Effective July 1, seven United Way chapters throughout the region will merge to form United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey — one organization committed to improving lives and creating lasting community-level change across the region.
Collectively, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey will have the unique capacity to engage more donors, advocates and volunteers to address the critical issues facing our local communities, including the focus areas for United Ways across the country related to education, income, and health.
Jill Michal, president and CEO of United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, has been named President and CEO of United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.
“By coming together and sharing our talent, resources and best practices, we will be able to deliver greater impact to those who need us most in local communities across the region,” said Michal.
“While for-profit mergers are often about delivering shareholder value, non-profit mergers are about amplifying mission. As an organization, United Way believes in the power of partnerships and collaboration to solve problems because we know the whole truly is greater than the sum of its parts.”
The process was led by a design team comprised of deeply dedicated staff and volunteer leaders from each United Way involved, who spent over eighteen months exploring this opportunity and working together to ensure the merger is positioned for long-term success.
“This has been an incredibly thorough and thoughtful process, and we are excited to come together as a region and build on one another’s strengths to create a lasting impact,” said Mindy Holman, president and CEO, Holman Automotive Group, and co-chair of the design team.
The organization will not be defined by a single issue or a single geographic area; it will be driven by the needs of the local communities it serves and will continue to have local presence and impact.
“Relationships and strong community connections are key to the success of our work. The people will be local, money will be invested locally, and the impact will be felt locally,” said John Emge, executive director of United Way of Atlantic County and Holman’s co-chair.
United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey will have a regional board of directors, chaired by Lon Greenberg, chairman and CEO, UGI Corporation. This board will include volunteers from each community and will be charged with overseeing the regional strategy and governance. Local operating boards in each community will focus on local community investments and resource development to continue the support of those investments.
United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey will create stronger partnerships throughout the region to capitalize on the synergies of its communities in order to build strategies that deliver lasting impact at the regional level, while ensuring the organization continues to address the local needs of each community in the way that United Way is uniquely positioned to do.
“This merger will create a stronger, unified organization in the region, and better position us to improve lives and strengthen communities by amplifying the power of each individual who chooses to give, advocate or volunteer,” added Rosemary Turner, president, Chesapeake District, UPS, and board chair, United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
“By combining each United Way’s unique strengths, capabilities and assets, we’ll deliver more results in local communities.”
Greenberg added “By coming together, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey will be able to engage more organizations and individuals who look to United Way as a philanthropic partner, delivering impact in all of the communities important to them. We’ll now have the capacity to take a regional approach to addressing regional issues."
The following United Ways will merge to form the new organization: Atlantic City, N.J., Burlington County, N.J., Camden County, N.J., Cape May County, N.J., Greater Cumberland County, N.J., Southeast Delaware County, Pa. and Southeastern Pennsylvania.
United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ), in collaboration with North Penn United Way and the United Ways of Bucks County, Chester County and Southern Chester County, has launched 2-1-1, a phone number that connects residents of the southeastern Pennsylvania region with important health and human services in local communities.
“Navigating the nonprofit landscape and a host of government services can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start, so unfortunately many go without the services they need,” says Jill Michal, UWGPSNJ president and CEO. “2-1-1 is the place to start.”
Callers reach trained specialists who can help identify their needs and connect them to local human service organizations that specialize in meeting critical basic needs (such as food and housing); physical and mental health resources; employment supports; assistance for older adults and people with disabilities; and support for children, youth and families.
Individuals, families and communities can connect with 2-1-1 for help with everyday needs and in crisis situations.
“2-1-1 often demonstrates its value during times of crisis. For example, in the weeks after Hurricane Sandy, NJ 2-1-1 helped coordinate response efforts and served as an invaluable lifeline to thousands of New Jersey residents in need of evacuation and temporary shelter assistance, help accessing emergency food and water and dealing with utility outages,” says Michal.
“But 2-1-1 can also play a critical role in non-emergency times. With one phone number, callers gain free, confidential access to the resources of thousands of nonprofit programs and services that can help improve their quality of life — from quality early childcare centers, to job training programs or in-home health supports for an aging parent,” said Ann O’Brien Schmieg, senior vice president, Community Impact, UWGPSNJ.
According to United Way officials, the launch is part of a broader goal to bring 2-1-1 services to every resident of the commonwealth. One of seven regions within the statewide Pennsylvania 2-1-1 system, 2-1-1 in southeastern Pennsylvania will also help local health and human services providers to plan for the future.
Data collected through the local 2-1-1 system can be used to identify prevalent or emerging community needs throughout the region to facilitate informed response, assess the community or region’s ability to address large-scale issues and identify gaps in services to help meet critical or growing needs,” says Michal.
“In addition, based on data collected from calls, nonprofit agencies and local government can anticipate demand for services and mobilize resources to meet changing needs.”
Help is available seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 24 hours a day at www.211sepa.org.