Tocqueville Society Celebration Honors Leadership Excellence

United Way’s annual Tocqueville Society celebration, held on Monday, May 5, celebrated the organization’s most prominent philanthropic citizens for their work on behalf of United Way.  The event also honors a company and individual who has made exceptional contributions throughout the year. This year, the Tocqueville award for Corporate Excellence went to Bain & Company, the global business consulting firm, and the Leadership Excellence award to Douglas A. Donahue Jr., Managing Partner at Brown Brothers Harriman. The celebration was hosted at Del Frisco’s in Boston, with the venue, food, and cost of the event donated by the restaurant.

See more photos from the event in our Facebook Album

“Without the Tocqueville Society, our work could not be possible,” said Michael Durkin, President of United Way of Massachusetts Bay & MerrimackValley. “It is a Society founded in community engagement and innovation, made up of leaders whose commitment has made Tocqueville both a critical source of support for United Way and a passionate community of philanthropists that drive and influence our work.”

The Tocqueville Society, with more than 500 members, powers more than $8.5 million in programs that help change lives and transform communities. In the last year, their support has touched the lives of more than one million children and families in our region –

  • Providing quality early education to over 66,000 young children,
  • Helping 33,000 youth become college- and work-ready, and
  • Ensuring that 15,900 families at-risk of becoming homeless remained in safe, stable and affordable housing.

The Tocqueville event was hosted by the United Way Leadership Council, which is co-chaired by Jeff Bray of BNP Paribas and Hugh McHaffie of John Hancock.  The two co-chairs presented the Corporate and Leadership Excellence Awards to Bain & Company and Douglas A. Donahue Jr., of Brown Brothers Harriman.

Corporate Excellence Award

This prestigious award recognizes an organization whose mission, leadership, and actions embody what it means to LIVE UNITED. Bain & Company has been an active supporter of the United Way since 1984 and together, with its employees, has raised more than $8 million in charitable contributions. The firm has among the highest numbers of Tocqueville Society members of all United Way corporate supporters.  Beyond financial support, Bain & Company demonstrates true dedication to community impact and alignment with United Way’s mission through its enthusiastic leadership and involvement.  From employee engagement events, to board representation, Bain & Company stands out as one of United Way’s most valued corporate partners.

Leadership Excellence Award

Douglas A. ‘Digger’ Donahue Jr. has been a long-time United Way supporter and is an outstanding advocate for United Way at one of our largest corporate partners, Brown Brothers Harriman.  Digger was instrumental in helping to create the BBH Cares campaign, which mobilizes employee volunteers to complement the work of the BBH College Readiness Network powered by United Way. The program raises awareness about ways to increase graduation rates while funding critical programs that prepare underserved youth to be college and work ready, and mobilizes countless BBH volunteers throughout the year. This effort has so far impacted the lives of 5,000 youth who received academic support, summer jobs, and access to crucial alternative education programs. Digger actively encourages volunteerism within BBH and community engagement across BBH’s 17 global offices and inspires others, partners and staff alike, to get involved. Through leading by example and his willingness to share his commitment to United Way with others, Digger Donahue truly knows what it means to LIVE UNITED.


About Tocqueville Society

The Tocqueville Society is named for Alexis Charles-Henri de Tocqueville, a keen observer of American society who applauded the unique trait of Americans to help each other in times of need.  Formed in March of 1984, the Tocqueville Society has a mission to deepen individual understanding of, commitment to and support of United Way’s work, which is advancing the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all.  Membership in the Tocqueville Society is open to individuals who contribute $10,000 or more annually to United Way.