Meet our newest ECM Spotlight, Laura Read of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City!
Laura is the Community Connections Manager at Blue KC, and this upcoming campaign season will be her 12th year as their ECM (Employee Campaign Manager). Laura leads an engaging internal campaign to encourage involvement and excite employees about giving to United Way. “I always try to come up with new ideas to keep our campaign fresh and exciting. Our employees really love the dodgeball tournament we host every year. We’re raising money for such a great cause, and it’s important to have fun but also let everyone know where their money is going.”
Laura was drawn to the ECM role because of United Way’s widespread impact in our region. “United Way is so great because it’s this hub for Kansas City. We have a lot of employees who want to do good and give back, but they aren’t sure how. United Way has their finger on the pulse of Kansas City and all the connections to local nonprofits,” said Laura. “It’s the easiest way for employees to give back to the city.”
Laura is excited about United Way’s recent rebranding and hopes to continue to grow Blue KC’s employee participation with the announcement that 100% of donations will go designated nonprofit organizations. “I’ve seen the evolution of United Way (over the 12 years as ECM). The rebranding was so much better than what I imagined it would be.” One addition to our recent rebranding was the introduction of Immersive Experiences, including Sunshine Committee events and Impact Bus Tours. Laura recently participated in our March Impact Bus Tour and enjoyed seeing how donor dollars do indeed impact our community. “On the Bus Tour, you drive a mile and there’s an organization that United Way supports, then you drive another mile and there’s another organization.” Blue KC also hosted a Real Life, Real Choices event during last year’s campaign. This is an interactive, immersive experience that guides participants through the day-to-day struggles that those living in poverty face.
When asked what she would say to those who may be considering the idea of taking on the ECM role for their company, Laura said, “I would encourage it, It’s a great way to get people involved in philanthropic work in Kansas City and to see that we’re a very giving community.” Laura explains that having an ECM role challenges herself to do better than the previous year. “It’s rewarding. There are people everywhere who have benefitted from United Way, whether it be at school or at work, United Way touches every part of the city.”
Thank you, Laura, for sharing about your role as Blue KC’s ECM. To all of our ECM’s — You make our work possible!