Apply for Funding

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

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

United Way GWD opened funding opportunities through a Letter of Intent (LOI) process in September 2021.  We thank all those who submitted.

Organizations have now been notified of next steps, and if appropriate, invited to submit a full funding application.

Links to submit these applications online are available below (again – only those organizations who have been invited to may submit an application through this link – it is not open for general funding requests).

Healthy People, Strong Communities

Rural Communities

All That Kids Can Be – coming soon!


Deadline to submit funding applications for the Healthy People, Strong Communities & Rural Communities funding streams is November 19th @ 11:59 pm.

Please refer to the resources below for assistance with completing your application.

If you require an alternative format to submit your application, please email Colleen Murdoch

Upcoming Opportunities

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Funding Stream – Applications to open in April 2022

Community Action Grants – Applications to open February 2022 (for a full schedule of grant periods, please refer to the Applicant Guide above)


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

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