The United Way is looking at new ways to build on the values of service and a common purpose, according to Brian Gallagher, President and CEO of the United Way. CivSource caught up with Gallagher ahead of his participation in the Freedom & Solidarity Forum in France. The event is designed to bring together stakeholders around the ideas of transatlantic partnership and globalization, and is strongly supported by the US Chamber of Commerce.
Gallagher said that United Way is involved with the event to raise awareness of its programs, specifically an effort to support middle school children.
“The values of partnership and service which are embedded around D-Day and have remained through events like the forum are ideas that we support at United Way, and are values we want to help spread,” he said.
The organization is working to develop a new face for philanthropy that more closely reflects the needs of today. “I don’t think the way philanthropy or government can continue to use old models to solve today’s problems. We have to work through how people live today.”
Gallagher noted that the emergence of social impact investing, and the growth of public-private-partnership models can be pieces of the puzzle. However, traditional philanthropic efforts still have their place. To that end, the United Way will be focused on fostering educational support programs and doing worldwide outreach for children in need.