United Way Ottawa


This profile originally appeared in the 2018-19 Giving Guide. Read the full magazine here.

Year after year, day in and day out, Ottawa depends on United Way to improve lives, break down barriers and create opportunities for people across our city. This change starts when you show your local love and take action to lift up our most vulnerable people and communities, resulting in prosperity for all of us.

100% local is not just our slogan – it’s our guarantee that we invest every dollar right here in Ottawa where it is needed most and will have the greatest impact. We focus on achieving long-term solutions while ensuring local services and initiatives are deployed effectively to meet immediate and ongoing needs. 

Together, we tackle tough problems. By supporting us, you can:

  •  Make sure every kid has the support they need to achieve success.
  •  End youth homelessness.
  •  Ensure no senior is lonely and can maintain their independence.
  •  Provide newcomers and people with disabilities with opportunities to find employment.
  •  Ensure everyone facing a mental health, addictions or personal crisis gets the help they need, when they need it.

At a glance

Year founded: 1938

Geographic region of focus: 100% local. All of your donation stays in Ottawa.

Total revenue for last fiscal year: $25,436,470 

Top funding sources: 

  • Individual donations: 84%
  • Corporate donations: 9%
  • Government funding: 2%
  • Other charities: 1%
  • Other: 4%

New programs and funding priorities:

  • AfterTheStorm.ca post-tornado recovery efforts
  • Project Step - youth addiction support
  • Vulnerable seniors

How you can help 

By joining forces with United Way Ottawa, you can make a real, measureable impact on the lives of those who need it most.

Our partners love Ottawa – and they support their communities in creative ways, all while meeting their business objectives.

Whether you want to improve employee engagement, demonstrate accountability to customers, increase your profile with stakeholders or simply make your neighbourhood a better place for all – United Way is here to help.

Corporate social responsibility

United Way is the local leader in helping organizations achieve their corporate social responsibility objectives. Our team will work closely with you and your colleagues to create customized community investment, employee giving, volunteering and employee engagement initiatives that help your business grow and make our city a better place for everyone.

Diversity and inclusion

With workshops, training, networking and events, United Way Ottawa's Hire Immigrants Ottawa (HIO) and Employment Accessibility Resource Network (EARN) initiatives can increase your organization's capacity to attract, hire and retain skilled immigrants and people with disabilities in your workplace. 


Throughout the year, volunteers of all backgrounds and ages provide their time in a variety of ways to help United Way Ottawa achieve its mission. We welcome volunteers for sports tournaments, parade marching and other community events. Additionally, our Speakers' Bureau invites those impacted by United Way Ottawa to share their story for others. 

Businesses can participate in Community Action Days — our signature volunteer events. At these events, teams of volunteers work with United Way Ottawa and community partners to create tangible improvements in underserved neighbourhoods where they are needed most.

Every spring, United Way Ottawa celebrates change-makers in our city at the Community Builder of the Year Awards Gala. Pictured: Ottawa Coalition of Community Houses, 2018 Community Builder of the Year Award winner.

Events and fundraising

GenNext's Schmoozefest

Schmoozefest is Ottawa’s social event of the year. This annual October event brings together the next generation of philanthropists and change makers in support of GenNext Giving Circles that drive local change for youth mental health, LGBTQ+ and social enterprise initiatives.


Each spring, United Way Ottawa’s annual Community Builder of the Year Awards Gala celebrates the people and organizations that work tirelessly, passionately and collectively to help make change happen in our community.

Board members and executives

President and CEO Michael Allen (left), and Chair of the board Karen Williams

Doreen Hume

Ian Sherman

George Brown

Denis Vaillancourt

Abdulkadir Abdi

Frank Bilodeau

Charles Bordeleau

Simon Brascoupé

Bryce Conrad

Laurent Ducom

Richard Gibbons

Kim Haliburton

Altaf Jadavji

Pamela Kelly

Kathleen Kemp

Helen McIntosh

Sean McKenney

Debbie Miller

Pierre Pagé

Shelley Rolland-Poruks

Dr. Paul Roumeliotis

Laurie Sanderson

Mark Taylor

Douglas Tennant

Danya Vered

Senator Vernon White

Marc Pharand

Get in touch

363 Coventry Rd.
Ottawa, Ont.
K1K 2C5

(613) 228-6700

Twitter: @UnitedWayOttawa
Facebook: United Way Ottawa​​​​​