Together we are

Problem Solvers

Don't say it can't be done. Working together, humanity has eradicated smallpox, invented penicillin, brought energy to over 80% of the world's population and put a person on the moon.

Poverty is next.

We are Problem Solvers

    Anne Smith,  President & CEO     Fay Orr , Chair, 2015 Board of Directors


Anne Smith, President & CEO  Fay Orr, Chair, 2015 Board of Directors

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

When it comes to ups and downs in the economy, we’ve been here before, weathered the storm, and we will do it again. And, just as with other times, we emerge stronger, smarter and better equipped to handle whatever comes our way.  

But for people who are already experiencing hard times, this can be more difficult for them to overcome. 

For some who were previously on solid footing, this economy has presented them with new challenges; unexpected job loss, rising costs and additional pressures that contribute to personal struggles – it all leads to an increase in the number of people requiring help. And that’s where all of us come into the picture.

2015 was another great year – our community stepped up, we rose to the challenge, helping lift people out of poverty and prevent those at risk from falling into it. Because, in the grand scheme of things, we all have to focus on the goal – the impact that our work has on the people who need us. These tough times will pass, and when they do, we’ll need to make sure these individuals are ready and prepared to go – ready to make their own way.


Focused on Impact

Focused on Impact

No other organization delivers a broader range of solutions. See what programs an average donation supports.

invested in the community impact fund.
Where does it go?
Early Childhood Development
The first three years in a child’s life are critical for development and set the stage for future learning and growth. Specifically for children and their caregivers in the first three years.
Success in School
Children and youth who live in poverty are more likely to struggle in school and have poor attendance. In-school supports greatly improves a child’s ability to learn and increases their motivation to attend.
Out of School Programming
When children are not engaged in positive after-school programming and recreational activities they are more likely to engage in risky behaviours. A significant amount of time, approximately 90% in a given year, is spent out of school.
School Readiness
The early years are a time of significant learning and development where the foundation for strong early literacy skills can support an individuals learning outcomes throughout the school years and entire life.
Financial Literacy & Training
By helping improve money management skills and providing convenient access to financial support programs, families are able to get on track and plan for a better future.
Employment Skills & Training
People living in low-income are the most vulnerable to employment loss, unemployment and underemployment. They face multiple barriers to finding and retaining employment.
Healthy & Affordable Food
Low-income households often have to choose between paying rent, paying bills or buying food. Lack of adequate food can have negative effects on the physical, social, emotional and cognitive development of an individual.
Quality & Secure Housing
Attaining and maintaining quality, safe and affordable housing is a challenge for many people living in poverty. Shelter is by far the biggest expense for people living with low-income, with some people spending 30% or more of their income on housing costs.
Domestic Violence Supports
Leaving an abusive environment can have significant impacts on an individual physically, emotionally, spiritually and economically. People who are experiencing abuse or domestic violence need to be able to access supports immediately.
High Risk Youth Programming
Youth who lack positive mentors and life skills are more likely to engage in criminal activity, gang involvement and are at higher risk of dropping out of school.
Mental Health Supports
Without adequate mental health supports and protocols for early detection in place, people affected by mental illness are at a higher risk of falling into poverty.
Information & Referral
Socially excluded individuals and families are often denied the opportunities available to others. There are many different programs and services available to support those who are most vulnerable, yet many are unaware of these resources.
Capacity Building
Capacity Building, enhances the nonprofit sector by working together to understand the issues, identify priorities and seek better solutions to ensure clients receive effective and efficient programs and services from the nonprofits they count on.

Calculate your impact with our Online Impact Calculator. 

The Impact Calculator was refreshed in 2015 to provide supporters with an improved 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.


kid kits produced for children of families in need.


school kits given to students through Tools for School.


computers donated to facilitate "Make Tax Time Pay".


care kits provided through Homeless Connect.


Brittany's Story – A New Path

Brittany Tyerman had a strange encounter with her past. The 20 year old nursing student decided to reach out to an old friend from junior high. Brittany had been busy in the years since they had spoken, studying as a volunteer youth cadet with Edmonton Police Service (EPS) before making her way to university to immerse herself in medicine. She is a nursing student at the U of A now.

