Motorist Steve Cousins drops off a donation to United Way Drive-Thru Breakfast volunteers Randi Lund (left) and Paula Harned at the 17th annual fundraiser earlier this month at the Prestige Vernon Lodge parking lot in support of the North Okanagan Columbia Shuswap United Way. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

Okanagan United Ways to join forces in 2019

North Okanagan Columbia Shuswap to merge with Central and South Okanagan United Way

The United Way agencies across the Okanagan will be merged under one administrative banner beginning in April 2019.

The United Way Central and South Okanagan Similkameen will join forces with the North Okanagan Columbia Shuswap entity.

The merger is to find efficiencies in centralizing independent United Way offices across a given region, from human resources to financial and website management systems, to reduce expenses on unnecessary duplication of those services, said Helen Jackman, executive director of the United Way Central and South Okanagan Similkameen.

She said the merger will result in one board of directors with more regional representation across the valley, and the process started to hire a community engagement manager for the North Okanagan Columbia Shuswap region based out of Vernon.

The hope is this process will lead to a similar position eventually being created for the South Okanagan based out of Penticton.

RELATED: United we stand

“United Way is all about local giving and local impact. That won’t change under this new regional model,” said Sinead Scanlon, board chair for the United Way CSO, in a news release.

“Our boards remain absolutely committed to the principle that funds raised locally, stay local. Local decision-making will continue to guide local community investments focused on local priorities. What we gain is efficiency and the regional capacity to share what works.”

Jackman said what the North Okanagan United Way might lose in independence under the merger, it will gain in providing more emphasis of staff resources on building fundraising relationships in the community to benefit local United Way supported services.

Jackman said in recent years, 32 United Ways across Canada have combined their resources to create 12 new integrated regional organizations.

“There are lots of different components to this that have to be worked out but we have past experience and models established by our organization across Canada to draw on,” she said.

RELATED: Breakfast bags and big bucks for North Okanagan United Way

While the merger has been talked about for some time, the catalyst that propelled it forward now was the pending retirement of long-time executive director Linda Yule in March 2019, said UWNOCS board president Debbie Bagnall in a news release.

“On several occasions we have explored the idea that we should come together, but only now have we decided that the time is right,” said Bagnall, referring to Yule’s retirement.

“Our community will of course miss Linda enormously, but we are excited about the future stewarded by Helen Jackman, executive director of the United Way CSO.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Passengers escape unharmed from destructive houseboat fire on Mara Lake

Cause of blaze under investigation, flames erupt at 2 a.m. Aug. 4

UPDATE: Water bombers attack wildfire north of Sicamous above Shuswap Lake

Wildfire BC reports fire is still classified out of control, 25 personnel on ground

HandyDART additions part of BC Transit plan to expand Shuswap fleet

BC Transit plans to add six new light duty buses

Salmon Arm Silverbacks welcome assistant coach

Seasoned forward Derek Damon to join team behind the bench

VIDEO: Wildfire erupts north of Sicamous above Shuswap Lake

Observers suspect fireworks sparked blaze, Wildfire BC states cause still unknown

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Alberta vehicles allegedly damaged in Summerland

Lug nuts loosened, windows smashed in several instances in Okanagan community

Interior Health reports nine new cases of COVID-19, 149 linked to Kelowna

Nine new cases were reported in the Interior Health region over the long weekend’s four reporting periods

Former Kelowna resident makes fundraising goal for cancer fertility treatments

Rebecca Hamilton recieved a boost in a battle against cancer - $25,000 for post chemo treatments

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

Most Read