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.
Based on our 2020-21 audited financial statements, 86 cents from every dollar raised is invested in community programs and supports. The remaining 14 cents is allocated to current and future operations, which means making sure our impact, local expertise, donor experience, and financial management continue at a high rate of excellence.
This ratio is different than what it has been in recent years, with our operating costs appearing lower than they have in recent years. The main reasons for that are:
- We received $4.2 million from the provincial and federal government for COVID relief. This was unprecedented and the total amount includes community investments and the Canada Wage Subsidy.
- COVID impacted the way we work. Even though we made new investments in taking everything we do online, we still saved money because the year was so different than what we had planned.
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.
No, it hasn’t been common in the past. Because of the reduced operating expenses and unprecedented government funding brought on by COVID, we ended the fiscal year with a surplus. We took this as an opportunity to improve the sustainability and reduce the risk of our organization, by allocating those funds to meeting our funding commitments for the following 6 to 12 months. The financial overview in our annual report explains this and other details of our financial year in a way that might be helpful.
We do not currently disclose the salaries for any positions at United Way Halifax, however, all salary ranges, including senior management, are benchmarked against other Canadian non-profit organizations of similar size and scope. United Way Halifax complies with the required T3010 regulatory reporting to CRA for its executive compensation, which can be viewed here.
Why do you have so many staff members? Wouldn’t it be better if money went directly to the people in need?
Last year, we invested a combined total of $7.6 million in community programs, COVID relief and poverty solutions. Everyone on our staff team played a vital role in making that happen. From fundraising and data security, to managing funds and evaluating impact, to building partnerships with the community, and following best practices in governance.
Before the pandemic, the majority of our donations came from individual people or families like you, and from companies that partner with us so they can give back to the community. Last year, during the first two waves of COVID, the provincial and federal governments relied on our local expertise to get relief funding into the community quickly and efficiently.
Between April and December 2020, United Way Halifax received $4.2 million from the provincial and federal government for COVID relief.
For cash, cheque, and credit card donations, the fee is 4% of your total gift. For payroll deductions, the fee is 8% of your total gift. These fees help cover the costs associated with this service.
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.
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.
When you donate to United Way Halifax, you can take advantage of federal and provincial government tax incentives. By claiming your donation receipt, you may receive a portion of your donated amount back when filing your taxes. You may also consider carrying your charitable donations forward to the next tax year to receive a larger tax deduction. When donating publicly traded securities directly, you can eliminate the capital gain tax and get a larger tax credit.
We provide funding to a wide range of programs and services, managing investments in each and connecting the dots between them. This helps ensure that every dollar donated fills gaps in care and possibility, making the greatest impact.
You can find descriptions of the funds we currently manage, as well as a list of the charity recipients for each one on our Provide Funding page.
Each of our funds has a slightly different process. We typically use funding applications and review panels to recommend funding decisions to our Board. We always focus on serving marginalized populations, filling gaps in support, and reflecting the diversity of our community.
Donating to United Way’s Community Fund allows you to help people (or issues) you care about in more than one way and make the biggest difference you can for them. It means you’re investing in several community organizations and programs that are working together to make sure people can access the support they need – when and where they need it.