A united approach to building community and improving lives

United Way Winnipeg logo

United Way is a Canadian philanthropic organization that serves over 5,000 communities across the nation. Its network of 71 independent, non-profit offices share the same mandate — to move people from poverty to possibility by building strong and healthy communities.

For over 50 years, United Way Winnipeg has been supporting that vision by investing in local programs and providing funding for critical front-line support that helps thousands of people every day.

Helping at a local level: United Way Winnipeg

Donations go directly to agencies and programs that strengthen local communities. The financial empowerment programs that are delivered by United Way Winnipeg agency partners empower people by delivering money management and financial literacy workshops.

Jason Granger, United Way Winnipeg

“We’re always looking for opportunities that have the greatest impact possible, regardless of the initiative,” says Jason Granger, United Way Winnipeg’s Director of Community Investment and Capacity. “Our multi-sector approach results in strong partnerships focused on pressing issues that communities face.”

No matter how small the initiative, the results can have a big impact. Take, for example, a Winnipeg family who participated in a program supported by United Way Winnipeg to save for and buy a purple sofa. That purchase was about more than a piece of furniture to the family, it also gave them peace of mind. It became part of a gathering space for their family and something to call their own. That’s the impact of community investment.

Partnership with a proven history

There are countless examples of United Way Winnipeg uniting sectors toward a common goal, but one of the most fruitful partnerships has been with ACU.

For over a decade their shared values, commitment to community and focus on sustainability, have helped Manitobans of all walks of life manage their money, find meaningful work and save for the future.

Kalyn Maskiw-Connelly, ACU

“The core funding from the United Way Winnipeg gives stability to agencies so they can continue the work they’re doing,” says Kalyn Maskiw-Connelly, former ACU’s Product and Channel Development Specialist. “They meet people where they are and support them as they rise above their current situation. That’s a really important aspect of this partnership.”

This alignment delivers concrete results, too. In 2020 alone, over $16 million in tax refunds and benefits were received by community members with the support of income tax preparation services offered by SEED Winnipeg, a United Way Winnipeg supported agency and ACU partner, and its partner agencies.

One class can build an entire community

Rylee Nepinak, co-founder of Anishiative. Photo credit: Sydney Hildebrandt / Canstar Community News

The impact that SEED Winnipeg has had on the community is more than just financial. Their work has impacted people like Rylee Nepinak, who took their money management training course through the savings circle program. These opportunities gave him the tools to break the cycle of poverty in his community by co-founding a grassroots, youth-focused organization called Anishiative in the summer of 2020.

He and his sister saw the disproportionate impact that the pandemic had on their community and determined to start a weekly volunteer green walk to pick up litter and distribute food to people in need. His relationship with SEED Winnipeg, a United Way Winnipeg agency partner, was the starting point of something larger than himself.

Rylee Nepinak – Financial Empowerment & Grassroots Volunteerism | United Way Winnipeg (vids.io)

Empowering each other

The United Way Winnipeg and ACU relationship extends beyond one person or organization. 

A donor-supported agency partner helped Sumegha and her husband, Nitin, put their extensive business experience to good use, and now they’re helping our community thrive.

The financial institution is part of United Way Winnipeg’s Social Purpose Institute, a business support program that helps companies to create positive social change, and Empower Manitoba, a collaboration between 10 agency partners that help people and families living in poverty to save for life-changing assets.

In addition, ACU has participated in TRC92: Youth Employment Lab, which is an initiative of United Way Winnipeg’s Poverty Reduction Council — a multi-sector forum that works to address the underlying causes of poverty.

Catherine had to leave her war-torn homeland. As refugees, her family moved to Winnipeg, and found hope and opportunity.

These projects are prime examples of how philanthropic, financial service and community-building sectors can come together to make a real impact. While their individual mandates may be different, they are committed to working together to ensure that individuals and communities have the skills they need to build a better tomorrow.

Contribute to their success

After more than 15 years, the partnership between United Way Winnipeg and ACU continues to have a meaningful impact on the lives of people in our local community.

If you’re interested in supporting the work they do, investing in your community is just a click away.

Start growing your finances by joining Join Sign up to ACU Wealth before March 31, 2022, and $25 will be donated to United Way Winnipeg for every new membership.

Learn more about the initiative here.

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Matt is a Winnipeg-based marketer and investor who covers the Canadian financial services industry.

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