United Way Social Purpose Institute

In an increasingly turbulent world, having a compelling north star that benefits society, stakeholders, and business creates a pathway to business and societal success.

Companies whose purpose is a core driver of strategy are more likely to realize successful innovation and consistent revenue growth than competitors.

At the United Way Social Purpose Institute, we offer a structured and supportive environment that will help companies incubate, accelerate, and scale their social purpose as a way to drive both business growth as well as the company’s potential for social good.

Our programs, workshops, and services have been designed to help business leaders identify and leverage their organization’s core social purpose to create positive change in community while building new value for employees, customers, partners, suppliers, and shareholders – all with a view to strengthening their business.

United Way’s Role

United Way is uniquely positioned to help guide and foster Social Purpose in Business. Our corporate partners have been requesting involvement in, and a deeper understanding of, our work and the social issues faced in the Lower Mainland and want to become more engaged in the solutions.

United Way British Columbia, known for its local community development and broad, cross-sectoral networks, is poised to serve as the source for community intelligence, training and involvement in embedding social purpose within businesses.

How We Can Help

  • Understand the social issues that affect your community and your business, to discover and be a part of new solutions.
  • Identify the best match between your company’s brand, assets and resources and a social purpose that would resonate best for you in a competitive landscape.
  • Connect what your company has to offer with issues and agencies in the community.

Fostering Social Purpose

United Way British Columbia is committed to being a leader in fostering Social Purpose Business (SPB). In order to support this work, we know we need partners, structures, and policies to create an enabling environment for SPB to flourish in. To this end, United Way submitted recommendations (with United Way Centraide Canada) on the concept of the “Social Purpose Business”  to the Federal Government’s Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy consultation. Please link here to read the UW SI SF Strategy Consultation Submission.

Please note: the full submission was sent from United Way Centraide Canada, and thus references a number of additional topics. Section 2, page 9 onwards is most relevant to the work of the United Way British Columbia. Note also the letters of support on the Social Purpose Business Recommendations from the City of Vancouver and Canadian Business for Social Responsibility in the appendix.


Further information about the United Way Social Purpose Institute:

Articles about social purpose and social leadership: