BC Hydro Member Tom David Raises the Bar with this Year’s United Way Campaign

October 30, 2016

You can tell Tom David wants to get things just right. His attention to detail and desire to improve are reflected in his plans for the joint BC Hydro/United Way workplace campaign.

It makes sense, as Tom is a Digital Communications Specialist for BC Hydro, working on web projects for transmission, distribution and regulatory announcements. He started as a Web Specialist contractor with Accenture in 2008, and was hired on by BC Hydro two years later. Tom is a relatively new Canadian, having emigrated from the Philippines with his wife Norma in 2007.

He’s also a MoveUP job steward. Last year, MoveUP Vice-President Gwenne Farrell, who also sits on the United Way of the Lower Mainland’s board of directors, asked Tom if he would volunteer to be on the BC Hydro/United Way campaign.

The United Way has a long history of working for lasting, measurable change in communities across Canada. The United Way funds important programs that are focused on lifting people out of poverty, building strong communities and helping all children to reach their potential. The workplace campaigns are opportunities for unions and employers to work together to raise funds for important projects.

Even though Tom has only been a steward for one and a half years, he decided to take on the campaign. “Part of [being a steward] is the opportunity to take leadership training,” he explained. “It’s a gateway for leadership opportunities.” The United Way campaign is one such opportunity.  “I’m part of the team who’s developing the programs in support of the project.”

BC Hydro’s United Way campaign team has about 30 team leaders across the province. Each leader has a smaller team in their area to manage. Tom represents MoveUP advocating members to join the cause and achieve campaign goals and objectives. This year’s campaign goal is to reach $550,000 having at least 1,500 donors.

Unlike many of the other workplaces where MoveUP represents employees, BC Hydro is a relatively new partner with the United Way. The joint campaign has been running for three years. As such, the team is still building their campaign template. “The United Way team, they have no unified communications plan in place. No structured email blasts, nothing,” said Tom. It’s the joint campaign’s responsibility to contact the employees at each business group. “I think that is an opportunity…MoveUP can handle, so that’s where I focused my efforts.”

“We scheduled three emails, once per week, in the last three weeks of the campaign,” said Tom. “Each week has its own story to tell and its own objective. The first story is about community, the second is riding the momentum and the third is ‘thank you’.” Gwenne helped Tom implement the campaign through MoveUP’s email system.

The campaign team will use the emails again this year, and look at expanding the offline campaign events. When asked what BC Hydro members can expect this year Tom said, with a smile: “Last year was the first one I handled so I was conservative. This year will be better – more constructive and creative.”  

Tom is keen to beat last year’s fundraising total and to create a compelling story to encourage MoveUP members to give. “People don’t know that the United Way often funds their neighbourhood community centre. I’ve learned that United Way isn’t specific to Lower Mainland. They’re all over the province, from Victoria to Fort Nelson,” he said. “We have MoveUP members all over the province as well, which is why the United Way and MoveUP working together present an opportunity to change the whole province by touching communities everywhere.”