Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions? We have answers.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that we receive. If you still can’t find the answer that you’re looking for, contact us. We’d be happy to help.

  • I’m an individual who needs support now. Can United Way Halifax help me directly?

    We are unable to provide funding directly to individuals. United Ways nationwide are bound by law to only provide financial support to registered charities in good standing.

    However, you can call or text 211 for information on our affiliated agencies, which provide a wide variety of supports and services. 211 is a free helpline that can connect you to social services and community programs of all kinds, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in over 150 languages.

  • Where can I find my tax receipt?

    Payroll deductions

    If you donated via payroll deduction through your employer, your charitable donation amount will be shown in box 46 of your T4 slip. In these situations, the Canada Revenue Agency accepts your T4 slip as your official receipt for income tax purposes.

    Electronic platform donations

    If you donated via our online donation page, or a third-party platform like CanadaHelps, Benevity, or YourCause, you should have immediately received an email with your charitable tax receipt. If you haven’t received it, please check your junk or spam folders. We can reissue charitable tax receipts if you donated on our website, but for other platforms please contact them directly.

    All other donations

    This includes one-time cash gifts, cheques, credit-card donations paid in full by individuals or organizations, donations by post-dated cheques, and pre-authorized debit/monthly credit cards. When you donate $25 or more by one of these methods, your charitable tax receipt will be mailed or emailed no later than February 28 of the calendar year that follows the year of the donation. 

    All United Way Halifax donation receipting practices are in accordance with the Canadian Income Tax Act.

  • I noticed on CRA’s website that you have financial statements posted for the first three months of 2020. Can you tell me more about that?

    These financial statements reflect three months of the year because we’re in the process of changing our fiscal year. Going forward, our fiscal year will be from April 1st to March 31st. This will create more efficient alignment between our accounting practices and our fundraising and planning activities. These three-month statements do not fully reflect our activity this year, but you’ll be able to see the full financial picture more clearly in September 2021. We’ll publish audited financial statements that reflect the 15-month transition period at that time.

  • Why should I donate to United Way Halifax?

    United Way is an easy, meaningful and efficient choice if you want to improve the lives of people in your community. Our local knowledge means your donation will help create changes and provide supports that marginalized people in our community need the most. 

    When you donate to United Way, you provide belonging, safe shelter, nutritious meals, connection, and opportunities for marginalized people in your community to live a better life. Your donation will power a whole network of compassion and community supports.

  • What programs or charities does United Way Halifax fund?

    You can see a list of charities funded through our Community Fund here

    For a list of HRM charities supported through our COVID-19 response efforts (the Atlantic Compassion Fund), click here.

  • Isn’t it better to invest in one specific agency or program that is changing lives?

    When you choose United Way, your ability to create change goes beyond one issue. Just as financial advisors develop a portfolio of investments to maximize investor returns, we invest donor dollars across a network of programs and agencies. These work together to generate meaningful, measurable impact.

    United Way Halifax also brings lasting value to its agency partners. We provide multi-year funding, design long-term strategies for strengthening program delivery, and share research findings and advice with government and other decision-makers.

  • Given the uncertainty of the global pandemic, how can we trust our donation will be used effectively?

    Since the onset of COVID-19, we have seen remarkable creativity, innovation and nimbleness from the large network of community organizations we’ve connected with or funded. They have adapted their programming, are finding totally new ways to meet people's needs, are making their funding go as far as possible, and are demonstrating care and compassion for one another – like not asking for a single dollar more than they need, so there’s enough available for others.

  • How are funding decisions made at United Way Halifax?

    Our current multi-year funded programs under the United Way Community Fund are serving people in 12 urban, suburban, and rural neighbourhoods of HRM. The decision to fund these specific programs was made on the recommendation of an independent volunteer panel, reflecting the diversity of our community. The panel assessed every funding application we received in fall 2018, and used five criteria to develop recommendations. Those criteria included an emphasis on serving marginalized populations and supporting programs that fill gaps in the social safety net.

    Funding recommendations for our COVID-19 response, the Atlantic Compassion Fund, were developed by a team of our staff and were approved by our Board of Directors. To guide us in the process, we:

    • Prioritized the additional impacts of marginalization, for example, extra consideration for Black and Indigenous communities;
    • Did a gap analysis, and looked specifically at the poverty density statistics outlined in Building Poverty Solutions; and
    • Considered risk for program participants, and what the impact on lives would be if this funding (and the support it was for) was not available.

    For information on our funding opportunities for registered charities in HRM, please click here.

  • How much of my donation is going to administration?

    Based on our 2019 audited financial statements, 78 cents from every dollar donated is invested in community programs and 22 cents is allocated to the costs of operating our organization. This is below the 35% cost-revenue ratio encouraged by the Canada Revenue Agency and ensures our community impact, local expertise, donor experience, partnerships and financial management all continue at a high rate of excellence.  

    As a registered Canadian charity, United Way Halifax files a T3010 report with CRA annually; the latest CRA T3010 data, detailing all of United Way’s costs, can be found here

  • How much are United Way Halifax’s CEO and executives paid?

    All salaries at United Way, including senior management, are bench-marked against other Canadian non-profit organizations of similar size and scope. United Way Halifax is in compliance with the required T3010 regulatory reporting to CRA for its executive compensation, which can be viewed here

  • Can I direct my donation to another charity?

    Yes. You can choose to direct your donation to any registered charity in Canada. This is a unique service offered by United Ways across Canada and is available through workplace campaigns or by calling us directly. It is not possible to direct a donation to another charity through our online donation page. 

    A fee will be applied to your total gift amount to help cover the costs associated with this service and sustain the financial health of our organization. For cash, cheque, and credit card donations, the fee is 4%. For payroll deductions, the fee is 8%. 

  • Does every United Way charge a fee for this service?

    Yes. Some United Ways also have a minimum donation requirement before they will offer the designation service. United Way Halifax does not have a minimum at this time.

  • If I designate a portion of my donation to another registered Canadian charity through my workplace’s United Way campaign, when will the charity receive my donation?

    We provide designated donor dollars to other registered charities three times a year: in March or April, June and December. The exact timing of your specific gift arriving at the charity varies depending on the way you give and the time of year you give. In a typical situation, if you donate by credit card, cash, or cheque, your donation will be forwarded to the designated charity by following April. If you made your donation through a workplace campaign payroll deduction, your donation will be sent to the designated charity by the end of following December.

    In every case, we wait to fully receive your donation before passing it on, so that your charity of choice can receive the full impact of your gift and generosity, and we can keep the costs associated with processing your donation (like bank fees or postage) as low as possible.

  • How does United Way Halifax protect donors’ privacy?

    We are committed to protecting the privacy of personal information. The information you provide is used to assist in the administration and acknowledgement of your gift, to issue tax receipts, and to fulfill your information questions. We do not release donor names unless requested by the donor. For more information, please visit our privacy policy.

  • Can I email my completed pledge form with credit card information to make my donation?

    To ensure the security of your personal information, we ask that you call us rather than send credit card details via email.