about us

Our mission

To improve lives and build community by engaging individuals and mobilizing collective action.



The very first United Way was formed in Denver, Colorado in 1887 when many local charities found they could have a greater impact by working together. It was formed by a small group of people who believed there must be a better way to meet the needs of local people. The United Way movement was adopted in Canada in 1917 to address the growing needs of communities during the turmoil of the First World War period.

United Way Niagara

United Way Niagara is formed by the amalgamation of United Way Niagara Falls and Greater Fort Erie, United Way of South Niagara and United Way of St. Catharines & District.

What does United Way do?

United Way Niagara works locally to raise funds and invest in programming that improves lives in our community. Our goal is to improve lives and build community by engaging individuals and mobilizing collective action. What does that mean? United Way invests funds into pre-determined priority areas that were deemed to have the most need nationally. We invest in solutions to real, local social problems.

As the largest non-governmental supporter of social services in the region, we’re dedicated to creating the opportunities people need to improve their lives and build a better future. Our work is fuelled by research and powerful partnerships, which allow us to identify gaps and responsibly mobilize volunteer and financial resources for the most direct impact: effecting positive and lasting change, right here where we all live, work and raise our families.

United Way is governed by an autonomous volunteer Board of Directors that, along with staff and many more volunteers, helps to build a caring community we can all enjoy. At United Way, we work every day to cultivate trust. We pride ourselves on being responsible, transparent stewards of the community’s resources and your generous support. Our ethical-fundraising and financial-accountability practices, from our policies to our operating standards and accreditation, speak for themselves.


Meet our people

Senior Leadership Team

Frances Hallworth - United Way Niagara
Frances Hallworth
Executive Director | x. 2102
Tamara Coleman-Lawrie - United Way Niagara
Tamara Coleman-Lawrie
Director, Community Impact I x. 2109
Alana Hoyle - United Way Niagara
Alana Hoyle
Director of Finance I x. 2105
Kevin Jong - United Way Niagara
Kevin Jong
Director of Development | x. 2103

Board of Directors

Peter W. Partridge - United Way Niagara
Peter W. Partridge
Chair | RBC Dominion Securities
Shirley Cordiner - United Way Niagara
Shirley Cordiner
Niagara Safety Village
Dr. Gervan Fearon - United Way Niagara
Dr. Gervan Fearon
Brock University
Jennifer Ferguson - United Way Niagara
Jennifer Ferguson
Niagara Fallsview Casino
April Jeffs - United Way Niagara
April Jeffs
Community Volunteer
Cassie Kelly - United Way Niagara
Cassie Kelly
St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation
Jeff Klassen - United Way Niagara
Jeff Klassen
Niagara-on-the-Lake Hydro
Pam Lilley - United Way Niagara
Pam Lilley
Patrick Maloney - United Way Niagara
Patrick Maloney
Sullivan Mahoney LLP
Erica Matyskiewicz - United Way Niagara
Erica Matyskiewicz
Labour Liaison Officer I Niagara Region
Roderick McDowell - United Way Niagara
Roderick McDowell
Deputy Judge / Deacon, Anglican Church of Canada
Angus Scott - United Way Niagara
Angus Scott
Metroland Media
Sean Simpson - United Way Niagara
Sean Simpson
Simpson's Pharmasave

Campaign & Major Giving Cabinet

Caroline Sherk
Campaign Chair I Verge Insurance Group
Sean Simpson
Past Campaign Chair I Simpson's Pharmasave
Mel Groom
Leadership Co-Chair I Community Volunteer
Rick Groom
Leadership Co-Chair I Community Volunteer
Samantha Hoodless
gennext Chair, General Motors St. Catharines Propulsion Plant
Mallory Antonello
Niagara Casinos
Aaron Boggio
Boggio Family of Pharmacies
Kyle Boggio
Boggio Family of Pharmacies
Marko Bubic
Heidi Burgess
Skyway Lawn Equipment
Mike Clarke
Ucarenet Technologies
Dr. Dan Dargavel
Community Volunteer
David Day
Natasha DiCienzo
Scotia Wealth Management
Chris Dyer
Corrine Kwacz
Patrick Little
Heelis, Little, Almas & Murray LLP
Peter W. Partridge
RBC Dominion Securities
Dragan Radojcic
Meridian Credit Union
Kalvin Reid
Enterprise Canada
Robin Ridesic
The Exchange Brewery


