How We Operate

The United Way of Lunenburg County was established in 2003 as an incorporated non-profit charity.

We are a volunteer driven organization with a dual role in the community. One is to motivate donors and raise money in order to provide the financial resources needed to strengthen areas of our community that need it the most. The other is to seek out organizations and help create the dynamics and partnerships that will affect positive social change here in Lunenburg County.

A volunteer Board of Directors of leading community members governs all United Way decision-making. The Board oversees how donor money is used, shapes our strategic vision and plan, and monitors organizational performance.

Our allocations committee, also local volunteers, analyzes all requests to ensure they meet the established requirements for United Way of Lunenburg County funding:

  • Defined community need
  • Shared vision
  • Measurable outcomes
  • Resource management
  • Project or program plan and budget

and that the requests line up with one or more of our community impact areas:

  • Helping Young Children and Their Families Thrive
  • Increasing Safety and Reducing Violence
  • Increasing Self-Sufficiency and Well Being
  • Building Stronger Volunteer Organizations
  • Development of Youth



There are three ways in which the United Way of Lunenburg County raises money:

  • Payroll deduction
  • Corporate gift giving
  • Individual donations

Payroll Deduction
In order to make the system as efficient and cost effective as possible, many businesses have their payroll departments collect employee donations (as designated on their Pledge Forms) via payroll deductions. These funds are held by the employer in a United Way payable account, and are dispensed quarterly in the form of a cheque made payable to the United Way of Lunenburg County with an indication of the donation and deduction period (i.e., January-March 2015). This process results in less handling (and postage) by the employer and easier fund reconciliation for the United Way of Lunenburg County.

Want your company to participate in a community building, easy to use payroll deduction program?
E-mail our co-ordinator Michael Graves at or leave a message at 902-530-3072 for our easy to manage program.

Corporate Giving
In addition to conducting a workplace campaign asking for employee donations, most companies also make a direct corporate donation to the United Way. Many times, this is in the form of matching funds tied to the total of the employee pledged funds.

Individual Giving
Individual contributions to the United Way are an important component of our plan to continue to grow our ability to meet the ever increasing needs of our community. Individuals can contribute via cash, cheque or credit card. As well, donors can make a secure online credit card donation on our website. Simply click on the donate tab at the top of this page. Tax receipts will be e-mailed instantly to you.

The United Way difference is that all money raised in Lunenburg County stays in Lunenburg County, making the United Way the best and most cost-effective way to invest in our community.

Funds, of course, have to be raised before they are allocated. This process is as follows.

Fall 2014
Annual fundraising campaign is conducted at dozens of workplaces across Lunenburg County where funds are pledged for payroll deduction in 2015.

Throughout 2015
Funds are collected throughout the year via payroll deduction.

Winter 2016
United Way of Lunenburg County places announcements in local papers requesting that Applications for Funding be submitted by Lunenburg County non-profit and charitable groups.

Winter/Spring 2016
The United Way of Lunenburg County Allocations Committee (made up of local volunteers from various backgrounds and experience) reviews and assesses all submitted applications and prepares funding allocation recommendations that are presented to the Board of Directors of the United Way of Lunenburg County. The Board then reviews the recommendations and approves the funds for distribution.

Spring 2016
Funds are distributed to approved programs and projects.


The winter of 1887 was particularly cold and hard in Denver, Colorado. The silver mines had closed and people wandered the streets hungry and homeless. Clergy from the four largest parishes responded to the plight of the needy by seeking help from merchants and businesses. They discovered very quickly that the men of the cloth were in competition with each other as they made their calls. So they decided to join forces and make a united request to anyone who might be in a position to offer some assistance to the less fortunate. Together they would seek what aid they could and together they would share it amongst their parishioners. In those humble beginnings in Denver, Colorado in 1887, the first United Way was born. (The Cadith Chronicle Volume 1, Issue 2 August 1993.)

The United Way in Canada was born out of a community collective philosophy that began in Denver in 1887 and spread to Canada prior to the 1920s. This was a turbulent time in world history. Canada was enmeshed in the Great War to end all wars and the first threads of our social safety net were still almost 30 years away. Individuals and families were reliant upon their own ingenuity and the generosity of their neighbours and community. It is in this environment that United Way Canada first emerged. In 1917 in Montreal and Toronto, charities started community collectives similar to the one in Denver to raise funds to strengthen their communities.

Additional community collectives sprang up across Canada over time. Known originally as Red Feather, Community Chest and the United Appeal, it was not until the 1970s that these organizations took the name of United Way. Today, there are 108 United Ways across Canada, with a presence from coast to coast to coast in ten provinces and two territories. In 2007, these locally based groups raised and then invested $480 million dollars in their own local communities, making the United Way the second largest contributor to social programs in Canada after the federal government.

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