Designated Gifts FAQs

The United Way British Columbia’s annual campaign presents donors with several giving options. One option allows donors to directly designate gifts to any registered Canadian charity.


What is a designated gift?

A designation is any gift directed through United Way to any other registered Canadian charity, including member agencies.

How much is the fee?

The fee is $12 per designation, regardless of the number of designations or type or size of gift.

Why $12?

The $12 designation fee is necessary to cover the costs associated with processing and remitting funds to other charities.

When is the fee in effect?

This cost-recovery measure has been in effect since 2006.

Why implement a fee?

The fee allows the United Way to align with other major United Ways across Canada, to recover the costs of administering designations, and to have more dollars available for investment in the Okanagan.

How will the fee be implemented?

Making a gift will look and feel the same, the only difference will be that United Way will deduct the fee before paying out a designation. The fee applies to all forms of payment (for example, cheque, credit card, payroll).

How will this affect fundraising costs?

It has no affect on fundraising costs. The implementation of a designation fee does not affect United Way’s infrastructure – it still costs just as much to raise a dollar and there is no change to overall costs or gross revenues. The fee is a way of recovering these costs and in turn, United Way will have more dollars to invest in the community.

Why a flat fee versus a percentage of total gift?

The cost to administer a designation is the same regardless of the amount of the gift. The fee reflects the costs associated with the administration of designations.

By implementing this fee, is United Way discouraging donors from designating?

No. They are simply recovering their costs. Giving is a personal choice. They hope that donors who believe strongly in a cause will continue to support that cause, whether through United Way or directly. By giving to United Way, donors are helping to keep our community strong. United Way is dealing with the root causes of critical social issues by acting to prevent problems and create lasting solutions for people.

Why are you charging for designations to member agencies and other United Ways?

Administering a designation creates a cost regardless of which agency it is directed to.

Will I receive a tax receipt for a gift directed through United Way to any other registered Canadian charity?

Yes. The fee does not affect the receipt amount at all. Both receipts and recognition reflect the total gift.