United Way of Central Indiana prides itself in educating the community about important issues. From leadership and board development, to poverty simulations and training seminars for local nonprofits, United Way strives to strengthen our community impact work through educational opportunities.

  • Leadership
  • Nonprofit
    Training Center
  • Immersive Learning Experiences
  • Youth
    Leadership United


What it is

Leadership United is a comprehensive community leadership and board development program of United Way of Central Indiana offered each year from September through May. During the nine-month term, participants commit to approximately 10 business days of training, or roughly one day per month. That translates to an impressive 75 hours of leadership and board development training.

Areas of Concentration

  • Leadership development retreats: Participate in full-day learning experiences centered around interactive activities, group problem solving, team building and evaluation.
  • Community issues workshops: Discuss community issues in Central Indiana relevant to United Way’s areas of impact: Education, Income, Health and Basic Needs.
  • Board education: Learn from experts in the field of leadership and board development, then serve as an intern for a local nonprofit board.

How You Can Benefit

  • Gain perspective about our community, its most urgent areas of need, and the effective ways the nonprofit sector, including United Way, is helping.
  • Develop the skills to become an effective nonprofit board member with the capacity to affect future outcomes and make meaningful, lasting change in Central Indiana.
  • Learn about the mission and impact of United Way and form a personal relationship with United Way of Central Indiana.

    Do you know someone that would be a great fit for the Leadership United program?

Training Center

What it is

The Nonprofit Training Center helps nonprofit organizations in Central Indiana learn how to govern and manage themselves effectively. We want ALL our community residents' needs to be met, so we make our NTC services available to ANY nonprofit organization in Central Indiana.

How it Helps

The NTC provides practical, affordable training and technical assistance through:

  • Workshops customized for individual organization needs
  • Short- and long-term technical assistance consulting
  • Referrals to reliable and ethical consultants
  • Recommended articles, books and websites

Immersive Learning Experiences

What it is

Immersive Learning Experiences are powerful, experiential opportunities designed to deepen our understanding of complex issues that exist in our local community. By participating in an immersive learning experience, community members walk in the shoes of a neighbor, a fellow citizen struggling for self-sufficiency and a better life. Our programs focus on education about the issue at a local level, facing the issue through a virtual experience and then debriefing as a group to share our perspectives with others.

Immersive Learning Experiences

Poverty Simulations: Learn how to engage in reducing poverty in your local community and increase your understanding of the dynamics of poverty. Experience, on a small scale, the struggle for self-sufficiency many people in Central Indiana face.

How You (or your company) Can Benefit

  • Gain perspective about our community, its most urgent areas of need, and the effective ways the nonprofit sector, including United Way, is helping.
  • Develops deeper understanding and helps initiate discussion of daily struggles for those living in challenging circumstances.
  • When we explore our own behavior we are better able to create change through advocacy, giving, volunteering and generating conversations that can transform systems.

Corporate Benefits

  • Corporate Social Responsibility activity that is experiential and meaningful
  • Unique team-building experience -- Helps to develop empathy among participants
  • Diversity and inclusion training
  • Community engagement opportunity

In One Moment
Brief, simple experience to simulate budgeting with limited resources; quickly develops a more complete understanding of the issues surrounding poverty.
Time: 30 minutes
Number of participants: Unlimited

Real Life. Real Choices.
Deeper dive into real-life Central Indiana family scenarios and how you can help; budgeting activity with tough choices to be made.
Time: 45-60 minutes
Number of participants: Unlimited

Gaining Perspective Through Immersion
Become part of a low-income family struggling to make ends meet in a simulated community; highly immersive and impactful.
Time: 2.5 - 3 hours
Number of participants: 55-88 participants

Questions about Immersive Learning Programs? To find out more, contact Margie Worrell at margie.worrell@uwci.org or 317-921-1203.

Leadership United

What it is

Youth Leadership United is meant to expand opportunities for young people to participate as community planners and decision makers within youth-serving and other nonprofit organizations and help United Way's youth-serving agencies and other nonprofits achieve age diversity on their boards and committees.

How it Helps

  • Develop and nurture the skills of a diverse group of potential community leaders, through a variety of training activities that focus on exploring leadership styles and skills.
  • Increase young leaders' knowledge and understanding of the community, in particular the nonprofit sector.
  • To develop a pool of young leaders, representing a six-county area, who have the qualifications and confidence to serve successfully on nonprofit boards and committees.
  • To create a strong and diverse base of future leaders for Central Indiana.

What you can do

There is no cost to apply. If accepted to the program, a $100 fee will be charged per participant. A recommendation letter is required in order to submit your application (Who should you ask for a recommendation letter and how should you ask them? Here are some tips!). If you are in need of financial assistance, please contact celeste.gellenbeck@uwci.org

Do you know someone who would be a great fit for Youth Leadership United? Nominate them!

Learn more about your community


Learn what’s trending in your community. SAVI helps people and organizations make data-informed decisions. SAVI gives all organizations access to and use of data to improve planning and decision-making and ultimately improve the quality of life in the communities they serve. SAVI is a program of The Polis Center at IUPUI.

Learn more

Community Assessment

The SAVI community assessment & planning tool is designed to help you learn more about your community’s population, social and economic issues, and resources. Use this tool to create a customized data report about the community of your choice.

Learn more

Community Report Card

The community report card provides a quick snapshot of how a community – in this case, a county or United Way service area – is doing in the areas of Education, Financial Stability and Health.

Learn more


How does your neighborhood stack up? IndyVitals is an excellent resource for organizations involved in quality of life, social services and economic development.

Learn more