Leadership Givers raise their hands to help others


United Way’s Leadership Givers come from a variety of backgrounds, cultures and career paths. Some are new to the region and looking to get plugged into the community. Others have always called St. Louis home. Some are executives in their fields; others are launching their careers.


But they all have one thing in common: They want to make a difference in their community and help make it the best it can be.


By partnering with United Way of Greater St. Louis, this growing group of more than 8,000 community-minded individuals has the strong partner they need to make a difference on a much larger scale. Through a gift of $1,000 or more, Leadership Givers make our community safer, healthier and better equipped to take on the future.


“Leadership Giving has been a way to channel my passion for the community and find a way to have a broader impact,” said Michelle Ko, Women’s Leadership Society co-chair and director of branch and region development at Edward Jones. “You can only go so far as one individual, but when you come together, the outcome is even more powerful. United Way unifies us to be focused and continue to build the community.”


Members have the opportunity to engage with other leaders shaping our community. This includes special events, networking events, cultural events, group volunteer opportunities and more.


Members are also eligible to join one or more Leadership Giving affinity groups: 

  • Women’s Leadership Society provides a way for women to connect through philanthropy and shared goals while impacting our region.
  • Charmaine Chapman Leadership Society recognizes and engages African-American leaders throughout the Greater St. Louis region. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, it has grown into one of the top philanthropic programs for African Americans in the nation.
  • Multicultural Leadership Society engages and unites individuals from all cultures, celebrating our region’s diversity and shared heritage.
  • Men’s Leadership Society brings together like-minded philanthropists to create a unique community dedicated to making Greater St. Louis a better place for all.


Affinity groups allow members to engage more deeply with like-minded individuals toward the common goal of helping others.


“I have an interest in making sure that we as people of color are also there at the table helping the community to be better,” said Karlos Ramírez, Multicultural Leadership Society co-chair and president and CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis. “United Way is a holistic approach to the betterment of St. Louis and helping people live their best possible lives.”


“I was new to the area and looking for opportunities to connect with people,” added Nej Hanna, cabinet member of the Multicultural Leadership Society and portfolio manager at Edward Jones. “I went to several of the events that the Society puts on, which were focused on bringing people together. That was a really nice way to connect with people who you know you have something in common with.”


For Leadership Givers, coming together is essential for making a meaningful impact.


“I think we all want to make a meaningful difference,” Ko said. “Being able to come together, like I’ve been able to do with the cabinet and other leadership givers, I’ve been able to see that impact we’re having, and it’s powerful.”



To learn more about Leadership Giving, visit our website or email LeadershipGiving@stl.unitedway.org.