Making an impact through collaboration and research

By Dan Milwit, Vice President/General Manager, Enterprise Holdings

My father dedicated his life’s work to various charities, so when I became a professional, it was important for me to do the same. Enterprise Rent-A-Car has been a long-time supporter of United Way. Since 1969, contributions to local United Way chapters from Enterprise Employees, combined with the 50% match by the Enterprise Holdings Foundation, total more than $278 million.

Enterprise gives to United Way because time and time again, the organization has been proven successful, making the most impact in the neediest places, and, most importantly, allocating funding to the most effective agencies.

When choosing an organization to give your time, treasure and talent, it’s critical to ask yourself these five things:

  1. Is the organization transparent? We like people who are trustworthy, honest and upfront, so it makes sense that we should work with agencies, organizations and businesses that have those same traits. When searching for the right organization for you, take the time to see how they communicate with their communities.
  1. Do they continue to reach new milestones? It’s important that the organizations you support continue to challenge themselves and don’t get comfortable sticking to norms or what they have always done. Making new goals and plans and sticking to them are critical to seeing big change.
  1. Does the organization value community partnerships and collaboration? To be highly successful in supporting the community, whether you’re an organization or an individual, cultivating effective relationships and partnerships is key. These collaborations help agencies understand the needs of their local communities, and from there, goals can be set together to make the necessary changes.
  1. Can you see the impact? When you’re giving your time and dollars to an organization, you’ll want to see how that is being used and how the community is being impacted. Looking at the measurable results from an agency’s programs is critical before jumping in.
  1. Is there strong leadership? The structure and leadership of an organization is particularly important in my opinion. Being able to trust the leaders of an agency and feel confident in their ability to lead the change that is needed is a crucial consideration being lending your hand.

At United Way, their diligent Request for Proposal process allows me to feel confident that my dollars are making the biggest impact possible in our community. Looking at the new milestones that continue to be reached within United Way and its funded agencies speaks for itself. United Way’s partnerships between donors, organizations, corporations and more, allows United Way to understand the need of our local communities and provide support where it’s needed most.

United Way was the right fit for my support, and I hope you’ll use this same guide when considering your next agency to fund, volunteer with, or support.