It feels good to give.

We want you to feel good about how we put your dollars to work.

Your gifts to United Way are leveraged through our connections and partnerships with social service agencies, businesses, unions, universities, government and more to amplify our collective impact.

And on our end, we work to keep administrative and fundraising costs low. United Way continually meets standards for excellence for charitable administration.


How much are United Way’s administrative costs?

As a percent of total revenue, our administrative and fundraising costs are about 15%. That means 85 cents of every dollar goes directly to supporting vulnerable kids, families and seniors.

In 2017 we are investing over $33 million into the community.


How do they compare?

Canada has one of the largest charitable sectors in the world. More than 85,000 organizations work to address some of Canada’s toughest challenges.

Imagine Canada, a national organization whose cause is Canada’s charities and nonprofits, doesn’t provide a specific recommendation as to an appropriate fundraising ratio or cost because there are so many factors that influence an organization’s fundraising costs.

But the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) advises that charitable fundraising expenses below 35% are unlikely to generate concerns.

United Way is well below this threshold at 15%.  This includes all our fundraising staff, donations processing, related IT, finance and building operations.


How to find reported fundraising and administrative costs?

All charities are regulated by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and must file a Registered Charity Information Return or T3010. You can look at how much a charity is spending on fundraising by looking at line 5020 (total expenditures on fundraising) of the organization’s T3010.

Or you can usually review a charity’s financial statements on their website.

You can find United Way’s annual report here and audited financial statements hereYou can compare our annual reports and financial statements year over year on our website over the last four years.


How does United Way keep costs so low?

Every year United Way stretches your gifts as far as possible, thanks to the support of thousands of volunteers, sponsorships, and strong community partnerships.

One example is United Way’s unique Campaign Associate program. Every year, local organizations and unions generously sponsor or loan employees to help United Way fund raise. Not only do Campaign Associates save United Way administrative costs, they also each raise an estimated $500,000 each!


Impact beyond “overhead”

One thing we admire about our donors is your commitment to long-term impact.

For example, ten years ago only about 50% of kids aged 6-12 in the Lower Mainland were enrolled in a structured after-school activity. United Way knew the hours between 3 and 6pm were crucial to kids’ development and well-being. Since then United Way has made an unprecedented investment in after-school programs, turning donor dollars into after-school program activities, supplies and equipment, and mentors for kids who otherwise wouldn’t have one.

Now, almost 85% of kids are in an after-school program. United Way donors have transformed the lives of a generation of kids.

This is what your donation looks like.

If you need further assistance:


please contact our Director of Donor Experience, Jenn Marshall at

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Scott OakleyAccountability