United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey has announced that pastor and nonprofit pro Bill Golderer will become its next president and CEO.
Golderer, who was named one of Philadelphia magazine’s 100 most influential Philadelphians in December, currently serves as pastor of Arch Street Presbyterian Church in Logan Square. He also founded homelessness nonprofit Broad Street Ministry (BSM) in 2005, cofounded BSM-benefitting social enterprise Rooster Soup Company in 2014 and ran an unsuccessful Congressional campaign in 2015 and 2016.
Golderer begins his new position on March 1 and succeeds interim head Mike DiCandilo, who took over from former President and CEO Jim Cawley following Cawley’s August departure. He will be tasked with supporting public-private partnerships to align the business community with United Way’s goal of eradicating intergenerational poverty.
There’s “this tale of two Philadelphias,” he said in a phone interview on Wednesday morning.
“This is a great place for people to work and live, but for people on the very bottom tier, there’s a deep struggle and we’re lagging behind,” he said. (While some people play squash as a hobby, he’s been reading income growth statistics, he quipped.) “Who am I going to be in response to that?”
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To close that gap, Golderer said he wants to see leaders from the private sector develop deeper partnerships with nonprofit practitioners and come up with a “holistic approach to this intractable issue” by, for instance, adjusting their own workplace practices so their employees are better supported, because philanthropy can only do so much on its own.
The Philly United Way was publicly criticized in October for the lack of racial diversity within its leadership ranks. Golderer acknowledged this as a problem and said he’s ready to do more than talk about the need for change.
“I feel like this is a question that is both incredibly personal to me but also goes to the heart of the credibility of the organization,” said Golderer, who noted that his congregation is among the most diverse in the city. “For us to be able to answer and demonstrate that we value diversity and inclusion, that’s going to be based on behavior, not language.”
Golderer said that means United Way needs to actively expand the diversity of both its board of governors and staff: “I would like the community to know that is a personal commitment of mine.”
According to a release, the local United Way raises approximately $50 million every year in support of the regional nonprofit sector.-30-
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