One of the reasons the United Way of Central Alabama is consistently ranked one of top nonprofits in the nation is because of programs like their Loaned Executive Program. Learn how this program makes a difference in our community.
Better Employees, Better Community Leaders
Each year, United Way of Central Alabama asks local businesses and organizations throughout the five-county region to select valued employees to participate in the Loaned Executive Program for 13 weeks. This year, 33 executives from all walks of life in the Birmingham community stepped forward to serve.
According to United Way’s David Kinsley, if there was a motto for the United Way Loaned Executive Program, it would be “Send us your best and we send them back better.”
“We say that to everyone we recruit,” Kinsley told us about the program. “It truly is a professional development program at full time for 13 weeks. It is a massive commitment on behalf of the companies in town. In exchange, our Loaned Executives return to their companies as better employees and better community leaders.”
Along with enlisting companies and individuals to support the annual United Way campaign, Loaned Executives are provided numerous leadership development opportunities and skills training.
- Dale Carnegie Training: Professional presentation training—in person and virtual
- Sharon Lovoy Coaching and Consulting: Myers-Briggs Personality Assessment and Application
The primary job of a Loaned Executive is to develop and implement company United Way campaigns by working with top management and employee campaign coordinators. Normally during campaign seasons, there are gatherings and events throughout the fall in the Birmingham region to help educate local residents about United Way’s programs and initiatives.
In 2020, for the first time ever, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, that task was almost entirely done on virtual platforms.
Going virtual was a big pivot.
“According to our Loaned Executives, the two most used phrases this year have been, ‘This year is different than any year’ and ‘You are muted,’ joked Kinsley.
Terrell Carmichael, a Regions Bank Loaned Executive who also graduated from the Dale Carnegie Leadership Program, gave around 100 presentations over the 13 weeks.
“It has been a challenge not being able to go out and meet with companies and possible donors. We had to be disciplined at setting up lots and lots of meetings virtually,” Carmichael added.
Giving During an Economic Crisis
Aside from going virtual, many of our neighbors in Central Alabama have experienced economic hardship since the full brunt of the pandemic struck in March.
Kaitlin Krueger, a Brasfield Gorrie Loaned Executive who was awarded United Way’s Crawford T. Johnson Award for her service as a Loaned Executive said,
“I work in construction here in Birmingham so I thought I knew a lot about our city. Working for United Way has opened up my eyes to our community in a different way. There are so many needs in our community that need to be met, especially since the pandemic. I am proud of how many people stepped up. People across our area are hurting, but they are willing to give, even if it is for $5 to $10 dollars. We are a generous community that gives back.”
Carmichael agreed saying, “Serving as a Loaned Executive gave me an opportunity to see how many lives are impacted by the United Way. We give people hope, meals, lights, gas and water.”
Making a Difference
Even though this year’s class of United Way of Central Alabama’s Loaned Executives had an experience like no other group before it, they made a big difference.
“I’m super grateful. When I reflect back on 2020, I’ll always remember working for United Way as a bright spot because of the relationships I’ve made, the people I’ve met and the difference we all collectively were able to make,” concluded Krueger.
Want to learn more about the United Way of Central Alabama Loaned Executive Program? Contact David Kinstley at 205.458.2144 or firstname.lastname@example.org.