Samantha Hoodless
Chair I GM Canada
Kory Lippert
Vice Chair I Ridley College
Mike Britton
Community Volunteer
Andre Chabot
Algoma Central Corporation
Raine Gould
Ownera Group Inc.
Courtney Kaminski
The College of Family Physicians Canada
Jenna Learn
Niagara Region
Jessica McCourt
Unifor Local 199 GM Unit
Cydney Nutbeem
Jordan Patterson
Conseil Scolaire Viamonde
Danielle Smith
Dipaola Di Pietro Little & Co
Kaley Stewart
Enterprise Canada
Trisha Tisi
Niagara Region

Annual Reports

Annual Report - United Way Niagara
2019 Annual Report
Annual Report - United Way Niagara
2018 Annual Report
Annual Report - United Way Niagara
2017 Annual Report
Annual Report - United Way Niagara
2016 Annual Report
Annual Report - United Way Niagara
2015 Annual Report
Annual Report - United Way Niagara
2014 Annual Report
Annual Report - United Way Niagara
2013 Annual Report
Annual Report - United Way Niagara
2012 Annual Report


What does the United Way do?

In today’s complex world, it often takes more than just one person, agency or program to make a big and lasting difference in people’s lives. United Way brings together social service agencies, business, government, labour, schools, institutions and citizens to address the immediate needs of our community and to create long-term change.

How are funds distributed?

United Way has an efficient Community Investment Committee that depends on trained volunteers to allocate funds to programs with proven results and performance. Through the ‘Review Process’, United Way volunteers make funding recommendations based on an evaluation key that looks at factors such as historical performance, board strength, program outcomes and overal agency capacity. The primary task of review volunteers is to ensure that donor dollars are being used effectively and efficiently.

What makes an organization eligible for funding?

In order to be eligible for United Way funding, an organization must be non-profit, charitable and have a clearly stated purpose and function within the social service and community health sector: The organization must:

  • Be incorporated and registered as a charitable organization under the Canada Income Tax Act
  • Have a voluntary Board of Directors
  • Operate programming in the human or social services areas that does not duplicate an existing program.
  • Operate in the Niagara Region.
  • United Way cannot fund mandated government services; programs in the arts, culture, heritage or the environment; individual, religious or political activities.
  • United Way does not fund capital program costs.

How are agencies assessed to receive funding?

Agencies are evaluated on program and organization standards. The organization needs to demonstrate that the program/activity they are requesting funding for meets a need in the community, that their proposed programs/activities are effective in responding to that need, and whether they are achieving desired outcomes for those being served and the community as a whole. The organization must also demonstrate appropriate practices around organizational capacity, management and financial accountability.

Why should I give to United Way rather than a single agency?

Many people want to help their community, but are not sure where to give their money or what the most pressing needs are. United Way keeps abreast of current needs and invests that support where it is needed most. Also, when you give to United Way, you are achieving greater impact by combining your support with others - your gift supports the combined efforts of a network of programs that provide people comprehensive care where and when it's needed.

What does the United Way logo mean?

The United Way logo is a ‘helping hand’ and it’s used by United Way organizations around the world. The rainbow represents hope for a better future. The centre image is the universal symbol of humankind and shows that the United Way cares about everyone. The hand represents all the services and programs that support our local communities. Help, Service, Hope – this is the United Way.

Does United Way invest in the same programs every year?

Our funding process allows for agencies to receive funding for three years. After that time, they must reapply. This funding process allows agencies to plan ahead and work towards long term goals and initiatives. New programs are eligible for funding provided their program fits the priority for that

Why do some agencies have their own fundraising drives?

No agency receives all of its funding from United Way. Agencies are encouraged to find funding from various sources, including their own fundraising initiatives. When agencies need to undertake a major capital expense they may conduct their own capital fundraising drive. However, we encourage agencies to consult with United Way with regard to timing and fundraising methods used, especially during United Way’s campaign from September to early December.

How many agencies does United Way Niagara fund?

United Way funds 114 programs and special initiatives across the Niagara Region, forming a network of care for over 163,000 people.

What is the reason for the recent amalgamation?

Three organizations were merged into one to build strong and enhanced fundraising objectives which will better meet the needs of individuals and communities across Niagara. The merge will result in a reduction of duplication of efforts across the three organizations, including fundraising and community services efforts.

How will my donation be allocated now?

