This is what accountability looks like

Thanks to our volunteers, United Way of Calgary and Area has one of the lowest fundraising costs in Canada. United Way estimates fundraising and related operating costs to be 14% to 16%. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) considers 35% to be an acceptable standard. United Way has a 4/4 star rating on Charity Intelligence, and we earned an A+ rating from MoneySense recently for fundraising and charity efficiency. In addition, as a registered Canadian charity, United Way files a T3010 report with CRA annually; the latest CRA T3010 data, detailing all of United Way’s costs, can be found here. United Way of Calgary and Area was also ranked amongst top 10 charities on Maclean’s list of top 100 rated charities in Canada.

Frequently asked questions

Have a specific question about how United Way invests your donation? Check this list of frequently asked questions below or feel free to contact us.

United Way of Calgary and Area has one of the lowest fundraising cost ratios in Canada. United Way’s three-year fundraising and administrative costs average 14 to 16%. In 2019, our fundraising costs are 15.9% of revenue, well below the Canada Revenue Agency’s acceptable level of 35%, and well within Charity Intelligence’s reasonable range of 5 to 35%. As a registered Canadian charity, United Way files a T3010 report with CRA annually, detailing all of its fundraising, related operating costs, executive compensation, and other costs. The latest CRA T3010 data can be found at To see United Way’s detailed financial statements, visit our Financials page.

United Way holds itself accountable to its donors, and invests donated resources as wisely, efficiently, and effectively as possible, generating a high return on community investment. We rigorously monitor and report on the impact of our investments so donors can be confident their investment is making a positive difference.

All salaries at United Way, including senior management, are benchmarked against other Canadian non-profit organizations of similar size and scope. United Way of Calgary and Area is in compliance with the required T3010 regulatory reporting to CRA for its executive compensation, which can be viewed on the Canada Revenue Agency’s website.

We are committed to finding the best, most efficient ways of working wherever possible. Here are a few examples of how we’re able to work with local partners to create the greatest possible impact in our community:

  • Over 800 corporate partners support United Way by fundraising, donating, and volunteering—we had 20,473 volunteers support our work in 2020 alone!

In any given year, we partner with 80 local social agencies to solve social issues and pilot new solutions to help people in need.

Your investment with United Way stays local and is strategically invested right where you live, work, and raise your family. Your gift improves lives: it ensures people in our community have access to the supports they need the most, when and where they need them. Your investment helps people overcome poverty, helps kids succeed, and strengthens neighbourhoods. We believe that these are critical components to realizing our vision of a resilient and caring community where everyone thrives. United Way is committed to a rigorous measurement process with annual reporting, and we generate high return on community investment.

Our progress

United Way works to improve lives in Calgary and the surrounding area. To do this, we bring together local agencies, corporations, donors, volunteers, academia, and government in a collective effort to solve complex social issues and change lives. And it’s working—the numbers speak for themselves.

and the work of
supported by
people were
helped in 2020.

*This number represents an estimated number of people supported through regular and COVID-19 investments, and is not indicative of the number of people supported in an average year. Due to emerging needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, United Way secured and distributed funding to organizations that are not usually funded through our regular investments. This ensured all Calgarians had their basic needs met during a difficult time.

Tips to consider to evaluate a charity

With so many deserving causes, it can be tough to know where to give. A little research can help you make sure your dollars are hard at work at your charity of choice. Here are a few tips to get you started:

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Focus on your values


Make sure the cause or charity is authentic

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Discover the charity’s positive impact

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Talk to your friends
and family

You can go into these tips in detail in our quick launch guide to informed giving.

Read Your Guide to Informed Giving

Reporting on impact

Helping one person can create tangible ripples of positive impact in our community. We partner with compassionate individuals to build a system of support that surrounds the person in need, making the greatest possible impact in our communities.

Explore our impact report to learn more

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