Media Release: United Way Supporters Continue to Make Better Possible

Over $2.5 Million raised through 2023 United Way Campaign

Guelph, Ontario, February 27, 2024.  The 2023 United Way fundraising campaign has come to a close and thanks to the generosity of donors across Guelph, Wellington & Dufferin, better is possible.

“Despite a very difficult year for fundraising, the 2023 Campaign raised $2.54 million.  Combined with our efforts to house 72 individuals in permanent supportive housing through the Home for Good Campaign, $3.15M has been donated by generous community members to United Way in 2023 to support our entire community, including our most vulnerable, in times of crisis and the every day”, said Glenna Banda, executive director, United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin.

Funds raised during the annual United Way campaign support collective approaches to solving a number of critical and complex issues – poverty, mental health, homelessness, isolation, and hunger.  Many of the programs and services our community reaches to are funded by United Way.

“Every year we start at zero and look to raise millions of dollars to ensure our community partners can continue to provide critical community services,” said Ray Stultz, 2023 Campaign Chair.  “What we have accomplished this year is due to hours of hard work by hundreds of volunteers and the generosity of an entire community who believed that better is possible.”

“We are incredibly grateful to the community – our donors and our workplaces – for what we have accomplished together and the difference we will be able to make in the coming year,” said Banda.  “But the truth is, we did come short of where we’d hoped to be.”

Applications for United Way funding were accepted last fall from partners looking to support the increasing demands of the community.  In the end, the ask from those applications was more than 2.5 times what was available to distribute, which meant some very difficult decisions and ultimately, a number of programs going without funding.

“With funding sources running out everywhere – from government to community fundraising – more organizations turned to United Way this year with the hope of receiving funding to allow them to expand programming or even keep their doors open,” said Banda.  “The diversity of organizations looking for help is now even outside the social service sector – it’s health partners too.  It’s actually quite upsetting to see the needs and the frustration of partners who want to do more but can’t because there’s no funding.”

The charitable sector is facing demand for services never seen before – but it is also struggling to meet that demand as it grapples with new realities – flat-lined fundraising, rising costs of goods, and staff and volunteer shortages.  United Way has not been immune to the challenges.

“Many people in our community are still not aware of the critical role United Way plays in the community. A donation to United Way ensures that our community’s most pressing needs are supported and ensures collective approaches to complex issues – which helps to reduce duplication of efforts and that a collaborative voice is working together to ensure solutions work for everyone,” said Banda.

Along with many community donors, a number of workplaces participated in this year’s United Way campaign, including the University of Guelph, Linamar Corporation, Sleeman Breweries, The Co-operators, OMAFRA and the County of Wellington.  United Way staff will be visiting many of these workplaces over the next month or so to celebrate with volunteers and thank employees for their participation.

“It really is because of our community that we are able to support the community in this way.  I was inspired watching everyone come together over the course of the campaign, doing everything they could to raise those dollars”, said Stultz.  “Many never gave up, thinking ‘there’s more we can do’”.

“I know I speak on behalf of all of our community partners when I say thank you – to everyone who made a donation, large or small, who shared our vision of a community where everyone has the supports they need to live a better life,” said Banda.  “What was raised will make a tremendous difference.”

The total announced is based on received and pledged dollars.  More than 125 workplaces took part in the campaign, and more than 4,100 donors contribute to United Way annually. 

Donations are welcome year-round from all community members and are accepted online at or by calling the United Way office 519-821-0571.  Donations, as always, will stay 100% local.

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United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin has worked in our community for over 80 years to monitor and meet the pressing social needs of our community, including poverty, social isolation and mental health.  Directed by a volunteer board, managed by committed staff and supported by thousands of donors, United Way works with partners in all sectors to improve lives and build community.  Donations stay 100% local, always.  For more information, please visit

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