United Way, Texas Instruments Collaborate for Nonprofit Fellows Program

The TI Founders Leadership Fellows program aims to build a pipeline of nonprofit leaders for years to come.


If anyone’s wondering what the nonprofit leaders of tomorrow look like, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas wants you to look no further than Dallas-Fort Worth. The nonprofit has announced a new collaboration with Texas Instruments that will provide funding to help produce the future’s philanthropic leaders for the next two decades.

“It’s critically important for us to cultivate strong leadership talent equipped to execute nonprofit strategies successfully,” Jennifer Sampson, McDermott-Templeton president and CEO of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, said in a release. “The future dictates a compelling sense of urgency in getting and grooming the leaders the sector needs and deserves.”

“It’s critically important for us to cultivate strong leadership talent equipped to execute nonprofit strategies successfully.”
Jennifer Sampson

The TI Founders Leadership Fellows program aims to cultivate undergraduate, graduate students, and recent graduates into capable nonprofit leaders. With an endowment gift of $700,000, United Way will support two fellows annually for the next 20 years. Those selected will learn executive abilities that Samspon refers to as a “wide repertoire of knowledge, skills and experiences.”

United Way intends to make the fellowship hands-on, with opportunities to gain an in-depth understanding of the conceptualization, planning, and teamwork that goes into building a philanthropy. Jordan Wondrack, a 28-year-old SMU graduate student studying cultural anthropology, is the first fellow to participate in this United Way experience.


Fellow Jordan Wondrack, a 28-year-old graduate student at SMU studying cultural anthropology, with Jennifer Sampson, McDermott-Templeton President and CEO, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. [Photo Courtesy United Way of Metropolitan Dallas]

“I’m excited to begin my third week at United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, with my concentration in the organization’s community impact department,” Wondrack said. “I look forward to learning more about how United Way and its partners are solving social issues across North Texas, and hope to broaden my understanding of how the nonprofit sector ecosystem really works.”

But, not all fellows necessarily will be assigned to United Way. The Dallas Museum of Art and The University of Texas at Dallas also contributed to the program, and could have participants assigned to their organizations. All fellows chosen will interact as a cohort to learn across the different sectors.

“Our company’s founders created a deep legacy of giving back in our communities that continues to influence our culture and work,” Andy Smith, executive director of the TI Foundation, said in a release.

United Way Metropolitan Dallas is a community-based nonprofit that combats education, income, and health problems in North Texas. Texas Instruments develops analog and embedded processing products across the globe. The two organizations have a history dating back to the 1960s.

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