URGENT APPEAL: United Way of Bruce Grey

The United Way of Bruce Grey is issuing an urgent appeal for support in the last weeks of 2023.

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“While we’ve had wonderful support throughout the year from our donors, the average online donation has dropped from $126 to $106,” explains Francesca Dobbyn United Way Executive Director.

The most significant challenge for the United Way is that the Backpack Program shortfall was almost $40,000 compared to a $20,000 shortfall in 2022. “Since 2018 when we had a jump in the number of requests for backpacks, the fundraised dollars have not kept up to that need,” Dobbyn adds.


  • Demand for backpacks was up over 400 from 2022 and 500 from 2021.
  • Requests for most utility support are up over the previous year’s data assessment, with a small decline in the number of households seeking support for cord wood.
  • Requests for funding to the United Way focused significantly on food supports for 2023, highlighting the need for emergency food support.

In 2022, the United Way absorbed a small deficit for the year without impacting the 2023 programming. Still, the 2023 gap is significantly larger, and cuts to 2024 programming and support are possible if the deficit is not addressed with 2023 fundraised dollars.

“While the community has been incredibly supportive this year, costs have climbed significantly along with significant need and demand for services. We took the unpleasant laying off an administrative staff in the early fall, to try and find savings without affecting front-line programs” Dobbyn offers.

The challenges facing the United Way are not unique and the United Way is listening to other local charities who are also seeing the same challenges. “It’s rare a day goes by that a community partner doesn’t call looking for help from the United Way to meet the needs in their community,” Dobbyn notes.

Please consider donating today. The United Way Bruce Grey needs your help.

Ways to Donate

In-person: Donations can be made in person at 380 9th Street East Owen Sound during regular business hours. Monday to Friday 8:30 to 4:30 closed December 23rd to the 26th. Open the 27th.

Over the phone: Credit Card donations can be called at 519 376 1560 or toll-free at 1-800-794-1728

By mail: United Way of Bruce Grey 380 9th Street East Owen Sound ON N4K 1P1

Online: By visiting DonateToday.ca

E-transfers to: manager@unitedwaybg.com *Please include your first and last name and your mailing address in the notes section of your transfer*

The persistent downward trend that began twenty years ago in charitable giving continues today.

Recent studies on charitable giving in Canada revealed that despite the time period studied, the type of giving, measurement of giving, or jurisdiction, pointed to a downward trend in charitable giving, with no signs of improvement.

The Giving Report 2022 found that the overall percentage of people who donated to charities dropped to 28 per cent from 36 per cent between 2010 and 2022 amongst individual households.