Emerging Leaders: Connect. Lead. Serve.

Emerging Leaders

Founded in 2006, Emerging Leaders is an affinity group of more than 400 young professionals (age 40 and younger) who annually donate $1,000+ each to support the mission of United way of Central Indiana in our shared community. It is run by a volunteer Steering Committee and a United Way staff manager.

Our 2016-17 Initiative

The Emerging Leaders are focused on a public policy initiative to expand Indiana's On My Way Pre-K program from five counties to ALL counties. We are holding events to raise awareness of the impact of preschool in our community and continue to advocate through different mediums. We have a fundraising goal of $250,000 to provide the resources necessary to organize and mobilize support for this expansion. Watch the video below of the On My Way Pre-K impact, then come to any upcoming event to learn more!


Interested in joining? Here are the benefits for you:

  • Professional Advancement Series – Attend one or all of the six lunch-and-learns held each year, March to November. Hear CEO's discuss work-life balance and their success stories,  attend workshops on topics that matter to our demographic and learn about community issues like prisons and mental health.
    See the 2016 calendar
  • Mentorship from the Tocqueville Society – In January enroll in the mentorship program to be paired for the year with a member of our exclusive Tocqueville Society ($10,000+ major donors to United Way).  Attend two Tocqueville luncheons while enrolled.
    Learn more

  • Red Carpet Gala – Get involved in our signature event and United Way’s largest annual fundraiser. Over 600 people from 60+ companies attend this Oscar-viewing party with VIP area, silent auction, three-course meal, and more.

What's in it for United Way?

  • Community Investment – Emerging Leaders together contribute over $1 million each year to United Way’s mission.  Historically, Emerging Leaders has focused on progressing early childhood education.  Thanks to their (your) support, we have helped increase the percentage of high quality childcares from 15% to 35% in just a few years.
  • Volunteering – Emerging Leaders have responded to requests from United Way partner agencies to paint classrooms and spread mulch. We have led social media campaigns to recruit ReadUP tutors. We are even launching a career talk series in schools called “Chalk Talks.” 

How to sign up:

Other details:

  • A company matching gift can count towards your membership!
  • A new step-up program starts at $500 in year one, $750 in year two, and then the full $1,000. Ask for details!
  • Membership includes all members of your household (e.g. spouses)

“Through Emerging Leaders, I have the ability to network with other philanthropic young professionals, learn from the best and brightest in Central Indiana, and support and participate in something that will leave a lasting change in our community. I invite all young professional to join us in supporting out friends, family and neighbors of Central Indiana.”

Jessica Thomas, 2016 Emerging Leaders Chair


Special thanks to our sponsor:

Step up!

Through our Step Up program, you can be recognized as a member in your first year:

Year one: $500
Year two: $750
Year three: $1,000

Gifts must be higher than the previous year’s donation. Minimum gift from an individual is $500.