-putting.
- Talk to United Ways that have already begun incorporating UWSF into their system.
- Engage your coworkers. Disseminating UWSF to your United Way coworkers can take many forms including formal presentations and orientations. It can also be mentioned during staff meetings, or meetings with department heads and directors. Make it a part of your organizations goals.
- United Way leaders should be brought into the conversation right from the start.
- Be creative and find ways to infuse UWSF principles into your United Way's existing routines (See the Internal Buy-in PowerPoint by Kim Sumpter from Atlanta).
- Stress the possibility for community impact.
- Repeat the message. Buy-in is an ongoing process, even internally, and it takes time and repetition to achieve and sustain. Your leadership is pivotal to keeping the Strengthening Families framework front and center within your United Way. Our Atlanta pilot site suggested combining a top down and a bottom up approach when seeking internal buy-in. An advantage to this is that top down buy-in can lead to changes in decision making and/or the availability of funds and bottom up buy-in can lead to staff interest and momentum.
- Work with and meet with your CEO/Director on what Strengthening Families is, why it's important and why we need all leaderships buy-in.
- Meet with department heads as UWSF will cut across multiple departments and all it takes is one person to slow things down, having department leader buy-in can help prevent a slow-down.
- Activities Included: Holding focus groups, presenting at staff meetings, and making smaller personalized department presentations.