Annual Reports


United by compassion

Change has been happening at an incredible pace across our communities. Through it all, compassion has been the theme connecting us together.

The past year has given us many opportunities to demonstrate our values in the community, especially adaptability, collaboration and compassion. Whether working to develop solutions or to identify investment needs, people have shown so much willingness to work together to make our community better.  

2020 has brought additional challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic unexpectedly swept through and changed our lives in an instant. The pandemic is still impacting the social sector. And it will affect how the social sector responds to issues and crises for the foreseeable future. However, COVID-19 also gave United Way a unique opportunity.

Our local response to a global pandemic

We built on our collaboration with the other Atlantic United Ways to launch the Atlantic Compassion Fund. We leaned on our experience as a funder, collaborator and fundraising organization. Together, we responded to the immediate needs intensified by the pandemic. This allowed us to be nimble in fundraising and in making decisions, and we worked with front-line partners to communicate needs to the public, our donors and government.

Our COVID-19 response demonstrated the impact and relevance of our connections and collaboration. We’re very proud of what we have accomplished, both here in Halifax and throughout the Atlantic region.   

Addressing racism and marginalization

Nova Scotians have celebrated our togetherness in the face of recent crisis and tragedy. At the same time, we realize there’s been significant division in the community. We know anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism has existed here for centuries. Recent events in the United States and Canada have helped us to reflect on our own work, to ensure we are being equitable and anti-racist in our practices. We started by reaching out to organizations in racialized communities. We want to ensure we keep on listening to, learning from, serving and funding Black and Indigenous led organizations. It is critical that marginalized communities are always considered in our funding decisions. But we won’t stop there   

We’re in the process of improving diversity inside our organization, reviewing and updating our equity and inclusion policy, and setting strategic employment and volunteer equity goals. We’re also implementing programs to improve the diversity, knowledge and cultural humility of our team. We are committed to increasing the depth and breadth of equity, diversity and inclusion in every element of our work within our organization and in community. 

The journey ahead

We hope the stories in this report inspire you, and that you feel compelled to continue on this journey with us.

Despite the challenges, there’s so much to celebrate and we are embracing the work ahead with commitment and passion. You’ll see us continue to work more with other United Ways in Atlantic Canada. You’ll also see us continue to demonstrate the valuable role we play in our community, and staying focused on our mission.

We bring people together, including donors, volunteers and partners, to create lasting social change. We do so by investing leadership, time and funds towards critical community-based programming, partnerships, and sector capacity-building, and by doing all we can to bring our voice and influence on issues that matter most. 

Sara Napier President & CEO United Way Halifax
Craig Thompson Chair, Board of Directors United Way Halifax

Local Love Highlights

Local Love Adds Up

  • 10,300

    hours volunteered

  • 95

    presentations to workplaces

  • 70

    people swam across the harbour

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