Annual Report


Six swimmers stand in front of a lake holding United Way bags

Better Together

When we collaborate, partner and work together, the whole community benefits.

As the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have continued to wear on, people across the municipality have had to rely on one another to get through hardships and adapt. United Way Halifax is no different. Thanks to the generosity and creativity of our donors, the organizations we fund, and social sector and business leaders, we were able to adapt our practices, inspire others and spark change. Together these efforts have strengthened the network of supports and provided new opportunities. We are proud to be in these partnerships, and are grateful to be trusted by the business community, government and the social sector.

Opportunities for growth

Despite the uncertainty of 2020-21, we created ways to deepen our impact in community, challenge our traditional ways of thinking and grow with the help of new partners. We built relationships with and provided funding to new-to-us BIPOC-led community organizations who are doing incredible work within Black and Indigenous communities. We collaborated with governments to ensure that COVID-19 relief funding got to those who needed it most. We worked with new and existing donors to meet emerging needs. Many donors were inspired to give more than once, while others found new ways to give back. We’re so proud of the incredible people who have shared their ideas, joy and struggles so that we can make this a better place to live and grow together.  

Dedication to the social sector

2020-21 brought new challenges to the social sector as existing needs changed and grew. As soon as the pandemic arrived on our doorstep, we heard stories of staff in the sector putting the needs of their clients and program participants before their own needs. They were true unsung heroes, dedicating long hours, spending time away from family, finding innovative solutions and filling gaps. Many did this with limited resources.

Often, the social sector is recognized for caring and thoughtful staff and volunteers. But more than ever, the sector demonstrated that its staff are the front-line when it comes to the social determinants of health. We have been pleased to speak on behalf of and advocate for the sector throughout the last year, collaborating with others to introduce a provincial day of recognition for the non-profit sector and the expanded Bhayana Family Foundation Invisible Champion Awards. We will continue to advocate for support to reinforce the sector as it continues to build back better.

Strengthening the business community

This year, we were pleased to be awarded the first-ever Not-For-Profit of the Year at the Halifax Business Awards. We were so proud to be among four other incredible finalists who also demonstrated the important leadership role non-profits play in our community and economy.

We’re putting this leadership to work by partnering with the Halifax Partnership to focus on inclusive economic growth in our city. Using our expertise in poverty solutions and employee engagement, we will welcome new businesses to Halifax and strengthen their connection to community. Our hope is that through this partnership, we will help solve new business needs and fill identified gaps in community.

As we continue reflecting on our mission to bring people together to create lasting social change, one thing is clear: we couldn’t do this alone. We’re surrounded by extraordinary people who are dedicated to making Halifax the best it can be, and we wouldn’t want it any other way. On behalf of the United Way Board and team, thank you. We’re better together.

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

2020-21 Highlights

Celebrating Together

  • 24,000

    helped by COVID-19 relief investments

  • 7,558

    generously donated in 2020-21

  • 15

    awards won for our No Home campaign

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