One of the most prestigious giving societies in our community, the United Way Tocqueville Society brings together community leaders who share the passion, expertise, and resources needed to make lasting impact in Wyandotte
Tocqueville Society members enjoy a variety of unique events throughout the year, as well as special recognition in United Way communications.
Current United Way of Wyandotte County Tocqueville Members:
Charles Berkel- In memory of
Tocqueville Society History
Only 26 years old when he came to the United States and Canada in 1831, Alexis Charles-Henri de Tocqueville traveled extensively, recording his observations of life in the young nations. Though he only spent nine months in North America, he gleaned an insightful view of American society. His observations, readings and discussions with eminent Americans formed the basis of Democracy in America, a detailed study of American society and politics published in two volumes, in 1835 and 1840.
Tocqueville recognized, applauded, and immortalized North American voluntary action on behalf of the common good. He wrote: “I must say that I have seen Americans make a great deal of real sacrifices to the public welfare; and have noticed a hundred instances in which they hardly ever failed to lend a faithful support to one another,” eloquently capturing the essence of personal philanthropy that persists, almost three centuries later. The observation on philanthropy made by Alexis de Tocqueville in 1831 is true today; North Americans understand that advancing the common good means creating opportunities for a better life for all. The name Tocqueville Society was chosen because of Alexis de Tocqueville’s admiration for the spirit of voluntary association and effort toward its advancement.
The United Way Tocqueville Society was founded in 1984 to deepen individual understanding of, commitment to, and support for United Way's work in advancing the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all.
In his original letter of invitation to ten pilot cities dated March 15,1984 Alexis de Tocqueville Society national founder, Dr. Tommy Frist, described the purpose of the Nashville “chapter” of the Society was to “recognize and honor those concerned individuals who accepted a leadership role in making major financial contributions to United Way. Of those ten invited, four accepted the invitation and joined Nashville as the founding cities. The list includes Atlanta, Boston, Cincinnati and Des Moines.
Today 25,000 Tocqueville members strong, since 1984 over $7 billion has been contributed by Tocqueville members. Membership in the Society is granted to individuals who contribute at least $10,000 annually to United Way. National Society Membership is granted to individuals who contribute $100,000 or more per year to the United Way. Partnership with the United Way’s Million Dollar Roundtable is limited to individuals who have contributed $1,000,000 or more to the United Way mission and impact work.