United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County has been helping to improve lives in the community since 1947.
United Way began as the Community Fund. Community leaders established a federated fundraising approach to coordinate appeals among social service agencies.
The federated fundraising approach is still at the heart of giving in Windsor-Essex County. In fact, the tradition of caring that began when the first campaign goal of $150,000 was exceeded by $80,000, continues to make Windsor-Essex County one of Canada's most caring United Way communities.
In 1962, the federated approach took a giant step forward as The Community Fund of Windsor and The Health and Welfare Council merged to become United Community Services. Fundraising and year-round community planning were combined to expand donations and bring planning into contact with the agencies delivering services.
The idea caught on. We've been refining the approach ever since.
In 1975, we became United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County. Today, United Way/Centraide of Windsor-Essex County is leading the next wave of change in community giving. Our emerging long term investment strategy applies the power of federated fundraising and community planning to identifying and acting against the root causes of rising social need.
Our Investment History
Starting in 2010, United Way changed its community investment model – moving from funding “member agencies” to programs that address critical issues and meet certain criteria for improving community conditions over the long term. The criteria are established based on our research into best practices in the areas of reducing poverty, positioning kids and families for success, and creating thriving neighbourhoods.
Our partners are asked to work collaboratively to improve identified community issues, and United Way funds their collaborative efforts. Right now we’re funding 32 different programs and work with dozens of different community partners, all of which are working to positively change the lives of people in Windsor-Essex.
United Way also decided at that time to fund programs in five-year cycles, allowing agencies the time to improve outcomes, as opposed to continually applying for new funding each year. At the end of the five years, partners, along with other community organizations, are welcomed to apply for United Way support.