FAQ about United Way Amalgamation

FAQ about United Way Amalgamation

May 03, 2018

What is the reason for the amalgamation?

To date, there have been three United Way organizations servicing the Niagara Region.Our goal is to: 

  • Create a single strong United Way that will enhance local relevance throughout the entire Niagara Region
  • Focus on increasing our fundraising
  • Create and offer one application process
  • Improve communication
  • Develop a unified organizational structure

What improvements are expected as a result of this change?

By amalgamating the three Niagara Region United Way organizations we will be able to:

  • Offer a more effective and standardized approach for the new United Way Niagara
  • Deliver one strong campaign that covers the entire Niagara Region
  • Build strong and enhanced fundraising to meet the needs of individuals and organizations across Niagara

Centralizing and combining the efforts of the three organizations will result in:

  • A reduction of the duplication of efforts across the three organizations, including fundraising and community services efforts
  • Allowing the organization to have a more focused and streamlined approach across the Niagara Region with regard to the execution of the services it provides, and funding that supports the most needed people and organizations

Additionally, as the new United Way Niagara Board of Directors will continue to be comprised of representatives from communities throughout the region, regional interests and items affecting specific communities in Niagara will continue to be reviewed and addressed.

What is the timeline for the amalgamation? How long will it take before it is complete?

An Amalgamation Steering Committee was established in March 2017 and has been developing recommendations on how to merge the three organizations.The recommendations include governance, legal, reserves, endowments, allocations and staffing for one United Way.

On September 29, 2017 the decision to proceed with the amalgamation was agreed upon by all three boards – United Way Niagara Falls/Greater Fort Erie, United Way St. Catharines and District and United Way South Niagara.

Each United Way held a special meeting of the members offering the opportunity for the membership of each United Way to ask questions, gain insight, share opinions and vote on amalgamation.On March 1st, the membership voted in support of the amalgamation.

We are anticipating that we will complete the amalgamation and become one United Way in the spring of 2018.As we move to this date, the Steering Committee will continue as the Transition Board to finalize all of the details of the amalgamation.Until the amalgamation is complete, all three organizations will continue managing their day-to-day operations, funding requests and allocations.All three boards will continue with their governance responsibilities.

Does our contact person change?

For the United Way of St. Catharines and United Way South Niagara, each of the Executive Directors will maintain their role and will continue to manage the day-to-day operations, funding requests and allocations through the transition period.

For the United Way of Niagara Falls and Greater Fort Erie please contact Tamara Coleman-Lawrie at 905-735-0490 as she will be managing the day-to-day operations, funding requests and allocations though the transition period.

Each board will continue with their governance responsibilities.

Who will lead the new organization?

Frances Hallworth has been selected as the Transition Director. Frances is working with the Transition Board during the amalgamation process and has the responsibility for overseeing and guiding the creation of operating policies for the new organization.

As partners in building the operations of the new United Way Niagara, each of the current Executive Directors are working together with Frances through the transition period while continuing in their roles with their respective organization.

How will my donation be allocated?

Today and going forward, any donation made to the United Way will be allocated and utilized according to the wishes of the donor. This includes designating donations to a specific community, charitable agency or program.

Donations will continue to help build a stronger local community and a stronger Niagara.In the end, the goal of the amalgamation is to increase funding for all communities through stronger, more enhanced fundraising.

Does this change affect our funding? If so, how?

All funding commitments that have been made by any of the three individual United Way organizations prior to amalgamation will continue to be honoured by the new single United Way.

Our new United Way will be committed to aligning the funding process, creating one application, and will provide a more standardized process with greater resources to help guide charities through all aspects of the funding process.

Are any jobs lost as a result of the change?

No, we will not be reducing the size of the United Way workforce in the Niagara Region as a result of the amalgamation.

Will my local United Way office still be available?

A local presence in the communities that we support is very important and we are committed to maintaining this presence today and going forward as one United Way.We are maintaining the three local offices that we currently have as we complete a full review of the various holdings and lease agreements for the existing United Way organizations.

Will there be a cost savings?

We are looking at ways to leverage skills, time and impact, and to avoid duplication of efforts. We are also reviewing the organizations’ assets and determining ways we can further reduce duplication for cost savings. Additionally, we will work on improving our branding, creative materials and promotion, and develop more robust and sophisticated business processes and systems. By amalgamating into a single organization, we will also amalgamate the skills and resources of our three United Way organizations so we can better position ourselves for organizational success.

How does this affect overall communications - i.e. - whom do I submit requests for funding to?

For 2018, funding applications will continue to be submitted as they have been in the past. As we work towards amalgamation, each of the three United Way organizations will continue managing their day-to-day operations, funding requests and allocations through the transition period. All three boards will continue with their governance responsibilities until the transition is complete.

As one single United Way we will be able to offer one application for funding which will make applying to the United Way easier and more effective, and will provide a more standardized process with greater resources to help guide charities through all aspects of the funding process.

What will this mean for the organizations that the United Way supports?

For the organizations that the United Way supports, the amalgamation will provide stronger, more enhanced fundraising efforts, and a more efficient manner of requesting funding, managing the fund allocation process, and generally managing their relationship with the United Way.

How do I find out more information?

For more information on the amalgamation or the United Way please contact our United Way offices at:

Niagara Falls & Greater Fort Erie United Way 905-354-9342

St. Catharines United Way 905-688-5050 Office@stcatharines.unitedway.ca

South Niagara United Way 905-735-0490

What do I do if I would like to become a board member or committee member?

If you would like to become a board member with the United Way in the Niagara Region please complete our board member application form , you can request one and submit to office@stcatharines.unitedway.ca.

If you would like to become a committee member with the United Way in the Niagara Region please contact us at office@stcatharines.unitedway.ca.