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The society takes its name from the French philosopher and aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville, who expressed his admiration of the uniquely American tradition of “neighbor helping neighbor” in his classic treatise Democracy in America. For over 30 years, the Tocqueville Leadership Society has demonstrated what collective community leadership can accomplish.

An elite group of local philanthropists, Tocqueville members connect with like-minded pioneers investing in generations to come. Founded by John Burress, Paul Fulton, and Ed Shelton, United Way of Forsyth County’s Tocqueville Leadership Society has grown to a membership of more than 200 households of local leaders who join more than 26,000 members throughout the United States. Together with these key leaders, we are working to achieve a measurable, lasting impact in our community.

The Tocqueville Leadership Society is a group of extraordinary community leaders and philanthropists who demonstrate their commitment to making Forsyth County a better place to live, work, and raise a family. Tocqueville Leadership Society members are results-oriented individuals who generously share their financial resources, time, and expertise to make a measurable difference for individuals and families throughout our community.

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  • Change lives through philanthropic leadership by focusing on the building blocks for a better life: a quality education that leads to a stable job, income that can support a family through retirement, and good health.

  • Communicate the vital role of personal philanthropic action in creating long-lasting positive change.

  • Strengthen United Way of Forsyth County by connecting the organization with like-minded leaders.


Tocqueville Members give $10,000 or more annually to the United Way of Forsyth County. To reach that goal, new members may participate in the Andy Brown Step-Up Match. This program allows donors the option to increase their gift over a three-year period while enjoying the benefits of Tocqueville Society membership immediately. Your willingness to invest in these outcomes at the Tocqueville Level means we can continue to find new solutions to complex problems. We thank you for your desire to play a critical role in addressing our community’s most pressing needs. With your help, change happens.


Gather with a group of philanthropic women to socialize, network, and volunteer.



YEAR 1 = $5,000

YEAR 2 = $7,500

YEAR 3 = $10,000

Through the generosity of Andy Brown, a local donor, we are able to provide the opportunity to gradually increase your gift to the Tocqueville level while recognizing you as a Society Member from day one. This three-year step-up plan is a great way to join the Tocqueville Leadership Society at your own pace.


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