Today and going forward, any donation made to United Way Niagara will be allocated according to the wishes of the donor. This includes designating donations to a specific community, charitable agency or program. Donations will continue to help build a stronger local community and a stronger Niagara. In the end, the goal of the amalgamation is to increase funding for all communities through stronger, more enhanced fundraising.


Labour Partnerships

United Way and Labour – working together to strengthen communities across Canada

We’re stronger together. The Canadian Labour Congress has a long and proud history with the United Way Centraide Movement to build strong resilient communities. Let’s continue our work!

- Hassan Yussuf, President, Canadian Labour Congress


Unions are an important force for democracy, not just in the workplace, but beyond. Here in Canada, we have a strong social safety net in place to catch us when we need help. That’s due in part to the strength of the Labour movement and unions.

United Way and the Canadian Labour Congress have been partners since 1988 – working together to strengthen communities across Canada. The partnership developed around a common interest: ensuring that workers and working families have the support they need to succeed.

Many of the workplaces than run fundraising campaigns are unionized. But the partnership goes deeper than just financial support.

Labour representatives volunteer with United Way as members of the United Way Board of Directors and participate in the decision-making process around policy and allocation of funds on the Community Investment Panel.

Labour Programs and Services staff are present in over 35 communities across Canada, including Niagara. We work closely with Niagara Regional Labour Council and Canadian Labour Congress to work with all workers in Niagara Region.

Our mission is to improve lives, build labour and community, and facilitate social change by strengthening work between both community and labour, and labour and the United Way Centraide. We offer various programs and initiatives, including Labour Education to union members.

Labour Community Advocate Training

This three-level training program explores the challenges faced by working families and the ways in which labour and communities can work together. Labour Community Advocates gain a variety of skills than enable them to assist workers to identify the issues impacting them, and the appropriate resources available for them in the community. Labour Community Advocates also support their unions by identifying common issues where the union can play a positive role, through collective bargaining or social action.

For more information  READ HERE

When the Paycheque Stops But the Bills Don’t

For working families impacted by lay-offs, strike, lock-out, closures and economic crisis. Losing your paycheque is traumatic, even if it’s temporary or our earnings only make up part of the family income. This training assists workers in taking control of their situation by knowing what to do and where to turn.

For more information  READ HERE

Tampon Tuesday

- Frances Hallworth, Executive Director (left) with Caroline Sherk, Campaign Chair (right) at Tampon Tuesday, 2019

Periods are a fact of life. For women living in poverty, there is an added challenge of acquiring monthly menstrual hygiene products. For women who are experiencing homelessness, it is an even bigger challenge. Tampon Tuesday is an event which occurs across Canada organized by over 30 Labour Programs in partnership with Bell Media. It is an opportunity to bring together people in our community to gather, socialize and support an effort to provide menstrual hygiene products to women in need. Admission is one box of menstrual hygiene product.

In 2019, Niagara communities collected and donated over 4,500 boxes of menstrual hygiene products!


Labour organizations working with United Way in Niagara:

  • Amalgamated Transit Union Locals 846 & 1602
  • Brock University Faculty Association
  • Canadian Merchant Services Guild
  • Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union (COPE) Local 343
  • Canadian Union Postal Workers Local 614
  • Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Locals 133,150, 151, 155, 157, 714, 1019, 1115, 1263, 1287, 1295, 1757, 2220, 2276, 2328, 4156, 4207
  • International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 261
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) 636
  • International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 793
  • Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario – Niagara TBU & OTBU
  • Fédération des Enseignantes-Enseignants des Écoles Secondaires de L`Ontario (FEESO) Unité 64
  • Labourers’ International Union of North America Local 837
  • Niagara Regional Labour Council
  • Niagara Regional Police Association
  • Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association – Elementary & Secondary
  • Ontario Nurses Association Local 9
  • Ontario Public Service Employees Union Locals 211, 212, 215, 217, 242, 243, 252, 262, 270, 274, 286, 294
  • Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation District 22 TBU & OTBU, District 35
  • Public Service Alliance of Canada 00016
  • Public Service Alliance of Canada - Customs & Immigration Union (PSAC – CIU)
  • Power Workers Union
  • Seafarers’ International Union of Canada
  • Service Employees International Union Local 1 & Healthcare
  • International Association of Firefighters Association I.A.F.F Local 485
  • International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) Local 1120
  • International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 793
  • Teamsters Canada Local 879, 1979
  • UNIFOR Locals 34, 43, 84, 87-M, 101, 112, 210, 975, 199, 1101, 4212, 4211
  • UNIFOR Regional Office
  • United Association of Journeymen & Apprentices Plumbing & Pipe Fitting (UA) Local 67
  • United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) 175 & 633
  • United Steelworkers Locals 4151, 4857, 4957, 6399, 7484, 8777,14241
  • Workers United Local 2347