All my life, all I wanted was a career that makes a difference in someone else’s life,” she says, as she thinks about the things that changed hers. “I know I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for United Way.

The afternoon they caught up, the old friend was taken aback at her success. “I totally thought we had lost you to drugs way back in grade nine,” she said to Brittany. This stark statement made Brittany reflect. “I wasn't living in reality then; I couldn't see that I was on a destructive path. Not until I was given the chance to turn myself around. I'm lucky that people cared enough to step in when they did.”

Brittany’s path branched with a visit to her school counsellor who pushed her to take part in an EPS/Canadian Forces program, offered by the Neighbourhood Empowerment Team (N.E.T.) with funding from United Way. The 14 week paramilitary program was designed to teach youth to be aware of their personal responsibilities and individual abilities. The program helped course-correct teens, like Brittany, when they are making poor choices – choices that can often lead to a life in poverty.

Brittany began to thrive and the instructors noticed. Cracks started showing in their drill-sergeant-veneer when they told her how skillfully she handled the task of leading her group. “When someone you look up to tells you you’re capable of something you never would have imagined, it changes your whole outlook on life,” she says. Brittany carries that faith in her leadership abilities into her studies and work as a student nurse.

“All my life, all I wanted was a career that makes a difference in someone else’s life,” she says, as she thinks about the things that changed hers. “I know I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for United Way. I really just want to be able to help somebody else out, because I know how bad it is to be in an area of your life that you don’t want to be in. I know you can’t always necessarily get out of that alone, and people need to be able to rely on others to help them get to a better place,” says Brittany. “I would love it if I could be that person, to help somebody else get to a better place.”

2015 Snapshot

$385+ million has been raised in our 75 year history, changing the lives of hundreds of thousands.


Message from the 2015 Campaign Chair

When I began my volunteer role with United Way in 2014 as Campaign Chair, I knew I believed in the cause and in the efforts that we, as a region, were putting forth to help create pathways out of poverty.

It quickly became clear that there was also great collective strength behind the cause from many individuals and organizations who held the same belief as me.

Together, we can make significant change in our community for so many. I had the privilege of spending two years in the role of Campaign Chair and, in that time, I was so proud to witness the truly caring and compassionate spirit that exists in the Alberta Capital Region. With every event I attended, I saw people who simply want to make a difference for others, throwing their support behind United Way and its efforts, all in a shared vision toward ending poverty, once and for all.

    Ruth Kelly   • 2015 Campaign Chair,   United Way


Ruth Kelly • 2015 Campaign Chair, United Way


$25.3 million

Raised in 2015

$15.65 million

From Individual Donors

$7 million

From Corporate Donors

$1.65 million

From Matching Grants

$1 million

From Provincial & Municipal Grants


Watch the 2015 Campaign Video

Our Progress

Our Progress


Setting the Pace

Every step you take to support United Way moves another family further along their pathway out of poverty. With your ongoing support, we can continue changing the lives of thousands of individuals and families, build momentum toward reaching specific impact targets and a campaign goal of $30 million by 2017.

Scorecard Progress

In 2014, United Way released an Impact Scorecard outlining five strategies and specific targets we can work toward achieving together over a three-year timeframe, helping nearly 22,000 people in our community. Based on our targeted investments and impact projections, we're pleased to share progress at the one-year mark. 


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.

Progress: 1,200 in 2015

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

Results in 2016

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

Progress: 4,200 in 2015


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

Results in 2016

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

Progress: 2,000 in 2015


Thanks to your support, by the end of 2015 we will have helped 7,400 people in these five targeted areas. Download our Impact Scorecard for a more in-depth look at specific investments.


Donors & Volunteers

Donors & Volunteers

"Supporting United Way seems like the responsible thing to do"  -  Paul Jehn

"Supporting United Way seems like the responsible thing to do" - Paul Jehn

Thank you for investing in the future health and stability of our community - your gift is changing the lives of individuals, families and children.

As a donor, you are a part of something truly special. You recognize the needs in our community and have made the thoughtful decision to take action. Your gift helps United Way continue to create pathways out of poverty, ensuring everyone in our community has the opportunity to build a better life, one step at a time.


