Accountability and Transparency
The Board of Directors for United Way Halifax are responsible for ensuring the organization meets all of the accountability requirements established by Canada Revenue Agency. Budgets submitted by staff are monitored by the Audit Committee of the Board to carefully restrict growth of expenses and to ensure maximum efficiency.
Every charitable organization has fundraising expenses. Canada Revenue Agency requires that a registered charity spend its Disbursement Quota, (at least 80% of the money that qualifies for a tax receipt) on charitable activities. The remainder is available for management, administration, and other operating expenses. The average fundraising cost for charitable organizations across Canada was reported as 26%. (Source: Imagine Canada 1996 survey of 1,512 charities.) United Way's fundraising costs are less than 16.1%.
When donors contribute to United Way, they can give to United Way's Community Fund or to designate their donation to a specific Canadian charity. In 2012, approximately 56.9% of the money raised has been distributed to United Way funded agencies and initiatives. Twenty-seven percent has been distributed to other charities in HRM and across Canada in accordance with the wishes of donors designating their contribution.
United Way makes every effort to keep expenses as low as possible thanks to loaned staff from committed local organizations during the campaign, thousands of volunteers working within workplaces to conduct the annual campaign, through sponsored events and materials, and gifts in kind (donated advertising space in newspapers, on radio and television).
United Way Halifax also meets with United Way's in Canada that are similar in size to benchmark and share best practices with the goal of ensuring expenses continue to be maintained.
Complete financial statements provided by Grant Thornton LLP can be found here.