CALGARY: Today, United Way of Calgary and Area shared how they intend to expand reach, inspire relationships, and deepen community impact in new and innovative ways, including a digital transformation focused on providing highly personalized experiences and a new Social Impact Lab.

Their 2018-2022 Strategic Plan, dubbed Our Way Forward, was guided by a year-long planning process that included numerous reports, research, analysis, consultations, and stakeholder engagement. The resulting co-designed plan is inclusive, purposeful, and responsive. It also drove United Way to repurpose their vision and mission statements to better articulate the work they do.

“We are local experts who bring people together to solve complex social issues,” says Karen Young, President and CEO, United Way of Calgary and Area. “Our original founding purpose remains unchanged: to improve lives through the power of community. How we fulfill this purpose, however, is evolving to keep pace with the changing face of philanthropy, high expectations of donors, and rapid advancements in technology.”

“As a social impact organization, everything we do is driven by our desire to create lasting social change,” says Jason Hatcher, Principal of Navigator Ltd. and new United Way of Calgary and Area Board Chair. “To respond to all the social needs within our city is impossible for one individual or organization to do alone. Partnerships are key.”

Over the next five years, United Way will:

  • Work better together as a social services sector in a more coordinated and integrated fashion
  • Forge partnerships and collaborations with common outcomes that have measurable goals
  • Launch a new innovation space in partnership with J5 using design thinking to solve complex social issues
  • Expand work with the Indigenous community and in the areas of diversity and inclusion
  • Provide new, transformational giving options responsive to emerging city needs
  • Invigorate workplace campaigns that bring value add to corporations
  • Pioneer social enterprise initiatives
  • Press forward with a digital transformation to offer highly personalized experiences


United Way of Calgary and Area brings together donors, corporations, agencies, and government to solve complex issues and improve the lives of more than 150,000 people every year. Since 1940, United Way has supported agencies that assist vulnerable Calgarians. Today, United Way invests in programs and collaborations with common outcomes, brings people together to coordinate systems change, and designs solutions that address root causes to create lasting social change. Collectively, this work deepens community impact.

For more information, please contact:

Yvette Biggs
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
United Way of Calgary and Area
[email protected]


Our Way Forward: 2018-2022 Strategic Plan