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Frequently Asked Questions

Submitted by Stephanie Barnes on Thu, 09/25/2014 - 4:49pm

How can I make a donation to the University of Calgary's United Way Campaign?

Employees have two options for contributing to this year's campaign:

  1. Online pledge:  Check your inbox! Faculty and staff are invited to donate online via a customized URL that was sent to employees on October 1. If you would like your link resent, please contact Lisha at Kindly note, there is no generic University of Calgary link, nor can you donate using another employee's link.
  2. Paper pledge cards: If you would to complete your donation via a paper pledge card and have not yet received one, please contact Lisha at

What are United Way's goals?

United Way of Calgary and Area believes there are three essential goals that will make Calgary a great city for everyone:

  • Children and youth have the chance to be all that they can be
  • Families and individuals can achieve financial stability to they can move from poverty to possibility
  • Communities are healthy and strengthened so that everyone has a better life

What are the university's goals for the annual United Way campaign?

The University of Calgary's goal for the 2016 campaign is to raise $500,000 for United Way through employee and student gifts, activities and events.

Why should I donate to United Way of Calgary and Area?

When you invest in your community through United Way, you can trust your dollars are being strategically invested where they are needed most. United Way brings together all areas of community: business, government, academia, school boards and others to address social issues at the root cause and develop long-term strategies to solve them. United Way has rigorous standards of excellence for performance and reports outcomes annually.

How much of my donation does United Way of Calgary and Area use for fundraising and administration costs?

Fundraising and related administration costs for 2015 were 10% of the total funds raised.  This means 90% of your donation was invested in the Calgary community. This is among the lowest costs of fundraising for registered charities in Canada. By comparison, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) considers 35% to be an acceptable standard. 

As a registered Canadian charity, United Way is obliged to file a T3010 report with CRA annually, detailing all of its fundraising, administration, executive compensation and other costs.  The latest CRA T3010 data can be found at

Can I make a donation via payroll?

Yes! This is the easiest way to donate. Any donation can be made via credit card, cash, cheque or payroll. Tax receipts for donations made by credit card, cash or cheque will be sent to the donor through email or mail.

Donations made through payroll deductions will be included on the employee's T4 slip.

Is United Way a professional fundraiser?

No. United Way is not a professional fundraiser and does not take a percentage of donations as profit. Thanks to their staff and volunteers, they are able to conduct their fundraising efforts with internal resources. All costs attributed towards fundraising are included in their 10% administrative costs. This is not always the case with other fundraising charities.

Are United Way events paid for with donor dollars?

No. Every United Way event is sponsored by corporations or individuals who generously offer to cover the costs. 

How does United Way keep costs so low?

  • The contributions of over 11,000 highly skilled volunteers
  • Their ability to maximize efficiencies and implement economies of scale that smaller organizations cannot
  • Their ability to leverage their strong reputation and high profile to receive pro-bono and discounted rates on some services

How much money did United Way raise last year? Where does the funding come from?

The United Way of Calgary and Area raised $59.7 million in the 2014 campaign. Funding came from generous individuals in the community and workplace employees, corporate donations, and other sources including events.

How much are United Way's senior executives paid?

All salaries at United Way of Calgary and Area, including senior management, are benchmarked against other Canadian non-profit organizations of similar size and scope in Calgary and among other United Ways in Canada. In Calgary, United Way participates in an annual not-for-profit survey comparing all salary levels and job descriptions in the social services sector so that salaries remain reasonable and fair in comparison with other in the non-profit industry.

For more information about the University of Calgary's United Way Campaign, events around campus, or questions regarding making a donation to the campaign, please contact Lisha Hassanali, Community Engagement Manager at

Fundraising Goal


The race to

  1. Faculty of Graduate Studies
  2. University Relations
  3. Provost & VP (Academic)
  4. President's Office
  5. Cumming School of Medicine

* based on weighted percentage of pledges (75%) and dollars raised (25%)