Featured Campaign Coordinator: Rachel Duncan of Constellation

Date: January 14, 2015

Constellation Delivers Results Through Leadership and…Ice Cream!

Constellation knows a lot about leadership. And they certainly know how to inspire their people to step up and step out to help others in need.

Corporate relations manager and United Way of Central Maryland campaign coordinator Rachel Duncan believes Constellation’s success in exceeding their campaign goals this year was predicated largely on leadership, a healthy spirit of competition and…ice cream.

Believing in the motivating power of competition, Rachel’s campaign team designed and implemented the first-ever “Constellation Community Challenge,” which inspired each of ten business units to compete to earn $2,500 and $5,000 in donations to charities of their choice by logging the most volunteer hours and having the highest participation rates in the United Way campaign. The hunch that this might serve to increase engagement from their employees proved to be quite right.

The team’s next move was to leverage a pilot leadership program designed by Constellation’s parent company Exelon. Called the Exelon Impact Leaders, this program was created to provide a structure for employees who embrace the company’s core value of practicing community engagement. To succeed in earning $1,000 in donations to their preferred charity, Impact Leaders must satisfy six requirements during a one-year period. Those requirements included securing program participation approval from their supervisor, acting as strong ambassadors for the United Way campaign and leading two community-based volunteer projects. Fifteen people in Constellation’s Baltimore headquarters signed up to participate as Impact Leaders.

Those in politics know the value of advance work to determine their success at the polls. Rachel’s team also designed a way for the Impact Leaders to leverage their role by advancing participation in the campaign kick-off by visiting employees in person. Each of the Impact Leaders were assigned a “sales territory” and were asked to work those territories for three weeks leading up to the official September 16kick-off.

“It wasn’t enough for them to email their colleagues,” said Rachel. “We used the acronym “GOYAKOD” meaning “Get off your a— and knock on doors,” intended to clarify the importance of meeting face to face with employees to share the importance of the campaign and the mechanism by which each of them could participate. Our Impact Leaders worked hard and it paid off.”

What does ice cream have to do with it? Well, everyone likes ice cream. On September 16, an ice cream cart and a prize cart circulated throughout the company. On all floors and in all buildings, the ice cream cart served as a (sweet) sign that the campaign was officially launched and there were fun ways to get involved and even win prizes for doing so. Each employee that completed a campaign participation ticket was officially entered to win appealing prizes, like an iPad or tickets to the company suite at Ravens’ M&T Bank Stadium. Thanks to the advance work by the Impact Leaders, nearly everyone knew to look for the ice cream and prize cart.

Thank goodness Constellation employees have a sweet tooth— the launch was a huge success. “The advance work and the ice cream worked amazingly well,” Rachel commented. “By launch day, we already had pledges of nearly $500,000.”

Constellation’s campaign also featured a cookie bake-off, now a signature event for the company; more evidence that sweets really sell in this crowd.

So how did this work out for United Way and the community? You could say quite well.  Across the country, Constellation employee workplace campaign participation increased by 15 percent and contributions increased by nearly $100,000. BGE Home received the $2,500 charity donation prize with an astounding 94 percent employee participation rate. In a surprise decision, Mass Markets/Retail Operations was awarded a “Most Improved” award of a $1,000 donation to their choice charity for increasing employee participation from 20 percent to nearly 70 percent in just one year.

Overall, Constellation employees raised a total of $700,000 in contributions and engaged 59 percent of employees in the campaign; two percent higher than Exelon’s goal. Those hard-working Impact Leaders, the Community Challenge and unwavering senior leadership all contributed to success of this year’s campaign. With energy as the backbone of the company, it’s no wonder the campaign never ran out of steam. Congratulations Rachel, Impact Leaders and the entire Constellation team!

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