We are 100%


Everyone in every community has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Our vision will be achieved by demonstrating trust, integrity, respect, inclusivity and transparency.  These core values are foundational to our continuing success.



Empower everyone to improve lives and build strong communities.

Our mission is affirmed by a powerful desire to live out our mission each and every day. 

Become a Monthly Donor

Monthly giving is a great way to ensure you are supporting your community when it is needed most.

Demonstrate Trust, Integrity, Respect, Inclusivity and transparency

endorse innovation, partnerships and collective action

Provide non-partisan leadership

Energize And Inspire Volunteerism

embrace diversity

Your Dream. Our Mission.

We Believe In Hard Work And Dedication

We believe that hard work and dedication to our mission, vision, values and guiding principles are the keys to our success.  Having said that, local love of the Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo region is the key to creating the kinds of communities that we all want to live in.

We’ve been improving lives since 1978 and will continue do so for many years to come.  With your support, we change lives each and every day.

Read our Report to Community. Together we can accomplish anything.  We are local love in action.

Did you know that we received a 4-star rating as ranked in Canada by Charity Intelligence?

Work for United Way

Want a job that changes people’s lives? Do you share our commitment to making Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo a community that is great for everyone?

Diversity and Inclusion
United Way Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo strives to be a model of diversity and inclusion. It is our goal to attract and develop a diverse and inclusive Board of Directors, staff and volunteers who represent the many faces, cultures and walks of life in our community. We believe that bringing diverse individuals together and valuing their unique attributes, characteristics and perspectives allows us to collectively and more effectively address the issues that face our communities.

Frequently Asked Questions

About United Way:

Unfortunately, there are many individuals in our communities who need help. Consider an abused woman or child, an elderly person, or a person with a disability or employment barrier. For many of these individuals a United Way Supported Partner provides the assistance they need to maintain their well-being and dignity.

Our vision is a community where every one has the opportunity to reach their full potential. An altruistic and philanthropic attitude helps achieve that vision. Helping others is at the heart of the United Way. Many individuals face challenges and barriers beyond their control. United Way asks those who are able to donate and help ensure programs are available for those that need them.

Moreover, economic stability and growth are closely linked to community well-being. Investing in United Way helps build the social structure for a healthy community. Everyone benefits when people have the support they need.

If you do not receive support from a United Way FMWB Supported Partner, it is likely that you know someone — a family member, friend, neighbour, or co-worker — who does, or perhaps you have used services in the past. Many experience different seasons of life; investing in United Way ensures social services will be available for everyone when they need them.

United Way Centraide is a federated network of local United Way offices, each registered as its own non-profit organization and governed by an independent volunteer-led local Board of Directors. Each United Way works locally to raise funds and invest in improving lives in its community. Some nationwide accounts are centrally coordinated by larger United Way offices to ensure national corporate expectations are met.

United Way Centraide Canada is the national office and has a distinct role in providing leadership, guidance and support to local United Ways across the country. Together, local United Ways and United Way Centraide Canada form the United Way Movement.

A network of nearly 1,800 community-based United Ways in 45 countries and territories with a brand value estimated at $14.3 billion. Compensation for all United Way employees is set by a local board of trustees.

Paid employees and volunteer board members have a fiduciary and moral responsibility to businesses and individuals in the community who donate to a local United Way Centraide. Membership in United Way Centraide Canada is governed by a membership agreement which gives individual United Way Centraides the right to use the United Way Centraide name and logo and requires that they abide by certain standards of excellence related to human resources, financial resources, financial support, communications and management.

Each United Way Centraide pays membership dues determined by a formula based on the amount raised by each United Way Centraide in its annual campaign. The formula is agreed upon annually by all United Way Centraides during the Annual General Meeting. Each member United Way Centraide has one vote when items are brought forward for ratification at the Annual General Meeting. The current rate is less than 1% and the combined dollars provide affordable professional development, benchmarking and standard setting, ensuring our 100% local efforts are the best they can be.

The United Way logo is one of the most internationally recognized brands around the world. It is called the helping hand symbol and is used by United Ways around the world.


“The rainbow overhead, emerging from the hand to shelter the figure, represents hope for a better tomorrow.”




“The center image, based on the universal symbol of humanity, is cradled by the helping hand. It indicated that United Way cares about people, everywhere.”



