United Way Leadership Analysis

Topics: Leadership, United States, United Way of America Pages: 18 (4308 words) Published: March 6, 2015

Organizational Leadership Analysis: United Way of America
Melna K. Wilson
Western Kentucky University
Dr. Stacy Edds-Ellis
LEAD 500 Effective Leadership Studies
November 30, 2014



Organizational Leadership Analysis: The United Way
This paper examines the organizational leadership of the United Way of America. The questions answered include an identification of the values of the organization, the vision, the mission statement, the leadership style, the authenticity of the senior leaders, the leadership model, the ethical climate, and the effects of diversity on the organization. The values, vision, and mission statement of the UWA organization and local United Way organizations are similar; leadership styles and models vary in order to be adaptive to the climate of individual communities. Each member of the United Way of America is bound by the organization’s Code of Ethics which was implemented as a result of corrupt leadership. In recent years, the United Way of America has focused business imperatives toward diversity and inclusion in order to reach out to more people in terms of race, gender and sexual orientation. Organization Overview

The United Way of America is a non-profit organization that includes more than 1,400 local United Way offices linked together with countless charitable organizations across the country. Their purpose is to pool resources for fundraising and support in order to resolve community issues and make notable changes in those communities. According to the UWA website, issues facing local United Way groups are defined by the diversity of the communities served. Areas of main focus are education, income, and health which encompass common themes such as:

Helping children and youth succeed through engagement

Strengthening and supporting families

Improving access to health care


Promoting financial stability (http://www.unitedway.org/).

In the late 1800’s in Denver, Colorado, church leaders began a mission and named it the Charity Organization Society. The first leaders were a diverse group and consisted of a woman, a priest, two ministers, and a rabbi. The organization was founded in response to the need to actively cooperate and address Denver’s welfare problems. This group coordinated support services and raised funds for 22 agencies. The Charity Organization Society not only raised funds to distribute to local agencies, they coordinated relief services, counseled clients, and made emergency assistance grants in some cases. In 1887, $21,700 was raised and thus began the nationwide movement that eventually became the United Way of America. The ultimate focus of the UWA is still, 127 years later, to enhance the caring power of local communities and make a difference in people’s lives (http://www.unitedway.org/).

The early 1900’s welcomed the first Community Chest Organization which was founded in Cleveland, Ohio. The leadership of this group consisted of executives from fund-raising federations. By the middle of the twentieth century, the number of Community Chest Organizations had surpassed 1,000 and was headquartered in New York City. The term United Way was adopted in 1963, although not all agencies chose to use it. The organization moved to Alexandria, Virginia, in 1971 and was renamed United Way of America. The United Way of America organization has seated leaders of varying profiles. Scandal affected leadership of the UWA in 1992 and William Aramony resigned as president and CEO as he was accused of defrauding hundreds of thousands of dollars from the United Way. Elaine L. Chao was then selected as president and CEO. She was the first Asian-American and first female in this position. In 1996, Betty Stanley Benne took over as the new UWA president and CEO;




the second female to hold the chief position. She concluded her service as...

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