EVENT UPDATE: As of Tuesday, April 25, registration for United in Purpose has closed. We have reached event space capacity and are unable to add new names to the registration waiting list. Individuals on the waiting list received an update on Friday, April 28 and will receive another update on Tuesday, May 2.


United in Purpose, a collaborative global gathering of United Way professionals, will be held May 17-19, 2023, in Houston, Texas.  This first-of-its-kind event is an opportunity for attendees to: 

  • Build new and stronger relationships with Network colleagues and share best practices. 
  • Collaborate to advance United Way’s priorities and strategic transformation.
  • Generate ideas and learning that apply in local communities.  
  • Engage in conversations on strategic initiatives including brand strategy and fundraising diversification. 



JUST ANNOUNCED: Acclaimed author and futurist Bob Johansen and Institute for the Future are joining United in Purpose! 

 Following his trilogy of books on the future of leadership, Bob Johansen’s 2023 release “Office Shock: Creating Better   Futures for Working and Living” challenges us to think about the future back – forecasting futures, revealing insights,   and aligning actions. During United in Purpose, Bob Johansen and Angela F. Williams will discuss how his   recent research can inform United Way’s strategic transformation, and our work to strengthen communities   over the next ten years and beyond.  

 In addition to invaluable takeaways during the featured general session, Institute for the Future (IFTF) will host   interactive sessions to preview custom research insights designed for United Way to prepare the next generation of   global Network leaders, and to showcase skills in “futureback” thinking that empowers us to prepare for unprecedented futures a changing world.  

As the world’s oldest futures research and educational organization, IFTF believes that asking “what if” allows us to transcend the limits of short-term thinking, to change course before it’s too late, and to see future possibilities framed in intensely human terms. Make your plans to join us and gain a head start on your future today!  


Attendees can expect two full days of connection, collaboration and inspiration. The event will include a mix of “traditional” learning sessions (where participants can get more tactical guidance and build skills), ideation and input sessions (where participants can provide feedback on some of the various works-in-progress), and other gently facilitated conversations. Members of various United Way working groups will also meet during the event and engage in open conversations with attendees.  This is an opportunity not only for knowledge sharing, but also to strengthen our Network through insightful dialogue, thoughtful inputs to works-in- progress, and co-creation of key initiatives underway.  

LIVE UNITED isn’t just about what we do in each of our communities. It’s about how we do it–together as a global network of changemakers, leaders, and visionaries–and where we’re going as a united Network. 



United Way leaders from around the world. UNITED IN PURPOSE is appropriate for all levels of United Way staff, including C-suite executives, leaders in development, marketing and brand, impact, finance, and staff working on cross-market initiatives related to our Network’s strategic transformation. This Forum is not intended for corporate partners, volunteers, donors, or agency partners.


A brand is more than a logo or a tagline – it’s a guide for the way we think, act and communicate.  A brand is the sum of all the expressions from and experiences with an organization or offering — from an interaction with a call center to a social media post to a program or service. Our United Way brand is a shared asset whose value increases exponentially when applied and activated consistently and strategically across our Network. As part of a comprehensive effort to clarify and amplify our brand, we have conducted extensive global research to identify our most compelling strengths — regionally and globally. Join us at UNITED IN PURPOSE, where we will share key insights from the global brand research and facilitate interactive sessions that explore our opportunities for shared impact and growth. 


To increase our impact in community, we need to maximize our resources, which requires new ways of collaborating across markets and envisioning how we rally support for our mission. We have the opportunity to tap into United Way’s enormous potential to connect organizations and individuals with causes and effective initiatives in areas of their philanthropic interest. To help us reach this potential, the learning sessions will highlight effective practices on donor acquisition, individual engagement and corporate partnerships. In addition, we will share work from the Revenue Diversification Task Force, which is studying successful efforts from more than 40 United Ways to begin to identify new approaches to fundraising at the local and cross-market level. 

Equitable Community Impact 

To deliver community change that positively impacts all individuals, United Ways must explicitly focus on equity. This means proactively addressing persistent access and opportunity gaps in education, economic mobility and health that create and sustain disparate outcomes. Leaders in our Network are making progress to integrate equity as a core principle in our work. Join us to learn about impact initiatives that can be adapted locally, access tools that you can utilize to strengthen your equitable practices and connect with your impact colleagues to grow your peer network.

Executive Leaders 

The past three years have caused an incredible shift in the workplace, and combined with the challenges many nonprofits are facing, leadership can feel especially challenging. And yet there are many opportunities and needs for social-sector organizations to serve and lead. Together, United Way leaders offer an extensive network of experts who have real-world experiences and are finding new solutions to drive their organizations’ success, all with a growth mindset driving performance. Beyond strengthening your network of peers, we invite C-suite leaders to explore what we can do to build the next generation of United Way leaders.   

Change and Transformation (includes high performers) 

Changing external factors are putting extra pressures on civil-society organizations: geopolitical instability, economic stressors, climate change and more. Within the nonprofit sector and the United Way Network, more shifts are underway—such as diversified revenue streams, changing donor relationships, and evolving approaches to community and stakeholder engagement. How can United Way best respond? How can you lead the changes necessary for your United Way to make critical quantum leaps in trust and relevance? How can we transform our Network to be optimally positioned for the future? UNITED IN PURPOSE will be a powerful forum for our Network’s changemakers and high-potential and high-performing leaders to tackle these questions together. 


A strong foundation and focus on talent management, rigorous financial analysis, and technical application management enables United Way to hire the best talent, stay accountable, mitigate risk, and build trust. Being data and insights-driven in all aspects of United Way’s work will improve performance. Leading change is also critical in these turbulent times. United in Purpose will offer effective practices and tools for strengthening United Way’s organizational foundations and optimizing human resources and underlying processes to drive performance. 


Fiscal responsibility and accountability are critical components to a thriving organization.  With transformative changes in our current economic environment, now more than ever, the finance leader must partner across the organization, and serve as a strategic partner with an appreciation managing financial and operational risks as well as assessing and communicating current and future opportunities and challenges that impact your United Way and our network.  During UNITED IN PURPOSE, we will provide sessions on best practices within non-profit finance as well as opportunities for discussion around current trends and issues that are driving local success.   

confirmed SPEAKERS

We have gathered together some of the most highly respected professionals in the industry to discuss the role in scaling companies in today's environment. Among our esteemed speakers and panelists are:


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For U.S. and Canada United Ways, this program will be Flexible Credit eligible. Discounts/scholarships will be available for small cities and a special rate will be available for those travelling from outside the U.S. Your registration includes continental breakfast, breaks and lunch, but will not include dinners. Hotel costs and transportation costs are not included in the registration fee.

early registration



Register now and save $100 off the standard registration fee! This rate will be available until April 24, 2023.

standard registration



Join your fellow changemakers, leaders and visionaries to advance United Way’s priorities and strategic transformation!



This registration fee will be available from April 25, 2023 - May 14, 2023.

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