Three United Ways of Niagara Announce Amalgamation

Three United Ways of Niagara Announce Amalgamation

October 05, 2017

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.

Frequently Asked Questions About United Way Amalgamation

What is the reason for the change?

There are currently three United Way organizations servicing the Niagara Region. Our goal is to create a single strong United Way that will enhance local relevance throughout the entire Niagara Region through campaigns that focus on increased fundraising, an easier application process and unified organizational structure.

Does this change affect our funding? If so, how?

All funding commitments that have been made by any of the three individual United Way organizations prior to amalgamation will continue to be honoured by the new single United Way.

Our new United Way will make applications for funding easier and more efficient, and will provide a more centralized organization with greater resources to help guide charities through all aspects of the funding process.

How does this affect overall communications - i.e. - whom do I submit requests for funding to?

As we move toward amalgamation each of the three United Way organizations will continue managing their day-to-day operations, funding requests and allocations. All three boards will continue with their governance responsibilities.

As one single United Way we will be able to offer one application for funding which will make applying easier and more efficient, and will provide a more centralized organization with greater resources to help guide charities through all aspects of the funding process.

Does our contact person change?

As we move through the transition phase and work to outline the role of the new United Way, each individual organization will continue to operate as it is today. Each Executive Director will maintain their role and will continue to manage the day-to-day operations, funding requests and allocations. Each board will continue with their governance responsibilities.

Will there be any interruptions to the flow of business or services as a result of this?

No, there will not be any interruptions to the flow of business. As we move through the transition phase and work to outline the role of the new United Way, each individual organization will continue to operate as it is today. Each Executive Director will maintain their role and will continue to manage the day-to-day operations, funding requests and allocations. Each board will continue with their governance responsibilities.

We also expect there to be no interruptions to the regular flow of business and services once the transition is complete.