Collage of Donor Networks

Remembering 2023 With Donor Networks

As we wind down the year, we're looking back at some of our favorite highlights from our Donor Networks in 2023. No matter which networks you're a part of, we know that we're better together. We are all like-minded leaders who believe in creating lasting change. Thank you for being a part of Donor Networks. We're excited for what 2024 has in store!

Technology United

Technology United CIO Forum

Creating an Equitable Tech Landscape

In February, the Technology United CIO Forum raised a record of $580,000 for the Community Fund! Our upcoming event will include a new roundtable discussion and a focus on attracting and retaining women in the technology industry to celebrate International Women's Day. Mark your calendars for the next CIO Forum on March 8, 2024 and don't forget to register here.

In November, we brought back our Technology United Career Fair in partnership with UW-Milwaukee's School of Information Studies department. This event was a huge success according to the feedback of our many volunteers, our Milwaukee Public Schools staff, and the 70 MPS high school students that attended. Students learned about Cybersecurity, Data and AI, Program Management, Immersive Technology (VR/AR), IT Infrastructure & Operations, and Software Development.

Technology United is currently seeking partner agencies to apply for our Tech for Good Marketplace. Since its launch in 2020, Tech for Good Marketplace (T4GMP) has matched 12 United Way partner agencies in need of technology support with Technology United Guest CIOs and industry volunteers to facilitate impactful technology projects. This initiative offers free assistance to support program partners with pro-bono or low-cost technology solutions or resources to support the agencies missions and teams.

If you're interested in becoming a member of Technology United contact Cassidy Korpela.

Diversity Leadership Society

Celebrating Diverse Voices

At Diversity Leadership Society's Spring Mixer in March, we honored Danae D. Davis with the Linda McFerrin Award. Danae is the retired executive director of Milwaukee Succeeds, which is dedicated to ensuring the success of every child in every school in Milwaukee, cradle to career. Don't miss your chance to nominate a nonprofit leader for the next Linda McFerrin Nonprofit Leadership Award! Nominate a leader by December 15 here.

During September's Danishes & Diversity, Sheldon Cuffie (one of United Way's 2023 Campaign Co-chairs), Andres Gonzalez, and Angela Adams shared a wealth of knowledge and experience with us about the importance of black and brown time, talent, and treasure. This conversation also explored the massive impact that black and brown dollars have made in our community.

Tracie SparksWe are excited to welcome Tracie Sparks as the incoming 2024 co-chair of the Diversity Leadership Society! Tracie is the DEI Operations and ERG Global Program Manager for Rockwell Automation. She is passionate about being involved in the community and serves on a number of boards and councils to advance interests for underserved communities, justice impacted individuals and BIPOC individuals. Tracie is a Milwaukee native, a Marquette University graduate, and a proud member of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin.

If you're interested in joining the Diversity Leadership council, reach out to Diamond Herring-Rodgers.

Pride United

Pride United co-chairs Justin Roby, Angela Quigley, and Micah Ogé

Inaugural Pride Homecoming and New Co-chairs

In April, Pride United kicked off the inaugural Pride Homecoming at Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel. This event created an inclusive space where LGBTQ+ adults could bring their partner of choice to homecoming, something that many missed out on during their youth. Proceeds for the event supported the Pride United Equity Fund.

Looking towards 2024, we're excited to welcome our new Pride United co-chairs, Justin Roby, Angela Quigley, and Micah Ogé!

Justin (left) has been an invaluable part of the Pride United council since its inception in 2021. A Milwaukee-born community member, Justin's professional career revolves around empowering others, currently serving as the Director of Finance and Human Resources at Diverse & Resilient.

Angela (center) is the co-owner of Married In Milwaukee, a leading online media company dedicated to connecting couples with locally-owned wedding vendors. Angela's extensive experience brings a wealth of knowledge to our team. Angela is also a former co-chair of our Emerging Leaders Donor Network.

Micah (right) serves as the Global Director of New Product Launch at Johnson Controls. His authentic leadership has consistently driven growth-focused change movements for over 15 years. Micah supports the LGBTQ+ community with a drive toward authenticity in every setting, including leadership of a diverse and representative local dance team at PrideFest Milwaukee.

If you are interested in joining the Pride United Council, reach out to Diamond Herring-Rodgers.

Women United

Shoppers at SPREE

Supporting Youth Mental Health

In 2023, Co-chairs Julia Currie and Leslie Wininger guided the Women's Leadership Council in strategy and support of our newest Key Initiative, Empowering Minds. It was a tremendously successful year with well-attended events, meaningful volunteer experiences, and purposeful engagement that made a positive impact on United Way, our community, and the participating Women United members.

The Women United Annual Bruncheon in May had record attendance! More than 550 individuals gathered to celebrate the success of Women United over the past 20 years, recognize Cristy Garcia-Thomas as the Linda T. Mellowes Woman Leader of the Year, and learn more about Women United's new focus area, Empowering Minds.