Workplace Partners

20/20 Insurance Brokers Ltd., Accenture, AECOM, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Air Canada, Airbus Helicopters Canada Limited, Algoma Central Corporation, Allstate, Andrew Peller Limited, Antipastos di Roma, Apotex, Armernian Community Centre, Autism Society Ontario-Niagara Region Chapter, Aviva Canada Inc., Bank of Montreal Employee Charitable Foundation, Beatties Basics Office Products, Beer Canada, Bell Canada, Bell Media, Bell Technical Solutions, Bethlehem Housing and Support Services, "Big Brothers Big Sisters of Grimsby, Lincoln, West Lincoln", Big Brothers Big Sisters St. Catharines-Thorold & District, Big Marco's Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria, BMO Financial Group, BMO Nesbitt Burns, BMW Canada, Bowring, Brian Cullen Motors Ltd., Brock Office Automation, Brock University, Brock University Students' Union, Bujold Colburn, Burnstein Bricks, Business Development Bank of Canada, Canada Post Corporation, Canada Revenue Agency, Canadian Marine Pilots Association, Canadian Mental Health Association- Niagara Branch, Canadian Red Cross - Niagara, Canadian Tire, Charlesway Corporation Limited, Chown Cairns LLP, CIBC, City of St. Catharines, City of Thorold, CNIB, Cogeco Business Solutions, Community Care Access Centre Niagara, Community Care of St. Catharines & Thorold, Community Care of West Niagara, "Community Living Grimsby, Lincoln and West Lincoln", Community Living St. Catharines, Cooper Wealth Management, Corporation of Professional Great Lakes Pilots, Costco Wholesale Canada Ltd., Court Holdings Limited, Coventry Transportation, Crawford Smith & Swallow, Credit Bureau Services Canada, Credit Counselling of Regional Niagara, Critelli's Fine Furniture, Crossingham Brady, "CSL Group, Canada Steamship Lines", Dairy Queen Ð Merritt Street, DanNel Transportation, Deloitte, Denis Cahill Photography, Dilts Piston Hydraulics Inc., Distress Centre Niagara, District School Board of Niagara, "Dunn Paper, Inc.", Durward Jones Barkwell & Company LLP, Ed Learn Ford Lincoln, "Elkin Injury Law, Barristers, Professional Corporation", Employment Help Centre, Emterra, Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc., Fairview Animal Clinic, Falls Management Corporation, Family & Children's Services Niagara, Farm Credit Canada, FBT Inc., FirstOntario Credit Union Ltd., FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, FORT (Foundation of Resources for Teens), Form & Affect, Future Shop, Gary Waters, General Motors Canada, General Motors St. Catharines Powertrain, George Darte Funeral Chapel Inc., Georgia-Pacific Canada Inc., Grant Thornton LLP, Grape Growers of Ontario, "Graves, Richard Harris", Great Lakes Pilotage Authority, Great West/London Life Insurance Co., Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce, Greaves Jams & Marmalades Ltd., Gryphon International Engineering Sevices Inc., Hamilton Ti-Cats, Heco Limited, "Heelis, Little & Almas LLP Barristers and Solicitors", Henley Honda, HM Cash Inc., Holiday Inn & Suites Parkway Conference Centre, Horizon Utilities Corporation, Horton CBI Limited, Hospice Niagara, Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre, HSBC, Hub International Ontario Limited, Huntington Animal Hospital, INCommunities, Jackson Triggs Niagara Estate Winery, John Deere Canada ULC, Johnbear Buick GMC, Johnny Rocco's Italian Grill, KPMG LLP, Kully's Original Sports Bar, "Lancaster, Brooks & Welch LLP", Landon Morgan, Latcham Marine Services / P.M.L. Foods, LCBO, Learning Disabilities Association of Niagara Region, Lower Lakes Towing, Mainstream: An Unsheltered Workshop, Manulife Financial, Maple Manufacturing Inc., McAsphalt Marine Transportation Limited, McMahon Chapman, McNally House Hospice, Mercedes Benz Canada Inc., Meridian Credit Union, Merkel Enterprises, Meyers Fruit Farms Inc., Ministry of Community and Social Services (ODSP Office), Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Government Services, Ministry of Government Services (Land