For the last 21 years, the Association for Fundraising Professionals, Calgary and Area Chapter has presented Philanthropy Awareness Week. As the flagship event of the week, The Generosity of Spirit™ Awards provide an opportunity to celebrate philanthropic leaders who make a difference in our community. The awards recognize the many individuals, families, youth, groups, and businesses who demonstrate the spirit of philanthropy through outstanding contributions of time, talent, leadership, and financial support.

Congratulations to Shell Canada Limited and Kathleen MacPherson of United Way for their awards from the Association of Fundraising Professionals.


Shell Canada

With more than 30 years of unwavering commitment to social change in Calgary, it comes as no surprise that Shell Canada Limited was awarded the 2017 Generosity of Spirit Award for Corporate Philanthropy. Nominated by the company’s long-standing community partners, United Way of Calgary and Area and the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre, the award is a reminder of Shell’s social investment in our communities.

Shell and its employees, retirees, and contractors have raised over $85 million for Calgary. Their generous contributions play a crucial role in helping United Way build a great city for all. In 2016 alone, Shell’s support ensured 2,684 Calgarians received basic needs support and 5,680 kids increased their sense of belonging, safety, and identity.

Shell reinforces their impactful support of United Way by encouraging employees to participate in their annual employee campaign, focusing on educational events, fun activities, and community volunteering. Shell Leaders have given their time and expertise to United Way’s annual campaign as Co-Chairs, Cabinet members, and members of our Gen Next and Women’s Leadership Strategies. Since 1998, Shell has seconded their staff to United Way’s sponsored employee program to support our annual campaign.

Over the last 30 years, 5,000 Shell employees have volunteered 7,000 hours of their time to the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre alone. But their generosity doesn’t stop there! They support numerous other organizations, including Brown Bagging for Kids, CNIB, Children’s Cottage, and YWCA, amongst others.

The organization has also shown true leadership in the community in response to recent natural disasters. In 2013, the company hosted a community event in High River for over 700 residents who had been displaced. Eighty employees welcomed families and community members with hampers, blankets, and gas cards. They also provided 1,300 hampers to First Nations communities.

In 2016, Shell supported people in Fort McMurray impacted by wild fires by opening their facilities to house, shelter and evacuate them.  Over the course of 81 flights, 8,000 people were evacuated safely and without incident, including children and pets of all kinds. In addition, Shell provided an opportunity for employees to give to the Canadian Red Cross and matched individual contributions. Employee gifts and Shell’s contribution made possible a $1 million donation to the Canadian Red Cross to support the Alberta appeal. In 2017, Shell staff and contractors supported people impacted by the Kenow wild fires and provided muscle power and materials to help get people back on their feet. Shell worked with local agencies and committed $50,000 to support recovery efforts.

Thank you Shell for all that you do for Calgary and area! Our city and communities are richer because you are in it.


Kathleen MacPherson

Winner of the 2017 Outstanding Fundraising Professional award, Kathleen MacPherson gets things done! In her current role as VP of Campaign and Resource Development at United Way of Calgary and Area, Kathleen is an inspirational leader and mentor. She models the successful building and retention of relationships with staff, senior volunteers, community members, and donors.

Kathleen has elevated the fundraising profession in Calgary. Her past involvement with the Association of Fundraising Professionals as a Board Member and Co-Chair for National Philanthropy Day encouraged other professionals in the city to dedicate their time to raising awareness about the importance of giving. Kathleen has shared the fundraising profession and code of ethics in her local, provincial, national, and international communities.

Kathleen’s fundraising career began after earning her bachelor’s degree in communications and completing the Fundraising Management Program at Mount Royal. In 2003, she began her journey with United Way and has dedicated the past 14 years to helping build Calgary into a great city for all. In her tenure as a fundraising professional, Kathleen has been directly involved in raising over $708.8 million for the Calgary community.

Thank you, Kathleen. Calgary is a caring city because of people like you.



We are all Calgary.

Together, we are all stronger. Meet a few of the 178,771 people United Way helped and partnered with in 2016.

Pailine smiles and hugs her twin daughters


Pauline's twins had developmental delays in their social and motor skills. Now, they are thriving.

Read Pauline's story

Jill smiles in her Calgary office


When Jill's father was diagnosed with dementia, her family was devastated. But they knew there was help.

Read Jill's story

Alasdair looks up from coring apples at his job in a community kitchen


After losing his job, Alasdair couldn't afford a meal. Now, he knows just how life changing that can be.

Read Alasdair's story

Rama laughs as her baby giggles in her arms


Her family fled Syria fearing for their lives. Now, she has the support to adjust to life in Canada.

Read Rama's story

Randy sits on a medicine wheel carpet in a Calgary agency


Randy supports Calgary's Indigenous youth as they gain the skills and confidence they need to become leaders.

Read Randy's story

Travis sits on a bench in Prospect's offices, where he received career advice and support


Facing mental illness and job uncertainty, Travis received support to gain skills and confidence.

Read Travis's story

Kathryn hugs Teague and smiles

Kathryn & Teague

Teague struggled to keep up with kids his age. Today, his friendships have build his confidence.

Read their story

Jerilyn stands smiling in the Distress Centre Calgary office


Volunteering at a crisis line changed Jerilyn's life. Now, she helps bring hope to others.

Read Jerilyn's story


Shawn sits on a bench outside smiling


Shawn grew up in poverty. His family relied on the help of family friends and neighbours.

Read Shawn's story

Shauna smiles in front of a "Heart of Bowness" poster


For almost five years, Shauna has supported women like Samantha to connect with their community.

