Poverty is Solvable


A Message from the Chair of the Board and the President & CEO

There’s one very compelling reason to eliminate poverty in our community. People. The work we do each and every day of the year is for them – for women, men, children and families who face a daily struggle to find their pathway out of poverty. The very purpose of our work as an organization and a community is, quite simply, to help people.

Poverty is a complex problem, but even complex problems have solutions. Over the past year, we have continued to find the solutions that will help more than 120,000 people, 41,000 of whom are children, live a better life – free of the weight of poverty that holds them back from their full potential.

    Mona Hale  Chair, 2014 Board of Directors


Mona Hale
Chair, 2014 Board of Directors

    Anne Smith   President & CEO


Anne Smith
President & CEO

Focused on Impact

Focused on Impact


How We are Creating Pathways Out of Poverty

United Way funded programs and initiatives supported more than 218,000 people in the Alberta Capital Region in 2014. This chart illustrates the breakdown of our focused investments in the areas of Education, Income, and Wellness. 

Education (34%)

• Early Childhood Development (13%)
• School Readiness (13%)
• Success in School (44%)
• Out-of-school Programming (30%)

Income (25%)

• Quality & Secure Housing (31%)
• Healthy, Affordable Food (15%)
• Employment Skills & Training (39%)
• Financial Literacy & Asset Building (15%)

Wellness (41%)

• Domestic Violence Supports (24%)
• Youth Programs (12%)
• Mental Health Supports (51%)
• Information & Referral (13%)


Calculate your impact with our Online Impact Calculator. 

The Impact Calculator was introduced in 2014 to provide supporters with an online tool that could easily illustrate the impact of their donations by simply entering in a fundraising goal and dollars raised.


Community Initiatives

Tangible solutions we provide for people living in poverty.


coats donated through Coats for Kids and Families


school kits given to students through Tools for School


worth of items purchased by charities below market value


Care Kits provided through Homeless Connect


Lincoln's Story -  Strength & Support

“My hands were my livelihood,” says Lincoln Nanaquawetung of his time as a rig worker in the Alberta oilfields. He was a man who provided for his wife and family with his hands and physical strength. It’s a familiar way of life in Alberta, and one Lincoln understood well. Until one day, without warning, Lincoln’s vision began to fade with the cold steadiness of exactly what it was—a force of nature.

“It just happened. One of those freak things that bang, you just have to deal with it,” says Lincoln. Unable to work in his field, Lincoln was forced to find a new way to provide for his family. Without the support of the community, a life in poverty, for him and his family, was all too possible.

All these little obstacles passed by, and my confidence started to grow,” he says. “That’s the thing about United Way. Every year as I grew, I was growing with them.

Since losing his sight, Lincoln has found a new purpose studying and now embarking on a career in social services. This clarity has come with time and the support of his family, community and United Way. A path forward wasn’t always so clear. “All these little obstacles passed by, and my confidence started to grow,” he says. “That’s the thing about United Way. Every year as I grew, I was growing with them.”Lincoln is now giving back to the community. He has been volunteering with United Way for six years, telling his story to audiences around the Capital Region. “I haven’t met one person at United Way who doesn’t love what they’re doing. I haven’t met one person without that passion. You end up feeding off of their energy. It helps me tell my story.”

Lincoln shows a deep understanding of how a community can heal an individual, and how individuals, working together, can heal a community. It’s not difficult to imagine what could have been if not for the support of the people around him. “I want to do community development. That’s it – that’s where I can do the most meaningful work. I think that what happened to me was supposed to happen, that I’m supposed to be the person I am now. Everything I’ve gone through is exactly what was supposed to happen.”

2014 Snapshot

$360+ million has been raised in our 75+ year history, changing the lives of hundreds of thousands.


Message from the 2014 Campaign Chair

When I started my role as Campaign Chair, I knew that our success depended on the actions of many. I asked you to imagine what this community would be like if everyone currently living in poverty was instead contributing their talents and energy to our economy.

It is very humbling, knowing that you share the same vision for a productive, prosperous and safe community and your hard work, generosity and great spirit has brought us to this milestone. We exceeded our fundraising expectations for this year and I’m so excited to see what we will be able to do together in the future.

    Ruth Kelly   • 2014 Campaign Chair,   United Way


Ruth Kelly • 2014 Campaign Chair, United Way


$24.9 million

Raised in 2014

$17.6 million

From Individual Donors

$6.3 million

From Corporate Donors

$1 million

From Provincial & Municipal Grants


Watch the 2014 Campaign Video

Our Progress

Our Progress


Progress Towards the Future

Annual fundraising and support from the community allows us to continue providing critical programs and services. But what will it take to move beyond managing the symptoms of poverty and closer to eliminating it?

