United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania President and CEO Bob Nelkin announced his plan to retire in the coming year after the leading the Pittsburgh, Pa.-based affiliate since 2007.
The search process will “take a number of months and will be national and local because I feel it’s very important to open our eyes and see what’s available and not short-change ourselves in the decision,” Board Chair Karen Larrimer told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. She added that Nelkin wanted to retire in a time frame that worked for the organization and would help ease the transition to a successor. He will continue serving as CEO until a replacement is found. Boston, Mass.-based search firm Isaacson Miller was hired to assist the board.
During his tenure, Nelkin, 70, spearheaded the creation of key focus areas for the United Way Impact Fund that allocates where donations are distributed. Women in crisis, the elderly, and struggling families are among the focus areas. Nelkin also implemented a change in how the United Way distributed funds during his first year. Local nonprofits were required to compete for funding as a way of illustrating where donations were going.
Among Nelkin’s other accomplishments is the completion of a five-year strategic plan that involves several goals, including better donor engagement and attracting more young professionals to become involved in the organization.
Prior to joining the United Way, Nelkin served as the director of policy initiatives at the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Child Development and the executive director of then Gov. Ed Rendell’s cabinet on Children and Families.
United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania was created in 2015 through a merger between affiliates in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties. Westmoreland included Fayette and southern Armstrong counties and earlier this year, Butler County was added.
The Pittsburgh, Pa.-based affiliate reported revenue of $39 million in 2017, putting it within the top 20 of United Way affiliates nationwide in terms of fundraising. As president and CEO, Nelkin earned total compensation of $252,251, including base compensation of $190,696, according to the organization’s most recent Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 990, for fiscal year ending June 2017.