Read Shauna's story


Our Impact in the Community

United Way improves lives by investing in local programs and collaborations in the areas of poverty, kids, and communities. By working with diverse partners to bring people and organizations together, we're able to strengthen the network of services and continue making a critical difference in our city.


unique individuals were supported by United Way investments in 2016

500 people / day

accessed programs and initiatives throughout 2016



Home is written with light in front of a dark community arena

United Way tackles root causes of poverty, ensuring Calgarians have food, shelter, and can build stability to overcome poverty.

Learn more


A group of three girls smiles while hugging one another

Helping kids succeed is a cornerstone of United Way’s work. We ensure kids stay in school and can succeed in adulthood.

Learn more


A young woman holds bushels of fresh carrots while standing in a community garden

United Way supports inclusion, mental health, family violence prevention, and strong neighbourhoods.

Learn more


2017 sponsor recognition narrow

Thank you to our 2017 Sponsors!

We are grateful to the following organizations for their sponsorship support in 2017. As a result of their support, no donor dollars were used for recognition programs or events.




Spirits of Gold


sponsorlogo 2017 alberta government


Government of Alberta

Sponsored Employee Program




Sponsored Employee Program


sponsor logo 2017 altalink



Sponsored Employee Program


Arc Financial Corp: Energy Capital Partners


ARC Financial

Major Donor Program


sponsor atco



Sponsored Employee Program



BMO Capital Markets

Major Donor Program


sponsor bdplaw


Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP

Sponsored Employee Program

yyc logo 2017


Calgary Airport Authority

Plane Pull (Gift in Kind)


cpa logo 2017


Calgary Parking Authority

Campaign Parking (Gift in Kind)


cps logo 2017


Calgary Police Service

Plane Pull (Gift in Kind)


Government of Canada logo


Government of Canada

Sponsored Employee Program (3)

Canada Border Services

Health Canada

Public Services and Procurement Canada




Canadian Natural Resources Limited

Sponsored Employee Program




Sponsored Employee Program


sponsor cenovus


Cenovus Energy Inc.

Sponsored Employee Program


ddg logo spelled out jpg


Deluxe Design Group

Spirits of Gold (Gift in Kind)




Devon Canada Corporation

Spirits of Gold



ENMAX Corporation

Sponsored Employee Program




Sponsored Employee Program


grumans logo 2017


Grumans Catering and Delicatessen

Campaign Associate Sponsor Recognition Event (Gift in Kind)


hipimage logo 2017


Hip Image

Plane Pull (Gift in Kind)





Spirits of Gold

Sponsored Employee Program

Campaign Kickoff


JPMorgan Chase & Co.


JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Spirits of Gold


landmarkcinema logo 2017


Landmark Cinemas of Canada Ltd.

Plane Pull (Gift in Kind)


mawer logo 2017


Mawer Investment Management Ltd.

Estate Planning Seminars


sponsor logo metro


Metro Calgary

Campaign Kickoff

Plane Pull

Spirits of Gold



Mount Royal University

Sponsored Employee Program



Nexen Energy ULC (a CNOOC Limited Company)

Sponsored Employee Program


northcaribooair logo 2017


North Cariboo Air

Plane Pull (Gift in Kind)




Pembina Pipeline Corporation

Campaign Kickoff

Gen Next


sponsor rbc capital markets


RBC Capital Markets

Major Donor Program


royal bank canada



Spirits of Gold

Sponsored Employee Program





Sponsored Employee Program


SNC Lavalin


SNC Lavalin

Spirits of Gold


sponsor logo superpro


SuperPro Painting Systems of Calgary

Plane Pull

sponsor TD


TD Bank Group

Sponsored Employee Program



TransAlta Corporation

Sponsored Employee Program

sponsorlogo 2017 ups


UPS Canada

Plane Pull




Sponsored Employee Program



Gift In Kind Sponsors

A special thank you to the following organizations for their gift-in-kind support of United Way in 2017 (minimum $2,500).


Brookfield Office Properties

Fiasco Gelato

Vertigo Theatre

Chief Operating Officer

Beth Gignac, Chief Operating Officer at United WayBeth Gignac joined United Way of Calgary and Area in October 2016. With over 20 years of leadership experience, working across government organizations in both Alberta and Ontario, Beth is a high energy, collaborative leader with a passion for building strong, resilient communities.

Throughout her career, Beth has been recognized as an “intrapreneur” and a catalyst for action. Prior to joining United Way, Beth enjoyed a career in municipal government.

Beth’s passion for collaboration and strategic visioning make her an exceptional facilitator of change. Her mission-based and emotionally intelligent approach to leadership, as well as her entrepreneurial approach to strategic planning and service development make her a great asset to United Way.



Successful Kids: A group of young girls smile while hugging one another at summer camp


In 2015, United Way helped over 42,000 Calgary children and youth. Kids are the future of our city and helping them early in life ensures they are set up for future success.


Give today

1 in 4

kids entering kindergarten have an emotional, physical, social or communication challenge.


Calgary youth face challenges that impact their well-being, such as homelessness or mental health issues.


Calgary students do not graduate on time every year.


You can help Calgary kids succeed from infancy to adulthood.

Donate now




Home is written with light in front of a dark community arena

Overcoming poverty opens up opportunities and positively impacts quality of life.

Learn more


A group of three girls smiles while hugging one another

Successful kids are the future of our city.

Learn more


A young woman holds bushels of fresh carrots while standing in a community garden

Strong communities connect and strengthen all Calgarians.

Learn more


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