United Way of the Lower Mainland

4543 Canada Way
Burnaby, BC V5G 4T4
President & CEO: Michael McKnight
Board Chair: Mark Blucher

Charitable Reg. #:10816 0185 RR0001


Ci's Star Rating is calculated based on the following independent metrics:

[Charity Rating: 4/4]



Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity’s website.



Grade based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.



The demonstrated impact per dollar Ci calculates from available program information.


Charity's cash and investments (funding reserves) relative to how much it spends on programs in most recent year.



For a dollar donated, after overhead costs of fundraising and admin/management (excluding surplus) 77 cents are available for programs.

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About United Way of the Lower Mainland:

Founded in 1930, United Way of the Lower Mainland distributes grants to local charities in the greater Vancouver area. In F2017, the charity funded over 300 programs to help 40,000 kids, 74,000 families, and 58,000 seniors. Grants fit into the charity’s 3 focuses: All That Kids Can Be, From Poverty to Possibility, and Building Strong Communities.

United Way of the Lower Mainland gave 49% ($13.6m) of grants to charities within the Building Strong Communities program. Related charities help seniors to stay active, healthy, safe, and social within their own homes. The United Way manages one of the programs receiving grants in this area, Better at Home. Better at Home serves over 20,000 seniors with housekeeping, transportation, shopping, and snow shoveling services. In F2017 there was a specific focus on seniors in rural communities who have less access to healthcare. Of the 67 communities with a Better at Home program, 6 are in rural locations. Compared with F2016, senior-focused programs received a greater share of funds distributed because B.C. Ministry of Health doubled their support of the Better at Home program to $10m.

Kid-focused programs received 39% ($10.0m) of F2017 funding, with 3% (886k) of program funding specifically used for Success by 6. In British Columbia, 1 in 5 children live in poverty. Poor children may fall behind in reading and writing, or emotional and social development. Success by 6 prepares Aboriginal children for school so that they do not fall behind immediately.

The remaining 12% ($3.5m) of funds were given to charities addressing poverty or used in community services programming directly organized by the United Way of the Lower Mainland. The community services include social planning, community development, research, advocacy and engagement.

Results and Impact: United Way of the Lower Mainland reports that every $1 used in poverty prevention, saves $6 by avoiding future healthcare, social services, and criminal justice system costs.

To determine the Better at Home program’s impact, senior participants were surveyed. Of those surveyed, 57 (96.6%) reported being better able to live by themselves, 54 (91.5%) had reduced difficulties in doing some activities, and 33 (59.9%) reported their caregiver worrying less about them living safely at home.

Related to the All That Kids Can Be program, the percentage of local kids that participate in an after-school activity increased from 50% to 85% over the past 10 years.

Note: United Way of the Lower Mainland is merging with United Way Fraser Valley. As this merger was announced after F2017 year end, the United Way Fraser Valley financial statements and impact report from 2016-2017 were not considered in producing this report.

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United Way of the Lower Mainland is a Major 100 charity with $26.6m in donations in F2017. Government funding in F2017 was $10m, or 27% of total revenues. Administrative costs are 6% of revenues and fundraising costs are 17% of donations. For every dollar donated, 77 cents go to the cause, falling within Ci’s reasonable range.

The charity has funding reserves of $24m, of which $654k are donor-endowed funds. Excluding donor-endowed funds, funding reserves can cover less than 11 months of program costs. Program cost coverage is significantly lower than the F2016 value of 16 months. This is because the holdings of cash and cash equivalents within funding reserves has decreased by more than $10m, from $23.2m to $11.5m. The $10m grant receivable from the provincial government offsets the cash decline on the statement of financial position.  

This charity report is an update that is being reviewed by United Way of the Lower Mainland. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on May 28, 2018 by Madison Kerr.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 5.5%6.2%6.3%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 17.4%17.0%16.3%
Program cost coverage (%) 87.9%112.0%120.9%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 26,61927,17428,630
Government funding 10,0005,0004,000
Investment income 1,0552841,250
Total revenues 37,67432,45933,880
Program costs 3,8833,8433,727
Grants 22,97421,89520,372
Donor-designated donations 4,5774,5175,319
Administrative costs 2,0132,0022,039
Fundraising costs 4,6394,6214,668
Other costs 308231226
Cash flow from operations (721)(4,648)(2,470)
Funding reserves 24,22035,15735,594

Note: Ci removed amortization expenses from administrative costs, adjusting the expense by ($223k) in F2017, ($229k) in F2016, and ($231k) in F2015. Fundraising costs are reported as net, having been adjusted for recoveries of related costs. This expense line is adjusted by ($316k) in F2017, ($305k) in F2016, and ($275k) in F2015.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 79

Avg. Compensation $94,633

Top 10 staff salary range

$350k +
$300k - $350k
$250k - $300k
$200k - $250k
$160k - $200k
$120k - $160k
$80k - $120k
$40k - $80k
< $40k

Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2017

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Comments & Contact

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Charity Contact

Website: www.uwlm.ca
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