Tocqueville Society

The United Way Tocqueville Society recognizes local philanthropic leaders and volunteer champions in the United States, France and Romania who have devoted time, talent, and funds to create long-lasting changes by tackling our communities’ most serious issues.

Renowned French political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville admired three elements in North American society: liberty, equality and the spirit of neighbor helping neighbor. These same elements are embraced in the French national motto: “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité.” Tocqueville believed that by achieving these elements of democracy, all people would choose to pursue freedom, knowledge and prosperity, or indépendance, connaissance, and prospérité.

In his original letter of invitation to ten pilot cities dated March 15,1984 Alexis de Tocqueville Society national founder, Dr. Tommy Frist, described the purpose of the Nashville “chapter” of the Society was to “recognize and honor those concerned individuals who accepted a leadership role in making major financial contributions to United Way. Of those ten invited, four accepted the invitation and joined Nashville as the founding cities. The list includes Atlanta, Boston, Cincinnati and Des Moines.

Today over 25,000 Tocqueville members strong, since 1984 over $9 billion has been contributed by Tocqueville members. Membership in the Society is granted to individuals who contribute at least $10,000 annually to United Way. National Society Membership is granted to individuals who contribute $100,000 or more per year to the United Way. 

Partnership with the United Way’s Million Dollar Roundtable is limited to individuals who have contributed $1,000,000 or more to the United Way mission and impact work.


If you are interested in learning about how to become a Tocqueville member, the spcial orders of recognition and the different levels of giving, please email us at