A primary focus for 2014 was on developing the right strategies and aligning program investments with our new direction. Through input and guidance from our community partners we’ve identified 35 strategies that we will work toward achieving over the long term. Five of these strategies have been further developed to include clear, measurable targets.

Impact Scorecard

United Way’s Impact Scorecard outlines these five strategies and new targets to help set the course. Reaching the goals outlined in these 3-year strategies will require an additional $7.25 million invested in our community. This means United Way's annual fundraising campaign needs to grow to $30 million by 2016.

Let's work together to make it happen.


GOAL 1:  The Early Years
By connecting parents with supports to care for their infants and toddlers, we can nearly double the number of children we help get the right start in life.

GOAL 2: Success in School
With mentors, school lunches, and support for parents we can ensure 2,000 more children succeed in school.

GOAL 3: Managing Finances
We can help 10,000 people navigate and access their benefits and provide 1,200 women with financial literacy training.


GOAL 4: Employment
Job skills training would result in 1,000 more people employed in positions that provide a living wage.

GOAL 5: Mental Health
We can ensure that over 5,500 additional community members get the right support for better mental health.

Donors & Volunteers

Donors & Volunteers

2014 Donor List


Solving poverty is no simple task – it takes time, energy and leadership. The kind of leadership that people in the Alberta Capital Region are known for – people who time and time again face challenges head on and in doing so inspire others to do the same. 

Together, with your generous support we can, and will, find a solution.


People donated to United Way


Average individual donation


Largest individual donation


Why I Donate


Phalyn & Remi Chenard

Real Estate Agent • Schmidt Realty Group
Senior Associate • Stantec

When we first moved to Edmonton, we took our own paths to becoming involved in the community and experienced many successful, but singular, efforts. Fast-forward three years – we’ve found common ground at the United Way and have realized that our efforts are that much stronger when we make them together.

If someone were to simply ask us why we give, we would answer, “Because it’s the right thing to do. No one should have to choose between putting a roof over their head or food on the table.” But, if you were to ask us why we give to the United Way specifically, it’s because we want to invest in an agency that looks at long-term solutions for our community.


Harriett Tinka & Steve Davis

Senior Accountant • City of Edmonton
Team Lead – Supply Chain Operations • Suncor

We support the hardworking, dedicated staff and volunteers of United Way so they can continue their work to positively impact the Capital Region’s most vulnerable citizens.

It feels good to make a difference in other people's lives who need help the most. United Way has a broad reach of funded community agencies, they focus on results and breaking the cycle of poverty to give people hope for a better future. 


Merwan Saher

Auditor General of Alberta • Office of the Auditor General

I’ve always channelled my charitable giving through United Way believing it to be an effective way of maximizing the impact of my contribution. I’m even more committed now that United Way has developed a results based approach to charting a course and measuring success.

I want to be part of moving beyond just managing the symptoms of poverty and move closer to eliminating it. 


Awards of Excellence

The Award of Excellence is a recognition award presented to organizations in the Alberta Capital Region that raised more than $1,000,000 in 2014. The following organizations were recognized at this year’s Red Tie Gala on March 5, 2015:





View the 2014 Leadership Roster


Engaging Our Community

Engaging our Community


Watch the 14 Mayors Video

With the help of our Campaign Chair, Ruth Kelly, we encouraged municipal leaders in the Capital Region to join us in the goal of ending poverty. 14 Mayors United to End Poverty included a three-day tour of our region to collect signatures from the leaders. Mayor Don Iveson was the first to sign.

Our work with the City of Edmonton continues to be inspiring and solution-focused, through participation on the mayor's new task force, End Poverty Edmonton. Mayor Iveson and his partner, Sarah Chan are strong advocates of the work we do together.

My United Way Voice Performances

The first-ever My United Way Voice contest saw nearly 40 submissions from singers, rappers and spoken word artists, sharing their experiences and voices against poverty. The contest winner was decided by community wide vote and the top three finalist delivered outstanding performances. 

Emilie Lousie, Julia Nicholson, and My United Way Voice contest winner Rellik feat. Gregos, performed their contest entries at the 2014 Red Tie Gala.

2014 Event Highlights


Volunteer Hours in 2014


Campaign Kickoff Attendees


Community Speakers


Red Tie Gala Attendees


Poverty Simulations


Round-Up Attendees


What People are Saying

A few selected tweets we especially appreciated from the past year:

Thank You!


Your Impact Changes Lives

Sign the Statement of Support

Show your commitment to help create pathways out of poverty. Visit our website to sign the statement today!

Encourage Others

Spread the facts about poverty and share your commitment with family, friends and co-workers.


Providing the help needed today, and growing supports that move us closer to a community without poverty.


View our audited financial statements.

Let's make 2015 great, visit myunitedway.ca to get started!