“The bottom is a helping hand symbolizing United Way’s support of services and programs that in turn support the people in local communities. The United Way helping hand symbol – a symbol of hope, of service and of help to people in our communities.”

About Financial Accountability, Fundraising and Administration Expenses:

About 12%. That means that 88% of funds raised are invested in supported partners and other community based work we do.
Note: Cost of fundraising can fluctuate annually by a small margin due to variance in expenses and donations. United Way is proud of its efforts to keep costs low through sponsorship and volunteers. United Way’s fundraising costs are consistently and substantially below the national average.

As a registered Canadian charity, United Way is obliged to file a T3010 report with the CRA annually, detailing all of its fundraising, administration, executive compensation and other costs. The latest CRA T3010 data can be found on the CRA website. This form includes salaries for several community programs funded through United Way FMWB. Every dollar donated and every dollar spent is accounted for in our independently audited financial statements and our annual report posted above.

Management, staff and volunteer vigilance to maximize community impact with donated dollars is key to United Way FMWB’s transparency and financial accountability. Our volunteer Board of Directors conducts regular, in-depth reviews of United Way’s financial and community investment performance. United Way Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo, as a part of United Way Canada-Centraide, follows internal Transparency, Accountability and Financial Reporting (TAFR) guidelines which are intended to be defensible, acceptable, consistent, transparent and simple in providing standardized reporting by United Ways across Canada.  Our accounting firm also ensures that our financial statements are accurate and we operate in a fiscally responsible manner.  Finally, United Way FMWB’s annual T3010 filing with the Canada Revenue Agency, including all required financial and other disclosures, can be found directly on the CRA website.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requires charities to provide the salary ranges of their highest-paid employees. The salary ranges, without the names and actual salaries, are published on the CRA website:

  • Click on “Charities and Giving” in the left sidebar
  • Click on “List of Charities and Other Qualified Donees”
  • Click on “Charities”
  • Type United Way in the Charity Name field and click “Search”
  • Click on the name of any United Way of your choice

Under “Compensation” you will see a breakdown of the compensation for all positions and this, along with an internal and external review is typically how all employee salary ranges are determined.

About Our Annual Campaign:

Without the campaign, United Way FMWB’s Supported Partners would have to raise funds on their own, taking them away from the frontline work where they are needed most. United Way offers a proven, effective and economical method of raising funds. One donation can help multiple partners provide services to those who need it most. The United Way FMWB campaign is the best way to leverage dollars so they create the maximum amount of impact in the community.

Donor dollars are invested 100% in the Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo geographic region to fund local community programs. The only exception is if a donor indicates they prefer their gift go to another United Way — in which case the dollars are designated out. Unless you designate otherwise, your donation will be 100% used in the community you live or work in.

With United Way, donations and support go further than any other charitable investment an individual community member can make.

  • United Way is a proven, effective and economical method of raising funds. 
  • An annual campaign benefiting 27 Supported Partners enables a great amount of efficiency.
  • United Way has the capacity to process a large volume of donations using a sophisticated database and maintains donor privacy by using an independent and secure server. United Way completes the administration of thousands of donations, saving time and money for our supported partners.
  • United Way staff are trained and have experience in resource development. We also have the advantage of decades of donor relationship building. United Way’s expertise in fundraising enables front-line workers at our supported partner agencies to spend more time helping clients.
  • Agencies benefit from the increased awareness a relationship with United Way brings. United Way has the capacity to communicate on a greater scale with national businesses, as well as collaborating with approximately 40 workplaces in Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo. United Way speaks on behalf of its partners in multiple ways including Facebook, our website, Twitter, e-newsletters, media releases, speaking engagements and printed material. Search engine optimization is also increased with hyperlinked websites, growing our partners’ digital footprint.
  • United Way invests and enables local social research that sheds light on root causes and unique local issues and challenges. Often United Way charter members collect and publish data our Supported Partners can use to advocate for their causes and provide a case for support to other funding sources. An increased understanding of local issues can facilitate a more holistic and comprehensive approach to solving complex societal issues and help in the decision making process. That research then works to inform responsible and effective planning.
  • United Way enables collective efforts, the sharing of knowledge and resources.
  • United Way has a formal allocation process that prioritizes applications and awards funding based on demonstrated needs. Not all service providers have the same public awareness and brand power to bring in necessary dollars to serve clients. A federated funding model allows the opportunity for all agencies, no matter their size, popularity, or awareness to acquire funds they need in a crowded non-profit space.
  • Our donors can be rest assured their money is used with integrity, as United Way requires agencies to submit outcome data and thereby increasing accountability.
  • Through active research and planning, United Way monitors evolving social issues and recognizes that new programs are often part of the solution. 

