For Immediate Release
Move aims to fight poverty, build strong communities and help kids through a more regional approach. The United Way currently operates three independent organizations in the Niagara Region – St. Catharines and District, South Niagara, and Niagara Falls and Greater Fort Erie. Each of the boards for the three organizations has voted to solidify a partnership that will bring them together into one strong United Way for the Niagara Region.
“We believe that creating one organization will have a more positive impact on meeting our goals by creating a stronger organization and having a more unified approach to the services we provide the people and organizations of the Niagara Region,” said Karen Zanutto, president of the United Way South Niagara.
The idea to amalgamate began earlier this year when the three United Ways came together to form a steering committee that was tasked to develop recommendations on how to merge the three organizations. Jeff Klassen, president of the United Way of Niagara Falls and Greater Fort Erie, stated: “One strong United Way offers the opportunity to increase our fundraising capacity, our reach in the community and most importantly our impact in the region.”
In 2016/17, the three United Ways combined raised over $5.2 million.
“Poverty does not know boundaries,” said Peter Partridge, president of the United Way of St. Catharines and District, “and a broader vision of a single United Way in the Niagara Region will result in ensuring that funding goes to those most in need”.
The fall campaigns are now underway for all three United Ways. As the organizations move toward amalgamation, each of the United Ways will continue to manage their day-to-day operations, funding requests and allocations. All three boards will also continue with their governance responsibilities.
The next steps in building one United Way for the Niagara Region have begun, with the goal to have the process complete by spring of 2018.