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

Will Darley
W.S. Darley & Company
YLS Executive Chair, Chicago

“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.”

Andrew Steele
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
YLS Executive Chair, North-Northwest

“YLS offers the chance for young adults to become stronger leaders while impacting their communities. By developing more young adult leaders who are passionate about service and philanthropy, the future for our society is bright. I’m humbled and honored to serve alongside incredible people who give, advocate and volunteer on behalf of the marginalized in society whom United Way serves.”

Crystal Trauner
Senior Flexonics
YLS Executive Chair, West Suburban

“Working with the Associate Board of Directors has given me a unique opportunity to work with a diverse group of young professionals who are enthusiastic about giving back and volunteering. I feel that the experience that I have had through this opportunity has been something that I will carry through my career and is certainly shaping the professional I am today.”



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:

See photos and learn more about this year’s great event here

YLS Day of Caring: 2016 Comcast Cares Day
April 30, 2016
9:00am – 3:00pm
Pacific Garden Mission Center
1458 S. Canal Street, Chicago

YLS After 5
May 19, 2016
Prudential Plaza Roof Deck & Club House
1 Prudential Plaza – 130 E Randolph Street, Chicago

Contact the Young Leaders Society at to learn more about any of our volunteer opportunities.

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


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