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United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey Deepens Commitment to Advancing Racial Equity in the Region, Appointing Kelly Woodland as Managing Director of Leadership Equity

Woodland joins UWGPSNJ to advance racial equity in the philanthropic sectors and form a centralized hub to promote leadership equity

PHILADELPHIA, PA – July 2022 – As studies continue to show a lack of diversity among leaders of nonprofit organizations and foundations, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ) is pleased to welcome Kelly Woodland as its new Managing Director of Leadership Equity. The position was established as a result of UWGPSNJ-funded research into racial disparities among leaders in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors in Greater Philadelphia. The primary focus of Woodland’s work will be to advance racial equity in the region’s nonprofit sector, ultimately designing and launching a centralized leadership hub to improve equity in the nonprofit sector and grant making institutions.

A fierce advocate for leaders of color, Woodland co-founded the Philadelphia African American Leadership Forum (PAALF) in 2011 to promote organizational sustainability among African American led nonprofit agencies in Philadelphia. The PAALF commissioned the first ever comprehensive research study of African American led nonprofit agencies in Philadelphia, released in 2016 and funded by UWGPSNJ. To support the advancement of that research, as well as a follow-up study, Reflecting Forward, in 2022, UWGPSNJ established the new role of Managing Director of Leadership Equity.

“At United Way, it is important that we not only study existing systemic inequities, but that we take it one step further to correct them,” said Bill Golderer, CEO & President of UWGPSNJ. “Kelly was instrumental in the research conducted in 2016 and 2022, and there is no one more qualified than he is to put a plan of action together to create real change—both within our organization and throughout the Philadelphia region.”

As Managing Director of Leadership Equity, Woodland is responsible for developing and leading strategies to advance racial equity across the region’s philanthropic sector. Woodland will focus on the design and implementation of a centralized hub to offer best-in-class knowledge and resources, research and data, and collaborative strategies to promote leadership advancement, equitable grant making, and inclusive decision-making. In addition, Woodland will identify and create opportunities for Black nonprofit leaders to support their overall advancement and growth.

“As we grapple with how to overcome persistent, systemic racism, it’s critical United Way does all that we can to mitigate the damage that’s been done over the years” said Woodland. “Fundamentally, racial equity in the nonprofit sector is simply good business. It’s not enough to say we are working to serve “marginalized” communities if we don’t involve these folks in the creation and delivery of solutions and strategies. I am looking forward to creating new partnerships designed specifically to support organizations led by people of color, identifying future leaders with potential across our footprint, and elevating grassroots organizations with authentic community roots and reach.”

Woodland joined the Franklin Institute as a project manager for the Education Department in 1990, creating the museum’s first STEM program targeting youth of color. Through partnerships forged during his tenure at the Franklin Institute, Woodland took the helm of the Eighteenth Street Development Corporation in 1994, leading housing rehabilitation work while also spearheading the Point Breeze community’s first neighborhood strategic plan. That strategic plan was aimed at increasing affordable housing development and broad revitalization efforts. 

Woodland’s rich and diverse experience in youth development and community revitalization led him to the William Penn Foundation in 1999, where he created a neighborhood based Youth Development Initiative (YDI) that focused on creating a centralized data collection system in communities and improving quality youth development. The YDI was implemented in four Philadelphia communities; Camden, New Jersey, and Chester, Pennsylvania. After serving as a program officer at the Foundation for 13 years, Woodland founded Woodland Nonprofit Consultants.

Woodland most recently served as Executive Director for After School All Stars Philadelphia and Camden, a regional comprehensive after school provider. During his five-year tenure, Woodland led the chapter’s expansion into Camden, New Jersey and increased the number of program sites from three to 13. He also coordinated and managed a math and science based pre-college program for over 250 Black and Latino high school students from Philadelphia and Camden, New Jersey through PRIME, Inc.

Woodland is a graduate of Temple University. He has served on the board of directors for the Black Philanthropy Network (BPN), Chester Upland Fund for Excellence (CUFFE), the Philadelphia African American Leadership Forum (PAALF), and Neumann University’s Center for Community Leadership Development.

“For more than 35 years, Kelly has been committed to creating access to opportunities for all people of color, and we are thrilled that he is bringing that passion and expertise to United Way,” said Golderer. “His nonprofit executive and grant making experience, as well as his many years of voluntary leadership in this space, make him uniquely positioned to advance our efforts in racial equity.”

Woodland will join UWGPSNJ on July 18. For more information on UWGPSNJ’s mission to end poverty and expand opportunity, visit


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