United Way of Calgary and Area

600-105 12 Ave SE
Calgary, AB T2G 1A1
President & CEO: Karen Young
Board Chair: Rachel Moore

Charitable Reg. #:13022 9750 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) 84 cents are available for programs.

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About United Way of Calgary and Area:

Founded in 1940, United Way of Calgary and Area (United Way Calgary) raises money to support local charities in the Greater Calgary area. It is one of 85 local United Way Centraides in Canada, which all share a common mission of mobilizing communities for lasting social change. As a foundation, United Way Calgary’s primary activity is distributing money to other charities, but it also runs its own initiatives. All sponsored programs and initiatives align with one of United Way Calgary’s three focus areas: Strong Communities, Successful Kids, and Overcoming Poverty.

In F2018, United Way Calgary granted $39.9 million to other agencies, of which $6.7 million were donor-designated grants. The charity also spent $4.6 million on community programs and investments (the remaining $5.2 million in program costs consists of dues to United Way Canada and operational support expenses associated with programming). Of the $43.4 million in program costs and non-designated grants, $20.3 million went to Strong Communities, $12.8 million went to Successful Kids, and the remaining $10.3 million went to Overcoming Poverty.

In F2018, United Way Calgary worked with 90 agency partners and reached 163,667 people (up 7% from 152,824 people in F2017). It supported 190 programs and initiatives: 33 programs related to Overcoming Poverty, 70 programs related to Successful Kids, and 87 programs related to Strong Communities. This is down 17% from 229 programs in F2017.

Strong Communities funding in F2018 supported 51 social inclusion programs that were accessed by 64,170 people and 16 domestic violence programs accessed by 6,220 people. The charity’s Community Hubs initiative, which started in F2017, helps poor Calgarians struggling with social isolation by providing inclusive spaces where they can connect with others in the community. In F2018, it operated five hubs that were accessed by 33,500 people.

Successful Kids funding in F2018 supported 14 mental health programs that were accessed by 19,588 people. All In for Youth is a city-wide program that works with youth to keep them in school, help them finish school, and then transition into the workforce. In F2018, the program ran in 21 high schools across two Calgary school districts. 1,115 students received either financial assistance to bypass barriers or mentor support through Success Coaches, and 107 students received bursaries. Since the program began in F2012, it has facilitated 12,196 connections between youth and adults.

Overcoming Poverty funding in F2018 supported 18 programs that provided basic needs such as food, shelter and clothing to 17,243 people. In collaboration with Aspire Calgary, United Way Ottawa’s volunteer-run Financial Empowerment program helped file 7,721 tax returns and gave 637 people financial coaching on how to reduce debt, increase savings and build assets.

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Results and Impact

United Way Calgary’s F2018 impact report states that from F2012 to F2018, the number of youth in Calgary not completing high school on time dropped 6% (from 26% to 20%), due in part to its All In for Youth program. Tax returns filed by volunteers through the Financial Empowerment program in F2018 resulted in $3.3 million in tax refunds and $45 million in government benefits for low income Calgarians. The charity also reports that 2,980 seniors have increased their participation in community activities, 3,168 seniors have new or more strong relationships that contribute to their wellbeing, and 4,089 people learned to make positive behavior changes in their relationships.

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United Way Calgary is a Major 100 charity, meaning it is one of Canada’s 100 largest in terms of donations. It received $49.3m in donations in F2018. Administrative costs are 9% of revenues (excluding investment income) and fundraising costs are 7% of donations. Per dollar donated to the charity, 84 cents go to the cause, which is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

United Way Calgary total funding reserves of $68.5m includes a $22.2m endowment fund. Excluding endowed funds, the charity’s reserves could cover annual program costs and grants at the F2018 level for 1.1 years.

The charity’s audited financials report community investment program commitments of $21.7m in F2019, $18.5m in F2020, and $15.3m in F2021.

United Way Calgary’s five largest grants reported in its most recent T3010 CRA filing, which was for F2017, are as follows: $1.9m to Carya Society of Calgary, $1.7m to Momentum Community Economic Development Society, $1.7m to Boys and Girls Club of Calgary, $1.1m to Catholic Family Service of Calgary, and $1.1m to Distress Centre Calgary.

This charity report is an update that has been sent to United Way Calgary for Review. Comments and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on August 9, 2019 by Katie Khodawandi.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 9.1%5.9%5.4%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 7.0%6.0%5.8%
Total overhead spending 16.1%11.9%11.1%
Program cost coverage (%) 110.6%130.7%125.1%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 49,25953,34355,481
Investment income 5564,0522,014
Other income 43434330
Total revenues 50,24957,73857,525
Program costs 9,7279,0258,230
Grants 33,22633,33935,900
Donor-designated donations 6,6607,1787,075
Administrative costs 4,5173,1602,973
Fundraising costs 3,4373,2213,188
Total spending 57,56755,92357,366
Cash flow from operations (7,318)1,815159
Capital spending 1,1367371,089
Funding reserves 68,47177,08576,344

Note: Investment income includes unrealized investment gains (losses), affecting total revenue by ($1.7m) in F2018, $2.0m in F2017, and $365k in F2016. Ci reported Donor Choice distributions and donor-advised Tomorrow Fund distributions as donor-designated grants. Operational support expenses allocated to community programs have been included in program costs, as well as United Way Canada dues. Amortization has been removed from program and administrative costs pro-rata.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 132

Avg. Compensation $69,409

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.calgaryunitedway.org
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