United Way of Calgary and Area

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

Charitable Reg. #:13022 9750 RR0001


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

[Charity Rating: 4/5]



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) 83 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 100 local United Way Centraides in Canada, which all share a common mission of mobilizing communities for lasting social change. United Way Calgary’s primary activity is distributing money to other charities, but it also runs its own initiatives. United Way Calgary has three focus areas: Strong Communities, Successful Kids, and Overcoming Poverty.
In F2020, United Way Calgary granted $56.5m to other agencies. Included are $6.8m in donor-designated grants and $11.0m in covid-19 grants from the Canadian Government Emergency Fund. The charity also spent $4.9m on community programs and investments. The remaining $5.1m in program costs consists of dues to United Way Canada and program operating expenses. In F2020, United Way Calgary worked with 261 organizations and reached 430,377 people. This is a 314% increase over 83 organizations in F2019, as the F2020 figures include the charity's covid-19 grantees.
Strong Communities represented 61% of program spending in F2020. This program focuses on helping low-income families and those facing mental health, domestic violence, and trauma. United Way Calgary helped 21,349 people access mental health support and 53,531 people find belonging in their community in F2020. United Way Calgary’s Natoo’si program offers healing approaches for Indigenous people. In F2020, 4,872 Indigenous people started their healing journey. Strong Communities also includes United Way Calgary’s covid-19 response. The program distributed government funding to organizations that are not usually funded through regular investments. United Way Calgary supported an additional 181 agencies across Calgary and the surrounding area in F2020.
Successful Kids accounted for 22% of program spending in F2020. This program helps youth transition to adulthood with mental health, education, and employment support. All In for Youth is a city-wide program that works with youth to help them finish school and transition into the workforce. In F2019, the program ran in 25 high schools across two Calgary school districts. United Way Calgary’s funding helped 1,379 students receive financial support to continue their studies in F2020. 500 high school students also received laptops in F2020.
Overcoming Poverty represented United Way Calgary’s final 17% of program spending. In F2020, the charity’s funding provided basic needs such as food, shelter, and clothing to 13,087 people. United Way Calgary invests in Aspire Calgary, a city-wide financial empowerment collaborative that helps Calgarians reduce debt, grow savings, and build assets.

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Results and Impact

United Way Calgary helped feed 1,029 families, 2,154 children, and 2,253 adults in need. This included 61,000 hot meals and 1,400 lunches for children and teens given out at the Dashmesh Culture Centre. United Way Calgary reports that from F2015 to F2017, the Calgary high school dropout rate decreased 5% (from 25% to 20%), due in part to its All In for Youth program. Within the program, 14 students graduated from a 15-week, summer cook course, aimed to prepare students for culinary arts employment.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of United Way Calgary’s results and impact. This charity is not yet rated on impact (n/r).  

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United Way Calgary is a Major 100 charity, meaning it is one of Canada’s largest charities in terms of donations. The charity received $43.1m in donations in F2020. The charity received $13.6m in government funding, representing 21% of total revenues. Fundraising costs are 17% of donations. The charity does not report administrative costs outside of fundraising and program expenses. For every dollar donated, 83 cents go to the cause. This falls within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

United Way Calgary has $72.9m in funding reserves, of which $4.6m is donor endowed. Excluding donor-endowed funds, the charity could cover 140% or almost a year and a half of annual program costs with current reserves.

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

Updated on June 23, 2021 by Brenleigh Jebb.  

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Fundraising costs as % of donations 17.1%14.0%16.7%
Total overhead spending 17.1%14.0%16.7%
Program cost coverage (%) 139.6%169.0%151.6%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 43,14351,06347,766
Government funding 13,604218252
Investment income 6,1317,550556
Other income 1,340745434
Total revenues 64,21859,57649,008
Program costs 10,1079,4849,695
Grants 39,05631,11333,226
Donor-designated donations 6,8247,8756,660
Fundraising costs 7,3697,1717,986
Total spending 63,35655,64357,567
Cash flow from operations 8623,933(8,559)
Capital spending 5282821,136
Funding reserves 72,90172,26468,471

Note: Investment income includes realized and unrealized investment gains (losses), affecting total revenue by $3.5m in F2020, $5.5m in F2019, and ($1.7m) in F2018. Ci reported funds received from the Government of Alberta as government funding, increasing revenues by $954k in F2020. Ci reported government funding of $218k in F2019 and $252k in F2018 from the charity’s T3010 filing with the CRA. Additional government funding from the charity's T3010 for F2020 is not reported as the filing was not available at the time of this update. Ci reported Donor Choice distributions and donor-advised and 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 fundraising costs pro-rata.  

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 123

Avg. Compensation: $74,069

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 F2019

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Comments & Contact

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Charity Contact

Website: www.calgaryunitedway.org
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 403-231-6265