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OpportUNITY Summit

United Way and Glenmede: Celebrating a Partnership of Shared Values

Anniversaries are a wonderful time to celebrate, and we are so excited to have Glenmede join us in commemorating 100 years of impact. We are proud to have Glenmede serve as the Centennial Sponsor of our inaugural OpportUNITY Summit, which will bring together hundreds of business, civic and community leaders for a day of learning, connection and action.

 Hear from the team at Glenmede on why partnership is at the heart of what they do.

As an investment and wealth management firm with headquarters in Philadelphia and offices in several cities throughout the country, Glenmede understands how vital it is for companies of all sizes as well as their employees to have a presence at the local level. “A partnership like the one we have with United Way demonstrates how the Glenmedes of the world can help affect change and support the organization’s mission of eradicating poverty,” says Gordon B. Fowler, Jr., Glenmede’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Glenmede may not have the scale of a large, national corporation, but that does not stop us from engaging with our communities. We can all make an impact.”

“I am especially honored to be speaking at the OpportUNITY Summit on a subject that is near and dear to all of us at Glenmede – stewardship and corporate engagement,” he continues.We are fortunate to be part of United Way’s mission as it works tirelessly to improve the lives of individuals and support worthwhile causes in our region. Our partnership teaches us that we all have a responsibility to be reliable stewards of our communities.”


Focus on stewardship

Merriam Webster defines stewardship as “the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care.” For Glenmede, this definition is at the heart of our values. This is our community, where we live and work — and where we embrace our responsibility to give back in terms of both time and dollars. We see that spirit of philanthropy not only in our employees but also in the individual clients we serve.

Glenmede’s journey started in 1948 with the selfless and bold move by the four philanthropy-minded children of Joseph N. and Mary Anderson Pew, who endowed The Pew Memorial Foundation to honor their parents’ legacy. As the Foundation grew, so too did the number of requests for grants and the need for a professional staff. This led to the establishment of The Glenmede Trust Company in 1956 to serve in perpetuity as the corporate trustee and administrator of The Pew Memorial Trust, the initial funding source for the nonprofit now known as The Pew Charitable Trusts.

As Nina Cohen, Glenmede’s Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, emphasizes, “We believe it is our mission to continue the commitment demonstrated by the Pew children. Stewardship for Glenmede goes beyond The Pew Charitable Trusts: It is a foundational value that encompasses all aspects of how we operate, from our responsibility to our clients, to our employees and to the communities we serve.”


Giving back on a local level

Over the past decade, Glenmede has established an especially meaningful relationship with United Way. Each year we host a two-week United Way Campaign, led by volunteer leaders, helping to raise awareness for organizations doing important work in the communities where Glenmede offices are located. Employees have the opportunity to donate to United Way or to a nonprofit of their choice. Glenmede also coordinates volunteer projects to assist highlighted organizations.

Each year, we’re proud to say that we reach higher employee involvement in United Way’s Campaign across all Glenmede offices, whether through donations or volunteerism. Since 2018, the number of leadership givers (those donating $1,000+) has increased steadily each year; in 2021 Glenmede set a company high with 65 leadership givers. The total donated through employee giving has also been on the rise in recent years, with 2021 the highest total to date. As a testament to our successful campaigns, Glenmede was awarded the Reaching Above & Beyond Award for the 2015-2016 United Way campaign. 

Glenmede has also established purposeful relationships with several organizations in our geographic footprint and has maintained those commitments despite the challenges of the pandemic. We have evolved our volunteer efforts to engage virtually and in other capacities with several regional nonprofits:

  • The Princeton office sponsored a firmwide pen pal program and virtual reading with Foundation Academies and partnered with HomeFront for its Holiday Wish List program
  • The Cleveland office sponsored a firmwide new book drive and helped sort book donations for Kids’ Book Bank as well as collected much-needed items for Providence House​ in Cleveland, which protects and provides for at-risk children and supports families through crisis
  • Donations of snacks and kitchen and cleaning supplies for Ronald McDonald House of Delaware were collected firmwide through the Wilmington office; the Wilmington office also volunteered onsite with Easter Seals Adult Day Care


United Way and Glenmede: A burgeoning partnership

Over the last decade, we have developed a deep partnership with United Way. And over the past two years, that partnership has evolved into a business relationship as well, with United Way selecting Glenmede to manage its endowment. At the core of that partnership are Glenmede’s values of excellence with integrity, agility and, most importantly, stewardship. We recognize how well our values align with the philanthropic mission of United Way to provide uplift to vulnerable and marginalized communities in the area we call home. 

The country and markets have changed over the years, and our company has transformed along with them. However, one thing that will never change is our commitment to delivering investment and wealth management services to individuals and families of wealth, nonprofits, foundations and institutions. We have always maintained a focus on providing our clients with an exceptional level of service and performance over the long term, always striving to strengthen the partnership with our clients. 


A privilege to be part of the celebration

As United Way celebrates 100 years, Glenmede is thrilled to support this milestone achievement as a Centennial Sponsor of the OpportUNITY Summit. “We are pleased to have Glenmede as our lead sponsor for this summit,” says United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey President & CEO Bill Golderer. “Collaborating with a company that deploys significant time and financial resources toward strategic partnerships with local nonprofit organizations is critical to establishing long-term success.”

One of the lessons we’ve learned during the pandemic is how important those strategic partnerships are to the wellbeing and, sometimes, survival of some groups. We’ve also learned that the need for help is increasing, and there is no such thing as a too-small contribution. We can all make a difference in giving our time, talents or treasures to help organizations like the United Way in their missions in our communities.

So Happy Birthday, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. We look forward to our continued partnership as we forge ahead, together.


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