People donated to United Way


Average individual donation


Largest individual donation


Strong Supporters

This year marks the 56th consecutive year the Edmonton Civic Employees' Charitable Assistance Fund and its more than 9,800 members, representing nine local unions and associations, has contributed to United Way.

Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 569

Alberta Health Services Community Care & Public Health, Association of Management and Non-Union Affiliates

C.E.M.A City of Edmonton Management Association

Unifor, Local 829

Edmonton Fire Fighters Union

Canadian Union of Public Employees CUPE, Local 30 (Edmonton Civic Employees)

Alberta Health Services, United Nurses of Alberta, Local 196

Edmonton Police Senior Officers Association

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1007

Cumulatively, this group has invested in excess of 13 million dollars in those 56 years!


Why You Donate


Darlene Cardinal

The United Way is close to my heart as the support system has provided services for those that are near and dear to me. 

Our ultimate goal is to eliminate homelessness, make the world a little brighter for those less fortunate, spread the message to our young that, “there is a future” -  and ensure that there is HOPE. 

I donate at the Leadership level and my employer matches my donation dollar for dollar, thus creating a bigger impact for the Capital Region, creating pathways out of poverty, looking for long term solutions for an end.  Giving comes from the heart.


Derrick & Kim Olesen

I was fortunate to have been guided by knowledgeable and caring mentors in my life who guided me down a career path I would not have otherwise travelled.

I have heard countless United Way speakers reveal remarkable accounts of how a singular or tragic event took them to a place they didn’t want to be in their life, and how the efforts or action of a person from a United Way Agency lifted them back to a point where they could change - and be in a better place – spiritually, financially, mentally and physically. I am inspired from hearing the strength gained by those benefactors of a United Way Program; how it was the difference between a life of poverty, isolation or addiction; to one of self-support, freedom, personal victory and the pride in reclaiming their life, of succeeding in personal goals that were inspired by a mentor from the United Way Agency.

I give because I want everyone who needs a mentor, guide, therapist or friend, to have access to one – we all need good friends!



Anila Joy and family

We choose to support United Way as it has proven to us to be active in bringing creative solutions to assist our city in being better and helping those that need it the most.


Wendy Rabel

Giving is in my DNA.

My upbringing was filled with living lessons of compassion in action and I learned that no offering of my time, talents, or resources is too small to have an impact. I support United Way because I want to maximize the reach and power of my contributions and to be part of solutions that are transforming our community. 


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 2015. The following organizations were recognized at this year’s Red Tie Gala on February 25, 2015:





View the 2015 Leadership Roster


Engaging Our Community

Engaging our Community


The Year in Videos


Make the Month

United Way launched Make the Month, an interactive experience that aims to show realities of surviving paycheque-to-paycheque in the Alberta Capital Region.


Youth Initiative

The success of our children and youth is important – they are the future of our community and we owe it to them to help them be all that they can be. To foster the awareness, engagement and enthusiasm of our next generation, United Way has embarked on a new youth initiative. The objectives are to encourage and empower the students of our community to take action – locally.  Sarah Chan, our 2016 campaign co-chair, has been enthusiastically delivering presentations to students of all age and grade levels, talking about the effects of poverty, and asking students to get involved in finding solutions.


Financial Pathways Collaborative

An unprecedented eight financial institutions and three community based partners have launched a new collaborative focused on helping community members living in low income build money management skills and effective budgeting practices, as well as help them gain access to available government benefits and subsidies.

Financial sector partners include: ATB Financial, BMO, Canadian Western Bank, CIBC, RBC, Scotiabank, Servus Credit Union and TD Bank. Community partners include: United Way of the Alberta Capital Region, City of Edmonton and E4C.


2015 Event Highlights


Volunteer Hours in 2015


Campaign Kickoff Attendees


Community Speakers


Red Tie Gala Attendees


Poverty Simulations


Wild Wagons Showdown


What People are Saying

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

Thank You!

Thank you for changing lives.


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.

Donate to United Way

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 2016 great, visit to get started!