Apply for Funding

United Way creates lasting positive change.  We are uniquely able to unite people and resources to improve lives and build community.

Opportunities to apply for funding beginning April 1, 2022 are now open.

Our communities have experienced hardship and isolation through a prolonged pandemic, an unignorable deepening of preexisting needs and inequities and a groundswell of interest from individuals and organizations who want to directly contribute to make a difference.  To support a radical recovery, we will approach our funding moving forward with the aim to reduce barriers to supports, increase connection, provide flexibility to respond to our communities’ needs and ultimately make lasting, positive change to build a stronger community.  Our support will be rooted in ‘local’ – solving local problems with local solutions and aim to empower those closest to the issues.  We are committed to facilitating and supporting a collaborative effort and a shared responsibility and will focus on solutions and supports to address current, deepened community challenges – together.

Application Process

The Letter of Intent Process is Now Open.

Deadline to submit a Letter of Intent is September 24, 2021.

United Way will be accepting Letters of Intent (LOI) from those organizations wishing to apply for United Way funding between August 30 – September 24, 2021.

United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin is implementing a Letter of Intent (LOI) as a first step of our application process.  This is meant to provide an opportunity to outline proposals without the effort of a full application.  Please summarize your responses, while ensuring enough information is provided to clearly outline your goals and how funding will be used to make an impact in Guelph, Wellington and Dufferin.  You should submit a separate LOI for each program/service you are applying for.  There is not a limit to the number you can submit, but we do encourage you to prioritize your needs.  You may also submit an LOI for multiple funding streams.

As part of our ongoing work to ensure our funding is accessible to all, the revised funding model is intended to be more inclusive and will be opened up to all registered charities meeting the program criteria. This means that going forward, it will be an open, competitive process for funding.

Once all LOIs have been received, a thorough review process of all submissions will take place and those that best fit the funding criteria & the funding available will be asked to complete a full funding application.  More information on this timeline and process will be available at that time.

Information Sessions

We are hosting two Q&A information sessions that are open to anyone to attend.  These sessions will provide more information on the new funding streams and Letter of Intent process. Please register below if you’d like to attend:

September 8, 2021 @ 10 a.m. – Register Here

September 10, 2021 @ 1 p.m. – Register Here

Impact Streams

About United Way Funding Opportunities

In response to the pandemic and in an effort to make funding more accessible, address inequities, support our community’s evolving needs and work more collaboratively, our investment model has changed to become more flexible in the way that we provide funding and also to provide more opportunities during the year to access funding in a way that better meets the needs of organizations.

We are working to build impact in 5 areas:

Resilience in children and youth through emotional wellbeing, because we know that helping to prevent and mitigate adverse childhood experiences is both urgent and foundational to lifelong potential;

Belonging, inclusion, and connection to supports in community, because we know that isolation, mental health, and informal and formal supports are critical issues coming out of the pandemic;

Dedicated investment for equity-seeking and rights-seeking groups, because we know that real, tangible barriers to resources and belonging in our communities persist;

Aligned collaborative supports for food, housing, and financial security, because we know individuals and families need comprehensive opportunities to stabilize, recover, and build their futures; and

Focused investment and presence in rural communities, responsive to their unique needs.

In addition to multi-year investments in the areas above, we will also offer flexible funding opportunities for smaller projects, with application periods three times/year.  These will allow United Way to make responsive funding in emerging areas at multiple times throughout the year and will ensure organizations have an opportunity to apply for funding with limited barriers.

Eligible Organizations

In order to be eligible to receive United Way funding, the applying agency should meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Provide services to Guelph, and/or Wellington County, and/or Dufferin County (preference will be given to organizations located in Guelph, and/or Wellington County, and/or Dufferin County)
  • Be a registered charity (or have a registered charity or other qualified donee acting as your host organization)
  • Maintain a volunteer Board of Directors that meet regularly
  • Release audited financial statements each year (or financial review for charities with annual revenues less than $100,000),
  • Be non-partisan
  • Have been in operation for at least one (1) year
  • Adhere to the Ontario Human Rights Code and not exclude anyone from service, accommodation or employment by reason of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, marital status, family status, or disability.

United Way does NOT typically fund environmental, heritage, sports or arts organizations unless programming intentionally services vulnerable communities.  United Way will also not fund direct religious activities of religious groups or organizations.  For a complete list of organizations that are not eligible, please read our Frequently Asked Questions.

Examples of Qualified Donees include:

  • Registered charities
  • Registered Canadian Municipalities
  • For more information, check the Canada Revenue Agency list of qualified donees here

Please note: At present, United Way is limited by the Income Tax Act to only fund registered charities and qualified donees as defined by the Canada Revenue Agency. We support amendments proposed via Bill S-222, “The Effective and Accountable Charities Act” which will enable us to create more equitable access to funding for grassroots organizations in the future.

If you have any questions about these or want to discuss how they might impact your application/organization, please contact Colleen Murdoch (

For a list of what funding can be used for, as well as ineligible expenses, please review our Frequently Asked Questions document.


Contact: Colleen Murdoch (or 519-821-0571 ext. 22)

For additional funding opportunities in Guelph and Wellington County, check out this great resource!