​CASE:​ United Way

United Way is a nonprofit organization that seeks to improve quality of life by mobilizing communities around the world to work toward promoting common welfare. Currently, the organization is engaged in a 10-year program to achieve: improvement of education, increase in financial stability, and promotion of healthy lives all around the world.

The Business Strategy Challenge 2009 featured United Way as its client. United Way had a crucial problem it needed help with: finding a means to sustain the Community Impact Model. In 2000, United Way decided to switch its focus from a Fundraising Model to the Community Impact Model. Under the fundraising model, United Way funded nonprofit organizations that helped make sure community-wide issues were resolved (such as number of student graduating increased, families had access to economic opportunity, health of the community improved, etc.). As research showed, this method was not effective in alleviating the root cause of education, income, or health problems in communities that the nonprofits worked with. Under the Community Impact Model, United Way would address the root causes of community issues around education, income, and health, providing a more sustainable resolution as compared to the Fundraising Model.

As United Way began to grapple with the implementation of the Community Impact Model, it noticed a significant decrease in its fundraising revenue. Thus, the problem for participants for the Business Strategy Challenge 2009 was to come up with a sustainable way of integrating the Community Impact Model within United Way throughout and after the financial crisis which was negatively impacting all businesses at that point in time.




American University
Carnegie Mellon University
Georgetown University

New York University
Northeastern University
Southern Methodist University
St. Johns University
University of Florida
University of Southern California
University of Washington

Washington University in St. Louis


Director: Alex Gorodetsky
Assistant Director: Viba Saligrama
Assistant Director of Sponsorship: Michael
Assistant Directors of Logistics: Kelley Dai, Timothy Shine, and Dongyoon Lee
Assistant Directors of Team Relations: YuChing Chiang and Perry Rogers
Assistant Directors of Judging: Megan Schumann and Megan Underhill
Assistant Director of Marketing: Kelley Kahler
Assistant Director of Essentials: Katy McConnell
Case-Writers: Bella Schori and Matt Leo