United Way
of Massachusetts Bay
and Merrimack Valley

May 13, 2016

Tocqueville Society Profile: Helen Chin Schlichte

“Don’t wait to give your money in a will. Give it when you can see it working.”

That was the late George Schlichte’s philanthropic philosophy, one that is deeply shared by his wife Helen Chin Schlichte, a long-standing United Way supporter and Tocqueville Society member. And it’s that philosophy that motivated Helen to recently give United Way a generous endowment gift to promote employee development and training for United Way staff, the first gift of its kind for our organization.

“When I had the honor of co-chairing the 1994 United Way campaign,” Helen explained, “I saw young campaign staff leave the organization because opportunities for them to enhance their skills weren’t available. That’s when George and I first talked about a Professional Development Fund. My hope is that our gift will inspire others to follow George’s philosophy and give now.”

Earlier this month, United Way President Mike Durkin and Board Chair Susan Esper hosted a luncheon to honor Helen and show our deep appreciation for her generosity. Josh Waxman, United Way’s Director of Community Impact, also attended the event.

Over the past year, he participated in a year-long management training program through the Institute for Non-Profit Management and Leadership (INML), an example of the type of in-depth professional development that Helen’s gift will make possible for other United Way staff.

“The INML program was tremendous,” he said. “It taught me new ways to analyze the effectiveness of the work we do and ways to improve it. This wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity of Helen Chin Schlichte.”

“Transformational gifts such as this are critical to the ongoing growth and success of our organization,” said Mike Durkin. “Tocqueville donors are the standard-bearers of change and it’s fitting that Helen has joined this society in such an innovative, thoughtful way.”

Founded in 1984, the United Way Tocqueville Society is an opportunity for passionate individuals to become more deeply involved in United Way’s mission.  The Tocqueville Society recognizes local philanthropic leaders and volunteer champions who have devoted time, talent, and funds to create long-lasting changes by tackling our communities’ most serious issues.  For more information about becoming a Tocqueville Society donor, visit our Leadership Giving page.