No. While we have become experts at the activity of fundraising, United Way is not a third-party fundraiser and does not take a percentage of donations as profit.

United Way FMWB relies on the generous contributions of community members and engages many volunteers every year to keep our costs as low as possible. Some of these contributions come in the form of in-kind donations, such as equipment donated to aid in office operations, resources for events, etc. United Way Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo also receives services rendered on a pro-bono basis.

If you contributed via payroll deduction though your workplace, or if you contributed through a pension plan, your contribution should be reflected on your T4 and a tax receipt is not required.

If you donated by cash, credit card or cheque your contribution will be receipted by United Way FMWB approximately 4-6 weeks after donating.

Special Event contributions such as draw tickets, 50/50 and lottery tickets, auction and garage sale purchases, coin drives and food purchases are not eligible for a tax receipt. A receipt cannot be issued when you receive something of value in return for your contribution (or the chance to receive something of value in return).

United Way FMWB is committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of your personal information. The information you provide us will be used to assist in the proper administration and acknowledgement of your gift, to issue tax receipts and to fulfill your information requests. We do not sell donor information, nor do we share donor information with other agencies, unless donors ask us to do so. We protect information through secure computer systems, use of an independent server and proper document handling.

No one should feel pressured to give to United Way FMWB. Philanthropy is principally the gentle art of teaching others about the joy of giving and it should always be a personal choice that should be made voluntarily and with the provision that you, the donor, have adequate information to make an informed decision. 

About Community Investment and our Social Impact:

Local agencies are given the opportunity to submit applications requesting funding from United Way FMWB. These requests are reviewed in-depth by a committee of community volunteers, referred to as the Community Investment  Committee, who determine whether the agency’s application meets the United Way FMWB mission, eligibility criteria, and focus areas. The committee attempts to evaluate and prioritize applications in order to serve the community’s needs. After review of agency funding application(s), financial information and sometimes meetings with representatives from the agency, the CI committee develops recommendations that are forwarded to the Board of Directors for consideration. Funds are then allocated to qualifying agencies.

Funds are allocated to approximately 27 Supported Partner agencies serving Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo. A list of Supported Partners is also available on our website. You are also investing in our work to advocate for change throughout the region, provide local research and social planning and incubate new programs when needed.

The United Way does not fund medical procedures. We recognize the public has potentially divisive opinions and in an effort to maintain United Way Centraide Canada’s original intent to remain non-partisan and unbiased, we do not fund any services supporting either side of controversial issues. United Way FMWB does fund some health-related programs not funded by provincial or other sources.

No. While we may support some programs and agencies with religious or political affiliations, our funding goes only to programs that are open, unbiased and accessible to ALL members of the community.

About Getting Involved:

You will need to submit an application.  To find out more about funding available from United Way FMWB, contact our office directly.

There are a number of ways your organization can get involved. United Way FMWB offers both short-term and long-term volunteer opportunities, from getting involved in a workplace campaign, to volunteering on a board/committee, to hosting a special event. There are variety of ways to get involved outlined on our ‘Get Involved’ page on our website.  But the best way to find out options for your organization specifically is to contact our office directly and we’ll review your options together.  We will work to build a campaign that serves your organization’s community investment objectives.

Contact 211 Alberta – a three-digit telephone number that connects you to a full range of non-emergency social, health and government services in your community. To access 211, simply dial the digits “2-1-1” or visit 211 Alberta.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with United Way FMWB. Volunteers are critical to our operation and we wouldn’t be able to inspire change without you.

To find the volunteer opportunity that is right for you, please contact our office directly.

Thank you for your interest in United Way FMWB. To learn more about a career with United Way FMWB, please visit our Careers page for current employment opportunities.  We are happy to discuss any questions further upon request. A United Way representative can be contacted directly during regular business hours.

News & Events

Press Releases
Meaghan Szpak

COVID-19 Update: March 26, 2020

The safety and well-being of our partner organizations, their patrons, and our community are our priority during these challenging times.  Our team continues to work

Read More »

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