Young Leaders Society


Who We Are

United Way’s Young Leaders Society (YLS) members are caring and committed young professionals on a mission to encourage philanthropy and volunteerism amongst their peers and to create a vibrant region in which to live, learn, work and prosper for all Chicagoans.

Join more than 1,000 active donors age 40 years and younger and attend exciting fundraising and networking events with United Way.

Change the story for children and families in 58 communities of greatest need across our region.

The Young Leaders Society Executive Committee

John Griffin
Madison Dearborn
YLS Executive Chair

“Volunteering with YLS has provided me with an invaluable opportunity to give back to the Chicago community in the areas where it is needed most. Galvanizing young leaders from around the greater Chicago area, YLS delivers the best the city has to offer in terms of talent, time, and financial support.”

Will Darley
Fifth Third Bank
YLS Executive Co-Chair

“YLS has provided me with the opportunity to volunteer alongside many great philanthropists and young professionals throughout the greater Chicago area. Through YLS I have enhanced my professional career, while helping unite people and communities with the vast resources offered by United Way.”

ignite 2015


YLS events and volunteer opportunities are open for all to attend. To enjoy the exclusive benefits associated with membership, an annual donation of $250 or above ($500 for Premier Membership) to United Way is required.

Member Level: Annual gift of $250 – $499

Premier Member Level: Annual gift of $500+

Donations may be made at one time or in monthly/quarterly installments.

Become a YLS Member or Premier Member here or contact to set up donation installments.

Enjoy YLS Membership Benefits:

  • Instant network access to key community business leaders and volunteers
  • Volunteer opportunities that have demonstrable impact-health fairs, community beautification projects, e-mentoring programs, mock interview participation and more
  • Professional and personal growth opportunities through learning and leadership development events
  • Updates on how your contribution is helping United Way achieve LIVE UNITED 2020 community-impact goals: increasing graduation rates, improving financial security, and connecting people to quality health care
  • Connections with other young professionals through our LINKEDIN & FACEBOOK accounts

Premier Members also enjoy exclusive invitations to:

  • United Way issue-awareness, networking and celebration events in the metro area
  • Intimate CEO Briefings hosted by United Way’s President and CEO
  • CEO Chat series with Chicago’s top executives and community leaders

Join the YLS Advisory Committee

Get more involved and help make a difference. Committee members take their involvement to the next level by planning programs and initiatives for YLS. Learn more. Committees include:

  • Community Outreach
  • Member Development
  • Special Events
  • Communications

Get Involved

Upcoming Events:

Be sure to contact Mike Jank, Donor Officer, at to register or learn more about any of our volunteer opportunities.

Ignite 2015
United Way’s Young Leaders Society invites you to our biggest fundraiser ever! Join us for a night of drinks, hors d’oeuvres, live music, a silent auction and more to benefit Chicago’s most at-risk neighborhoods. It’ll be cold in February, so shake off the winter blues and come fire up with YLS!

Date: Friday, February 20
Time: 7:30 – 10:30pm
Location: Fulton Market Kitchen, 311 N Sangamon, Chicago


Follow YLS on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

Sign up to receive our e-newsletter at

Catch up with YLS and read about fellow members on our SPEAK UNITED Blog

For more information, please call 312.906.2248 or email

Join the Young Leaders Society Subscribe to the YLS Newsletter


pwc-logo 2014