United Way introduces first-ever impact scorecard

Campaign kickoff highlights three-year goal and specific impact targets.

EDMONTON, AB – On Wednesday, September 17th, close to 900 community supporters gathered at the Shaw Conference Centre for United Way of the Alberta Capital Region’s annual fundraising kickoff.  

With a theme of “Poverty is Solvable,” this year’s goal announcement was very different than in the past.  Instead of putting a spotlight on the annual fundraising target, the goal focused on targets outlined in an Impact Scorecard and the number of people who will be helped, using a cumulative three-year campaign target.  

In step with commitments shared at the June 2013 launch of United Way’s new direction for Creating Pathways Out of Poverty, the organization spent the last year working with partners and shaping five impact strategies.  Reaching the targets set out in the strategies will help our community move beyond managing the symptoms of poverty and closer toward the vision of eliminating it.

“Our vision isn’t just about stopping poverty from growing. In one of the most prosperous regions in North America, we know that poverty should not exist at all,” stated 2014 Campaign Chair, Ruth Kelly, President and CEO of Venture Publishing.  “We are inspired by the work that has been done, but now, we need to aspire to do more – that’s exactly what these five strategies propose.”

Based on United Way’s three focus areas – education, income and wellness, the Impact Scorecard states the number of people currently being helped through existing support, which must continue.  But it goes further to share the number of additional people who will be helped over the next three-year period, with support from our community.

“If we reach all the targets set out in the scorecard, by 2016 we will have helped an additional 22,000 people in our community,” explained Ruth Kelly in her address to the audience. “The new United Way has a clear cause…a bold vision…and, as you can see through the scorecard, strategies that will help move us further along than we’ve ever been in United Way’s focus areas of Education, Income and Wellness.”    

She also stressed that people cannot be helped without finances in place to deliver the supports, but said that the mindset must be moved from the number being a dollar cap and instead, focus it on the people who need help.  She challenged the crowd to help as many people as possible, so instead of bringing forward a financial target, she posed the question: “How many people do you want to help in our community?”     

In addition to the presentation of the Impact Scorecard, comedian and keynote speaker, Don Burnstick spoke about his own struggles with poverty.   Burnstick told the story of his life living on the streets of Edmonton, plagued by alcohol and drug addiction and how, with support and help, he overcame these complex issues. 

Today, he enjoys a clean life, and focuses on bringing joy and laughter to others.  

Residents who aren’t part of workplace campaigns, but who wish to show their support in addressing poverty in our community, can make donations online at myunitedway.ca or by calling the local United Way office at 780-990-1000.

For more information on United Way, and the newly released Impact Scorecard, please visit myunitedway.ca.

About United Way
United Way brings community members together to create pathways out of poverty and make the greatest impact possible on the most pressing social challenges in our community.

For more information or to coordinate interviews, please contact:

Nancy Critchley
Director, Communications
United Way of the Alberta Capital Region
p. 780-443-8381  c. 780-909-1794