Registry), Ministry of Labour, Ministry of the Attorney General, Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities, Molson Coors, Montebello Property Inc., Moutainview Homes, MS Society of Canada - Niagara Peninsula Chapter of Hope, Music Canada, MusiCounts, National Bank of Canada Ð Milan Plentai, Newman Bros. Limited, Niagara Centre for Independent Living, Niagara College Knights - Ice Hockey, Niagara Global Developments, Niagara Health System-St. Cath, Niagara IceDogs, Niagara Industrial Supplies, Niagara Investment Castings, Niagara Peninsula Children's Centre, Niagara Peninsula Children's Centre School, Niagara Piston Inc., Niagara Region, Niagara Region Sexual Assault Centre (CARSA Inc.), Niagara Regional Learning Centre, Niagara Regional Police Service, Niagara Region, Niagara Resource Service For Youth (The RAFT), Niagara Tents & Events, Niagara Trailers, Nixon Law Professional Corporation, Norgen Biotek Corporation, O'Hara Trucking & Excavating, Ontario Ministry of Transportation, Outlet Collection at Niagara, Parkland Industries Limited (Bluewave Energy), Parmalat Canada - Niagara Division, Partridge Iggulden LLP Chartered Accountants, Partridge Wealth Management, PCL Constructors Canada Inc., PEC Roof Maintenance, PenFinancial Credit Union, Peninsula Lakes Golf Club, Peninsula Press Ltd., Performance Auto Group, Performance Lexus, Pharmasave Leadership Challenge, Pharmasave Simpson's Pharmacy, R.K. Shaver Chartered Accountant, Rachel Delaney State Farm Insurance Ltd., Rankin Construction Inc., RBC, RBC Dominion Securities, Resolute Forest Products Inc., Richard Williamson C.A., Ridley College, Rinaldi Homes, Roberto's Pizza Passion, Rogers Cable Communications, Salit Steel, Sam Adelstein & Co. Limited, Scotiabank, Securitas, Service Canada, Service Employees International Union, Shabri Property Management, Shark Marine Technologies Inc., Shaw Communications Inc., Sheehan & Rosie Ltd., SimErgy Health, Sizzling Solutions Inc., Skyway Lawn Equipment Ltd., Southcott Davoli Professional Corporation, Spectra Audio-Visual, Spirits Canada, St. Catharines Passport Office, St. Catharines Public Library, St. Catharines Standard, St. Catharines Transit Commission, St. Catharines Volkswagen Ltd., Starbucks Coffee, Start Me Up Niagara, State Farm Insurance Companies, Sterling Fuels (Hamilton) Limited, Stonehouse Group Inc., Sullivan Mahoney LLP, Sun Life Financial, Tallman Funeral Homes Ltd., TD Canada Trust, TD Wealth, Telus Communications Corp., The Exchange Brewery, The Garrison House, The Niagara Regional Chair's Charity Golf Tournament, The Polish Legion, The Printing House, The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, The Works, THK Rhythm Automotive Canada, Toromont - Cat, Town Of Lincoln, Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Transport Canada, Transport Canada Marine Security, "TSYS Canada, Inc.", TVCogeco, UNIFOR, UNIFOR Regional Office, United Parcel Service, United Way of St. Catharines & District, Vaxxine Computer Systems Inc., Verge Insurance Group, Victim Services Niagara, Vine and Partners LLP, Vineland Manufacturing Ltd., Vintage Hotels, Walker Industries Holdings Limited, West Niagara Palliative Care Services (Rose Cottage), West Niagara Second Stage Housing & Counselling, Westbrook Floral Ltd., White Oaks Conference Resort & Spa, Workplace Safety & Insurance Board, Wormald Masse Keen Lopinski LLP, YMCA of Niagara, YWCA Niagara Region

Contact Us

United Way is about helping people, linking resources to needs, improving the quality of life, and building stronger communities. Be part of your community, be part of United Way.

St. Catharines Location 63 Church Street, Suite LC1
St. Catharines, ON L2R 3C4
Telephone: 905.688.5050
Fax: 905.688.2997
Email: info@unitedwayniagara.org
Charitable Registration #: BN13053 2443 RR0001

Niagara Falls Location 7150 Montrose Road, Unit 5
Niagara Falls, ON L2H 3N3
Telephone: 905.354.9342

Welland Location 800 Niagara Street, 2nd Floor
Welland, ON L3C 5Z4
Telephone: 905.735.0490