Did You Know?

Take a look at some of our Frequently Asked Questions below to learn more about what we do and how we do it!

What does United Way do?
We bring people and resources together to meet existing and emerging social needs, in order to improve lives and build community. Through our collaborative networks, we monitor and identify pressing social issues. Whether it be through investing in existing community programs or mobilizing a new collective approach, funds donated by our generous community are put to work to create lasting positive change in the most effective way possible.

What are your fundraising / admin costs?
In 2020, for every dollar donated, 83 cents went directly to our local community initiatives.
We encourage donors to be cautious about using our organizational overhead as the sole way to gauge effectiveness. This number can fluctuate from year to year based on a variety of factors but that does not mean we are necessarily making less or more impact. To learn more, watch Dan Pallotta’s Ted Talk.
Whether it is through community or internal investments, donors can trust that we invest our available resources in smart, strategic ways, to ultimately help the people who depend on us.

How can I be sure my donation will make an impact?
United Way mobilizes the power of caring communities to address the most complex social issues. We currently focus our work on providing adequate basic needs, ensuring connected kids, creating a sense of belonging & inclusion, supporting positive mental health and providing supports for seniors.  We work closely alongside issue experts on research planning tables to understand our community’s needs and facilitate investment in programs through a volunteer Community Impact Committee. After our funds are invested in either community programs or collective initiatives, reporting and evaluation is completed and reported annually in our Year in Review report.

Why does United Way give out less money than it raises each year?
There is a portion of our annual campaign that is pledged but is never received, reducing our available revenue for the community. Beyond that, investing wisely within our organization allows us to reach more people and create more impact, not waste more money. Along with investing in our local community initiatives, we make smart investments in our infrastructure so that we can:

  • Monitor and understand our community needs,
  • Raise the next dollar and be sustainable,
  • Provide equitable pay and benefits to attract and retain staff,
  • Evaluate and report back on impact,
  • Have the tools we need to work efficiently and effectively.

Expenses are carefully managed and minimized where possible through volunteer support, sponsored employees, and in kind donations.

I’ve heard rumours that a large portion of donations go to upper management / the CEO. Is that true?
Our salaries are established based on a comparison of other charities’ compensation, an assessment of roles and responsibilities, and a commitment to spending dollars wisely.
For full transparency, donors can consult our annual listing with the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) which discloses staff salaries.

I can only give a very small amount each week.
Every donation adds up over the course of the year. When combined with donations from all across our community (large or small), United Way can provide millions of dollars to create lasting positive change on pressing social issues.

Is it possible to keep my donation local?
Every dollar you give to United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin stays 100% within Guelph, Wellington and Dufferin. If you prefer for your donation to stay within one of those communities, you may specify that at the time of your donation.

Can I donate to other charities through United Way? / Why should I give to United Way rather than giving to the charities directly?
Yes, you can designate your donation to one or more specific programs that United Way funds or to other charities that you may wish to support.
We encourage donors to consider allowing their gift to be used where needed most, rather than designating to a specific organization because:

  • You can be assured that our research has shown us we are currently focusing on pressing issues, through collective approaches which reduce overlap and effective solutions to those issues.
  • Undesignated donations are more flexible and allow us to be agile when our community requires it, such as responding to urgent situations like the COVID 19 pandemic.
  • Increased funding to United Way allows front line agencies the relief of some of the burden of raising funds, so they instead can focus on delivering programs and services.

When will I receive my tax receipt?
A tax receipt is issued for donations over $20. Receipts can be issued for lower donation amounts upon request. If you donate through payroll deduction, you will see your total gift for the year on the charitable donation line of your T4. Donations made by cheque or cash receive tax receipts by mail within a few weeks of the gift being received at the United Way office. Note that ongoing monthly donations are receipted at the end of each year.

What tax benefit is there to donating?
Canada has a generous tax credit system for donors to charities. Along with the wonderful feeling of knowing you’ve made a difference; your donation can also yield a tax break. Depending on your situation, if you have tax payable at the end of the year, you may be able to use all or a portion of your donation amount to reduce your tax owing. In some cases, you can also transfer donations to your spouse. Donations can be carried forward for up to five years but can only be claimed once.
You should always consult with your financial advisor for tax implications specific to you. However, you can use tools like the Revenue Canada Tax Calculator and visit Revenue Canada for more information.

What is United Way doing about my right to privacy?
United Way is committed to protecting your right to privacy. Information you or your employer provide is used to process and receipt your donation and respond to your information requests. Your information is not shared with other organizations. To learn more about your rights as a donor, click here

Is United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin a subsidiary of United Way Worldwide?
United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin is a separate and independent registered charity with our own governance, policies and practices. We are a member of United Way Centraide Canada in good standing with its comprehensive operating standards. United Way Centraide Canada holds an international membership in United Way Worldwide on behalf of its Canadian members. While this membership facilitates access to United Way Worldwide materials and cross border collaboration with international members, our Canadian network operates independently and with strong governance and financial structures.