Our Movement

United Way is a federated network of 67 local United Way Centraide offices serving more than 5,000 communities across Canada, each registered as its own non-profit organization and governed by an independent volunteer-led local Board of Directors. Locally and nationally, our goal is the same – to create opportunities for a better life for everyone in our communities.

In French, both in Quebec and across Canada, our organization is known as Centraide. We often use the United Way and Centraide names together, recognizing the bilingual nature of our country’s culture and people.

United Way Centraide Canada plays a critical role in providing national leadership and membership support for the network of local United Ways and Centraides across Canada. Together, local United Ways and United Way Centraide Canada form the United Way Movement.

As a Canadian Movement with a strong heritage, we value trust and integrity, volunteerism, innovation, partnership, non-partisan leadership, and diversity. It is on the basis of these values that we improve lives and build communities.

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion & Indigenous Collaboration

As community builders, we promise to work hard to ensure Canada becomes a truly equitable, safe, and inclusive place. We condemn racism as it is unjust and wrong, and we are taking steps to challenge our own ways of working and thinking. This includes developing a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion & Indigenous Collaboration Strategy that will impact all areas of our work at United Way Centraide Canada and our network. We are laying the foundation for the strategy through statements that express our commitment to this work.

Our History

United Way has a long history in Canada, dating back a century. Over the years, we have been known by many names – among them Community Chest, United Appeal and Red Feather. Throughout, we are proud to have improved lives in local communities across the country.

In 1972, designer Saul Bass created the iconic United Way logo, depicting the helping hand cradling mankind and surrounded by a rainbow symbolizing hope. Our community impact mission – to improve lives and build community by engaging individuals and mobilizing collective action – reflects the ideas outlined in our logo.

Our Team

The volunteers who make up United Way Centraide Canada’s Board of Directors represent communities across the country and come from diverse backgrounds in business, government and social services.

United Way Centraide Canada’s executive team works closely with the Board of Directors to oversee and execute the day-to-day operations of the organization.