United Way for Southeastern Michigan Launches $45 Million Annual Giving Campaign

Stellantis Chief Design Officer Ralph GIles, Partner, and CEO of New Foundry Richard Chang to lead effort to help families in need

DETROIT, MI — August 23, 2023 — United Way for Southeastern Michigan has introduced Ralph Giles, chief design officer at Stellantis, and Richard Chang, CEO, and partner at NewFoundry, as co-chairs for its 2023-24 fundraising and community volunteer campaign covering four counties. This year’s goals are to mobilize $45 million alongside a commitment of 45,000 volunteer hours to uplift local families in need.

The organization, which has served the community for more than a century, recently announced its merger with the United Way of Washtenaw County. Effective October 1, the combined United Way for Southeastern Michigan promises to deliver even greater impact throughout Macomb, Oakland, Wayne, and Washtenaw counties.

“Right now, families are facing mounting financial and societal challenges. Ralph and Richard have enthusiastically committed to this vital task of securing essential resources to bolster our region, and we are so grateful for their dedication and support” Dr. Darienne Hudson, President and CEO of United Way for Southeastern Michigan remarked. “Their leadership will fortify our mission of creating lasting change across the region.”

United Way is uniquely positioned to bring people together to help solve our region’s most pressing problems. The organization harnesses the collective giving, volunteering, and advocating power of individuals, businesses, philanthropic partners, and government leaders to meet pressing needs and identify long-term solutions. Giles and Chang are set to amplify United Way’s reach, galvanize support, and invigorate volunteerism.

“United Way provides resources and support to individuals and families in need that live in our communities with a goal of making a tangible impact on their lives. As this year’s co-chair, I am committed to working alongside them to maximize their efforts,” said Stellantis Chief Design Officer, Ralph Giles. “I am honored to co-lead this year’s campaign with Richard Chang as he also shares a results-oriented mindset about reaching and exceeding our goals.”

Echoing the sentiment, Richard Chang remarked, “Our friends and neighbors need our help. United Way symbolizes transformative change. Our campaign envisions a community where everyone contributes, be it through donation, advocacy, or volunteering. Together, we are poised to stabilize families and reach the most vulnerable in the region.

The theme for this year’s campaign is once again, “Light the Way, Live United,” meant to serve as a beacon, guiding United Way’s collective journey forward. Dr. Hudson reflected, “Our aim is unity and progress.”

The most recent United Way ALICE report reveals a sobering statistic: 39% of households in Southeastern Michigan struggle to consistently secure basic needs like food, housing, and health care. The end of temporary financial assistance has made attaining financial stability even more challenging and highlights the need for volunteers and donations. In collaboration with public, private, and nonprofit partners, United Way strives each day to eliminate barriers to household stability and foster an environment where every child has an opportunity to thrive and succeed.

In addition to supporting basic needs like food and housing, United Way initiatives cover a broad range supports – from early childhood programs, technology, and the round-the-clock 2-1-1 helpline connecting people to hundreds of services.

The 2023-24 campaign officially kicks off on October 1 and will continue October 2024.

Also, effective October 1, the Board of Directors will welcome Ed Siaje, an executive with Bank of America, as its new chairperson. The board will also expand to forty members with the addition of eight new members. Six of these new members will join following the merger with United Way of Washtenaw County. They are Michael Rein from University of Michigan, Brandon Tucker from Washtenaw Community College, Gregory Dill from Washtenaw County Government, Nicole Kontyko from KeyBank, Erik Bakker from Bank of Ann Arbor, and Rich Chang from New Foundry. The remaining two new members are Lisa Cawley of Accenture and Wendy Lewis Jackson of The Kresge Foundation. The members were unanimously voted in by the board and will have full voting privileges in guiding the organization’s mission.

To participate by giving or advocating, visit UnitedWaySEM.org. To make an impact by volunteering, sign up via United Way’s volunteer portal at UnitedWaySEM.org/volunteer.

About United Way for Southeastern Michigan

United Way for Southeastern Michigan, a member of the United Way Worldwide network and an independently governed 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, works to help households become stable and ensure children have the support they need to thrive. For more than one hundred years, United Way has been a leader in creating positive, measurable, and sustainable change in communities throughout southeast Michigan. United Way works in partnership with donors, agencies, corporate and municipal partners to help families meet their basic needs of housing, food, health care and family finances, and ensure children start school ready to learn and graduate ready for life. To give, advocate, volunteer or learn more, visit UnitedWaySEM.org.