Successful Kids. Three girls smile while hugging one another

United Way’s Successful Kids investments will be funded through two streams: stabilization funding and acceleration funding. The focus of both streams is issue or cause focused, so that root problems are being addressed for long-term sustainable change. All investments must align with United Way outcomes and demonstrate impact.

Stabilization funding will primarily focus on programs. This ensures stabilized funding is made available to the sector, particularly during times of economic turbulence. In 2018, the majority of stabilization funding ($5M) will be invested in the Successful Kids Programs through a Call for Applications. 

As Signature Initiatives evolve and prove their effectiveness (moving from being new products to stable investments), they will be also be funded by the stabilization stream. Starting in 2018, the stabilization fund will support our Successful Kids Signature Initiative, All In for Youth ($1.2M).

Acceleration funding will focus on new initiatives. Dollars allocated to this funding stream are dependent on new initiatives developed in response to priority community needs and interest generated from donors to support it. Providing a new stream of dollars for issue-based strategies resulting from our Social Impact Lab, acceleration funding enables the social sector to work together on complex social issues with big impact in a timely way at scale.

The Social Impact Lab is a physical space where new products and initiatives can be researched and tested as driven by community priority needs. The experimental environment is powered by co-design thinking and rapid prototyping. It will both engage many through the use of a digital engagement platform and serve as a gathering place for agency partners, government, donors, corporate member volunteers, subject matter experts, and others, to work toward solutions in response to complex social issues.

New initiatives in development at the Lab include: 1. child and youth mental health, 2. early childhood supports, and 3. transitions to the workforce (AIFY).

The Indigenous Youth Hub is another new initiative now open to partnership. Over the next three years, a total of $767,000 will support the Indigenous Youth Hub through the acceleration funding stream. In 2018, the first of these monies will be disbursed through an Expression of Interest. 

Opportunities will be available for agencies to partner with United Way on the other three new initiatives in development and more information will be shared as this work evolves.


Successful Kids. Three girls smile while hugging one another

Thank you for your submission. This call for applications is now closed.

United Way remains committed to investing in our priority area of Successful Kids
because kids are the future of our city and deserve a great start in life.

The Call for Applications reflected United Way’s Board-approved 2018 Kids Investment Strategy. Our approach to Successful Kids investments positions us to achieve lasting social change and advances United Way’s three foundational goals in our new Strategic Plan: deepen community impact, inspire relationship and generate resources, and demonstrate excellence as a high-performing organization.

What you need to know

  1. The Call for Applications was focused on supporting two priority areas:
    • Readiness for Success – supporting the achievement of developmental milestones in children and youth, and
    • Addressing intergenerational trauma experienced by Indigenous children, youth, and their families
  2. The Call for Applications process was only open to currently funded United Way agencies, service providers, collaborations, and community groups that meet eligibility requirements (see guidebook under Resource Documents for criteria)
  3. Three-year funding contracts will take effect July 1, 2018


  • March 26 – Calls for Application process opens
  • April 5 and 9 – Information sessions (please register below)
  • May 11 by 4:00 p.m. – Applications due. No exceptions.
  • June 11 – Announcement of successful applicants
  • July 1 – Funding agreement start date

Resource documents

  • Successful Kids Call for Applications – Guidebook
  • Successful Kids – FAQs

Key contact

If you have any questions about this project or the application process, please contact:

Diane Altwasser
Manager, Partnerships, Community Impact
403-410-1924 |


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


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.


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.