United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and six other United Way charities in the region, mostly in South Jersey, are merging, the groups announced Monday.

The goal of the new United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey is "greater impact across our region," not cost-saving, said Jill Michal, president and chief executive of United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, who has been named to the same position in the new organization.

The merger is part of a slow trend toward consolidation nationally, she said.

In setting vision for the new entity, which will stretch from the Jersey Shore to Chester County, "we needed to focus on the ways in which we were similar, rather than in the ways we were different," Michal said.

Lon Greenberg, chairman and chief executive of UGI Corp., an energy distributor in King of Prussia, will be chairman of a new regional board. The merger will be effective July 1. It will create an organization with 130 to 140 employees and is not expected to result in job cuts, Michal said.

Included in the merger are chapters in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, and Cumberland Counties in New Jersey, as well as the United Way of Southeast Delaware County.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania chapter is by far the largest, with $57.45 million in total revenue in the year ended June 30, 2011, according to its Form 990 tax return. United Way of Camden County, by contrast, had $4.85 million in total revenue in the same period.

Several other United Way chapters considered joining in the consolidation. The board of the United Way of Gloucester County ended its participation in merger talks April 11, according to a statement on the organization's website, citing the desire to ensure "that funds raised in our community and allocated by local volunteers directly serve the needs of our community."

The United Way of Salem County is still considering the merger, having just joined the talks in November, the group said in a statement Monday.

Also not participating in the merger are three chapters in Bucks and Chester Counties, as well as North Penn in Montgomery County.

Contact Harold Brubaker at 215-854-4651 or hbrubaker@phillynews.com.