Tocqueville Spotlight: Joanne Daly

(Tocqueville Society members Joanne Daly and Roberta Butler at Women United’s Power of the Purse in 2018.)

We’re excited to announce that Joanne Daly, Tocqueville Society member and First Vice President at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, is the focus of January’s Tocqueville Spotlight.

We asked Joanne four questions, here’s what she said:

What’s most rewarding about being a Tocqueville Society member?

Life should be about making a difference, I feel United Way is the best way to do that. That’s why 20 years ago I left my corporate job, for a short time, to work as the first planned giving director for the United Way in Pittsburg. When I was there, I witnessed the impact donors had in the community and promised myself that one day I would be just as philanthropic.

Since joining Tocqueville Society, I’ve been part of a group that’s allowed me to have more of an impact than I ever thought possible.

Why do you find partnering with United Way of Rhode Island important?

Part of the reason I partner with United Way of Rhode Island is that they do extensive research to determine where they’re needed most and which nonprofits to support. Another reason is that they take their responsibility as stewards of our donations very seriously. I’m more than confident that each dollar I give is invested to make the biggest impact possible. That’s why, even though I choose particular nonprofits to support each year, I always donate to their Community Impact Fund.

It’s always been my belief that volunteering is as important as donating money. Along with serving on the Tocqueville Society Committee, I’ve also volunteered with Women United during the Annual Children’s Book Drive and on other literacy projects that benefit young Rhode Islanders.

I started volunteering when I was very young and am now passing this gift along to my children. Recently, my daughter, Nicole Millick, joined me by volunteering with United Way of Rhode Island’s Young Leaders Circle.

What advice do you have for those considering becoming a leadership donor?

I suggest doing it. You may already be a leadership donor and not even realize it. Look at which nonprofits you already support and consider consolidating your giving with MyFund, United Way’s free online giving tool. That way, you can still give to the same agencies while also becoming a leadership donor. An added bonus, MyFund makes tax season a lot easier by providing you with a single charitable giving receipt at the end of the year.

If you’re not quite at the leadership donor amount, remember that most people can give more than they think by making a small change — maybe it’s cutting out that daily specialty coffee. For me, there’s no better feeling than helping people and making a difference in the community.

What do you hope to inspire with your giving?

That someone realizes they can give more than they thought and that they see the difference this could make. Winston Churchill famously said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” I believe this with all my heart, I also believe that we can make an incredible impact by working together. It’s important that we work together and give because that’s how we’ll make a difference in the world.


United Way of Rhode Island’s Tocqueville Society is a group of generous Rhode Islanders whose annual donations reach the leadership level.

Interview edited by Jason Boulay, Project Manager, Digital Media, United Way of Rhode Island.