To improve lives and build community by engaging individuals and mobilizing collective action.
Meet our people
Board of Directors
What does the United Way do?
In today’s complex world, it often takes more than just one person, agency or program to make a big and lasting difference in people’s lives. United Way brings together social service agencies, business, government, labour, schools, institutions and citizens to address the immediate needs of our community and to create long-term change.
How are funds distributed?
United Way has an efficient Community Investment Committee that depends on trained volunteers to allocate funds to programs with proven results and performance. Through the ‘Review Process’, United Way volunteers make funding recommendations based on an evaluation key that looks at factors such as historical performance, board strength, program outcomes and overal agency capacity. The primary task of review volunteers is to ensure that donor dollars are being used effectively and efficiently.
What makes an organization eligible for funding?
In order to be eligible for United Way funding, an organization must be non-profit, charitable and have a clearly stated purpose and function within the social service and community health sector: The organization must:
- Be incorporated and registered as a charitable organization under the Canada Income Tax Act
- Have a voluntary Board of Directors
- Operate programming in the human or social services areas that does not duplicate an existing program.
- Operate in St.Catharines & District.
- United Way cannot fund mandated government services; programs in the arts, culture, heritage or the environment; individual, religious or political activities.
- United Way does not fund capital program costs.
How many agencies does United Way fund?
United Way funds more than 70 programs and special initiatives in St. Catharines & District. They form a network of care for over 80,000 people in our community.
How are agencies assessed to receive funding?
Agencies are evaluated on program and organization standards. The organization needs to demonstrate that the program/activity they are requesting funding for meets a need in the community, that their proposed programs/activities are effective in responding to that need, and whether they are achieving desired outcomes for those being served and the community as a whole. The organization must also demonstrate appropriate practices around organizational capacity, management and financial accountability.
Why should I give to United Way rather than a single agency?
Many people want to help their community, but are not sure where to give their money or what the most pressing needs are. United Way keeps abreast of current needs and invests that support where it is needed most. Also, when you give to United Way, you are achieving greater impact by combining your support with others - your gift supports the combined efforts of a network of programs that provide people comprehensive care where and when it's needed.
What does the United Way logo mean?
The United Way logo is a ‘helping hand’ and it’s used by United Way organizations around the world. The rainbow represents hope for a better future. The centre image is the universal symbol of humankind and shows that the United Way cares about everyone. The hand represents all the services and programs that support our local communities. Help, Service, Hope – this is the United Way.
Does United Way invest in the same programs every year?
Our funding process allows for agencies to receive funding for three years. After that time, they must reapply. This funding process allows agencies to plan ahead and work towards long term goals and initiatives. New programs are eligible for funding provided their program fits the priority for that
Why do some agencies have their own fundraising drives?
No agency receives all of its funding from United Way. Agencies are encouraged to find funding from various sources, including their own fundraising initiatives. When agencies need to undertake a major capital expense they may conduct their own capital fundraising drive. However, we encourage agencies to consult with United Way with regard to timing and fundraising methods used, especially during United Way’s campaign from September to early December.
When was United Way formed?
The first United Way was created in Denver, Colorado in 1887. In St. Catharines & District, the first United Way was founded in 1953.
Unions are an important force for democracy, not just in the workplace, but beyond. Here in Canada, we have a strong social safety net in place to catch us when we need help. That’s due in part to the strength of the Labour movement and unions.
United Way and Labour have been partners for more than 30 years. The partnership developed around a common interest: ensuring that workers and their families have access to social services in their community.
Many of the workplaces than run fundraising campaigns are unionized. But the partnership goes deeper than just financial support.
Labour representatives volunteer with United Way as members of the United Way Board of Directors and participate in the decision-making process around policy and allocation of funds on the Community Investment Panel.
Labour Programs and Services staff are present in over 35 communities across Canada, including St. Catharines. Our mission is to improve lives, build labour and community, and facilitate social change by strengthening work between both community and labour, and labour and the United Way Centraide. We offer various programs and initiatives, including Labour Education to union members.
Labour Community Advocate Training
This three-level training program explores the challenges faced by working families and the ways in which labour and communities can work together. Labour Community Advocates gain a variety of skills than enable them to assist workers to identify the issues impacting them, and the appropriate resources available for them in the community. Labour Community Advocates also support their unions by identifying common issues where the union can play a positive role, through collective bargaining or social action.
When the Paycheque Stops But the Bills Don’t
For working families impacted by lay-offs, strike, lock-out, closures and economic crisis. Losing your paycheque is traumatic, even if it’s temporary or our earnings only make up part of the family income. This training assists workers in taking control of their situation by knowing what to do and where to turn.
Labour organizations working with United Way:
- Amalgamated Transit Union Local 846
- Brock University Faculty Association
- Canadian Union Postal Workers Local 614
- Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Locals 150, 151, 157, 1019, 1263, 1287, 1295, 1757, 2220, 2276, 2328, 4156, 4207, 4212
- Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario - Niagara
- Labourers’ International Union
- Niagara Regional Labour Council
- Niagara Regional Police Association
- Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association - Elementary
- Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association - Secondary
- Ontario Public Service Employees Union Locals 211, 212, 215, 242, 270
- Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation
- Public Service Alliance of Canada
- Seafarers’ International Union of Canada
- Service Employees International Union Local 1. ON
- St. Catharines Professional Firefighters Association I.A.F.F Local 485
- Teamsters Canada Local 879
- UNIFOR Locals 43, 84, 101, 210, 975
- Unite Here Local 2347
- United Steelworkers
- UNIFOR Local 199
- UNIFOR Regional Office
- OPSEU Local 294