Dollars at work

How United Way Toronto allocates your fundraising dollars

When you give to United Way, you can have confidence that you are making a difference in our community. Your investment is supporting a strong network of community agencies that provide vital programs and services that help people and families today, and in the long term. Your generosity is also supporting United Way’s efforts to address the root causes of social problem and improve and strengthen whole communities.

As part of our commitment to you, United Way strives to go one step further in ensuring that of every dollar we raise, as much as possible goes to the community. As a responsible steward of our community’s resources, we make it a point to report to you how funds are allocated.

In 2012, we became one of the first non-profit organizations to be accredited by Imagine Canada’s Standards Program. From 2007 to 2009, we were recognized for transparency in reporting by the Voluntary Sector Reporting Awards.

We also deliver financial statements consistent with Canadian accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations and United Way Canada-Centraide Canada’s Transparency and Accountability Financial Standards.

Pie chart showing admin costs and investment of funds raised by United Way Toronto: Where the money goes in the community

* Based on financial statements for year end March 31, 2012.

A look at how United Way Toronto distributes fundraising dollars

United Way Toronto’s fundraising and administration costs are very efficient. We stretch every dollar as far as we can, leveraging gifts from our donors into further investment by other organizations, engaging 23,000 volunteers to support our work and soliciting pro-bono services and in-kind donations to keep costs low.

In 2012, we kept our year-round fundraising and administration costs to 15%. This is well below the 35% cost-revenue ratio that the Canada Revenue Agency recommends charities maintain.

Administrative costs

* Based on financial statements for year end March 31, 2013.

We keep our costs low by:

  • Maintaining a strong internal fundraising department that conducts all our fundraising efforts. We do not hire third-party or commissioned fundraisers.
  • Leveraging the tremendous work of more than 23,000 volunteers in workplaces across the city, including the volunteers who work for United Way on behalf of their employers for the fall campaign.
  • Adhering to an internal mission that obligates us to run a lean and efficient organization. We work hard to keep our costs low; in fact, everything down to our office furniture is donated by generous supporters.
  • Receiving free advertising space and airtime from a number of newspapers, magazines, radio stations, TV stations, and outdoor media. We do not pay for advertising space and we also receive pro bono advertising creative services.

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