Community service organizations can now apply for United Way funding

GUELPH – Three funding opportunities at United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin are now open for applications from community service organizations in Guelph, Wellington County and Dufferin County.

Under United Way’s new Community Impact strategy, which launched in 2021, applications are being accepted for programs and services in the local area that align with the focus areas:

– healthy people, thriving communities;

– rural communities; and

– equity, diversity and inclusion.

“At United Way we believe better is possible.  We believe our community and the people in it matter and are focused on solutions and supports to address the current and deepened community challenges we are facing right now,” said executive director Glenna Banda.

“Through our next round of funding we are working to build strong, supportive and inclusive communities that are vital for us all to thrive.”

United Way approaches funding and organizational support with the aim of reducing barriers to supports, connection and community, according to a press release, providing flexibility to respond to the community’s needs and making lasting, positive change to build a stronger community.

Support is rooted in the idea of local – solving local problems with local solutions – and aims to empower those closest to the issues.

Since the launch of the community impact strategy in 2021, United Way is looking to make funding opportunities more accessible to organizations, while continuing to make the best possible impact with the funds available.

One new option this year will include operational funding for organizations applying under the equity, diversity and inclusion stream.

“We know that the cost of doing business (infrastructure, human resources) is increasing while funding is becoming harder to find and sustain. In addition, short-term, project-based funding and an expectation to keep operating costs low have created a capacity trap for community service organizations, where their program base grows at a level that their organization’s capacity can’t keep up with, especially for small organizations who serve marginalized communities,” said director of community engagement and impact Colleen Murdoch.

“We’re looking at this pilot to see potentially how we might be able to scale the idea to other funding streams in the future.  It’s one way we are hoping to make better possible.”

Funds raised during the current 2023 United Way Campaign will directly support funding applications, and United Way is looking to the community to ensure that the programs and services they have come to rely on continue to be there to support friends, family and neighbours.

“We are very excited about the opportunities ahead to support our community.  Not only do we want to be able to continue to provide funding support at the same level we did last year but increase them so we can realize the full potential of our innovative new impact strategies,” said Banda.

“We are ready for better – but we need our community’s support to get us there.”

Funding opportunities are now open to all community service organizations, including non-profit organizations, Indigenous governing bodies or registered charities that provide services in the City of Guelph, Wellington County or Dufferin County.

Apply through United Way’s website,

Applications close Oct. 30 at 11:59pm.