Women's Leadership Council hosted a panel discussion with youth mental health experts in September to discuss the current state of mental health among high school students in our region, how best to talk about mental health, and how families can support their youth's mental wellness. More than 100 individuals gathered at United Way's Johnson Controls Volunteer Center to participate in discussion and pack youth mental wellness kits that were distributed to four agency partners.

On November 17, SPREE – Shopping for Change event was back at Saint Kate – the Arts Hotel, and raised more than $80,000 for United Way. Women came to shop, participate in raffles and a lively live auction, and raise their paddles in support of Empowering Minds.

If you are interested in joining Women United, please contact Nancy Clarkin.

Emerging Leaders

Emerging Leaders

Becoming Leaders in the Community

On the longest day of the year, June 21, Emerging Leaders and community members participated in Day of Action, a nationwide volunteer event that over 450 United Ways host. Emerging Leaders hosts this event every year to bring together the larger network, and the community, to participate in a day of action to serve the community. This year, we participated in a mural painting, sensory room setup, community cleanup and kit-packing at Browning Elementary School & Silver Spring Neighborhood Center. Browning Elementary School is one of our Community Schools, and Silver Spring Neighborhood Center is one of our partner agencies.

In August, the Emerging Leaders Philanthropic 5 (P5) Awards recognize five community leaders in their 20s, 30s, and 40s that have made extraordinary commitments of leadership, volunteerism, mentoring, and philanthropy to Greater Milwaukee and Waukeshas nonprofit community. Award winners were recognized at the Milwaukee County Historical Society, honoring Ayrton Bryan (Rockwell Automation), DeShanda Clark (Pathfinders), Robyn Ludtke (Waukesha County Business Alliance), Sharlen Moore (Urban Underground), Micah Ogé (Johnson Controls), and Deisy España (Philanthropic Youth winner).

If you're interested in learning more about Emerging Leaders and how to join, reach out to Kristen Hagen.

LINC (Lead. Impact. Network. Change.)

Smiling volunteer

Socializing and Giving Back With LINC

In September, LINC members volunteered at Despensa de la Paz Food Pantry (Friedens Community Ministries) to connect with local community members and assisted them in shopping for their groceries at the pantry. It was a meaningful opportunity where we not only gave our time but received so much more in return and built relationships. Our goal has been to support and uplift agencies who are helping to combat food insecurity and/or housing insecurity.

Most recently in November, LINC hosted the "I Love the 90s" PhilanthroPARTY for LINC members, young professionals, partners, and more. This was a one-of-a-kind networking event that was both social and philanthropic as we wrapped gifts for the Holiday Giving Tree. Leading up to the event, LINC raised $2,500 to sponsor MKE Fellows in giving 100 gifts this holiday season. The night included nostalgic games, an auction to raise money for the Community Fund, and all-around good times!

If you're interested in learning more about LINC and how to join this network of young professionals, you can reach out to Kristen Hagen.

Retire United

Retire United voluneers posed for a picture

Retire United Believes in the Power of Volunteerism!

In August, Retire United members gathered and filled more than 800 backpacks with brand-new school supplies for students in Milwaukee, Waukesha, and Washington Counties. One educator sent her appreciation which highlights why we participate in this important work:

"[Parents] are grateful that they don't need to send their kids to school unprepared or try to explain why they can't provide what they need for school. Just this week I had a mother give me a big hug with tears in her eyes just because I gave her child a backpack."
-Maria Pieters, School District of Waukesha

Retirees volunteered at Project Homeless Connect in October (held in both Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties), serving as guest advocates for persons currently experiencing homelessness. Retirees helped connect guests with various services throughout the day, including housing resources, dental and vision exams, meals, and warm weather items. Retire United members have been serving as companions at Project Homeless Connect since 2013.

Retire United members also enjoyed the convenience of volunteering individually, and/or with their families, when their schedules allowed this year. Activities included supporting the Backpack Coalition and Holiday Giving Tree, assembling flashcard kits for distribution with our Community Schools, providing homemade meals to local shelters, and volunteering to support United Way staff.

For questions or more information about joining Retire United, please contact Bev Arrowood.

Can a Mandatory IRA Distribution Help Achieve Your Goals?

As another year draws to a close, many of us are approaching (or have arrived at) the age for mandatory IRA (Individual Retirement Account) distributions. IRAs are funded with pre-tax dollars, which means distributions are taxable unless they are made directly to a 501 (c) (3) organization, like United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County. Please consider whether your philanthropic goals can be accomplished through a direct distribution from your IRA.

Questions? Contact Shemagne O'Keefe Mullins at 414.263.8202.

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United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County | 225 W. Vine St. | Milwaukee, WI | 53212 | 414.263.8100