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Improving Local Lives

Transformation and Innovation

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We excel at bringing people and organizations together to develop new solutions.

2021 was an exceptionally busy year for Calgary’s social sector. As economic and personal challenges of the pandemic stretched into year two, the urgency increased to discover transformative and innovative ways to deepen and diversify the impact of community support. Supported by our generous donors, United Way and our partners collaborate on solutions and measure, evaluate, and report for purposes of growing and improving. Much can be accomplished with our mutual, shared goal of seeing fewer people in Calgary and area needing to access formal supports.

Our Impact and Important Stats

    3,150Employees in Calgary accessed AdaptiveYYC's support in 2021.
    84Shoppers at the inaugural Pay-What-You-Want Market, with 145 transactions at three vendor booths.
    137Young people attended Planet Youth Calgary, along with 20 family and community members.
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People viewed resources from the Social Impact Lab's 2021 Responsible Disruption series.

Our Work

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The Social Impact Lab

With The Social Impact Lab (SIL), United Way has created, invested in, and leads a meaningful solution to Calgary and area’s most pressing social issues. Through The Social Impact Lab, we have worked with various local stakeholders to co-design innovative, human-centred, and transformational solutions and practices that address these new realities. The multi-disciplinary approach of SIL aims to accelerate innovation and drive change for community members who struggle within an inequitable system.

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Healthy Aging Alberta

Established by a group of community services leaders, Healthy Aging Alberta seeks to enhance the lives of older Albertans by uniting the organizations that serve them.

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With the arrival of war refugees from Ukraine, Gateway and its partners are welcoming and supporting these stressed and scared newcomers. Supported by needs assessment, personalized newcomer planning, and coordinated referral system, Gateway acts as a personal guide helping newcomers through their unique journeys, connecting them to the right programs and services to reach their goals, and build the lives they’ve envisioned.

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AdaptiveYYC was a one-year pilot (2021) program collaboration of United Way and headversity. It helped Calgary and area non-profit and government-funded organizations, as well as small-to-medium-sized businesses, build resilience and awareness of their own staff’s mental well-being into their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Pay-What-You-Want Market

Food insecurity does not discriminate; it affects people and households across society.

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Steps to Support

Funded by United Way of Calgary and Area and created by The Social Impact Lab in collaboration with J5 Design and numerous partners, the Steps to Support website raises awareness and supports understanding of people’s role to support others’ lives.

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Responsible Disruption

The 2021 Responsible Disruption series featured eight, one-hour Zoomcast episodes hosted by The Social Impact Lab. The episodes covered a variety of topics, such as “Depolarization: Understanding Perspectives with Mutual Respect,” “The Impact of Social Isolation,” “Intrapreneurs in the Making,” “Inclusivity in Design,” and more.

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UCeed Social Impact Fund

2021 was a year of rising to the many challenges of change for United Way, as it was for everyone. United Way saw the potential for driving innovation in the social sector through collaborative initiatives, such as UCeed, that tackle systemic problems impacting our community.

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Improving Local Lives

Building Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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Improving Local Lives