United Way BC Day: Here for Each Other. Here for BC.
By United Way BC Social Purpose Institute
September 26, 2023
September 26th has been declared United Way BC Day and is the official launch of our fall fundraising campaign.
As a purpose-driven organization, United Way BC serves over four million British Columbians, delivering resources and support to the people who need it most. It unlocks all its competencies, assets, and relationships to help strengthen vital connections, and create healthy, caring, and inclusive communities. Its growth is truly a positive force in society.
Last year, 3.35 million meals and hampers were delivered to more than 81,500 families to help address food security. Almost 6,800 children received the support they need to succeed in 54 schools through the School’s Out Program. Over 37,000 seniors received Healthy Aging Support services to stay independent, active, and engaged in their own communities. More than 81,000 Help Line requests were answered, and more than 165,000 referrals were made through the United Way BC Helping Services.
In recent years, UWBC’s efforts extended far beyond philanthropy. Through capacity building programs such as the Social Purpose Insitute, Public Policy Insitute, and Disruptive Leadership, UWBC works to engage all elements of community – business and leadership being no exception.
In 2018, UWBC created the Social Purpose Institute (SPI) – a social enterprise designed to help grow business for good by engaging businesses across all industries to help them define and implement their unique social purpose. Through the lens of building resilient communities, SPI supports business transition to social purpose where the well-being of both people and planet are fully prioritized. UWBC is uniquely positioned to foster social purpose with its broad network of sector and community relationships, deep roots in understanding its local communities’ needs and social challenges, and expertise and trust in bringing together the right people to make change.
Adopting a social purpose framework into business allows organizations, no matter the size, to use their social purpose as a decision lens, informing choices around procurement and distribution, product innovation, partnerships, and strategic direction. Purpose-driven businesses have the ability to inspire industry-wide systems change and galvanize communities around a common goal. They can turn inspiration into action, and spark shifts towards using business as a force for good.
Giving to United Way BC is more than a generous act of philanthropic support. It signals a commitment to a larger vision – an acknowledgment that healthy communities are imperative in navigating change. Giving to United Way builds resiliency through strengthening vital connections, and the Social Purpose Insitute helps achieve this goal by supporting mainly small to medium business, which makes up over 98% of all business in British Columbia.
Since its inception, SPI has worked with over 50+ businesses across four provinces, spanning 35 industries. We’ve worked directly with 157 participants and proudly support Purpose in Business Week – a week-long annual event each November (this year taking place November 20th-24th) that aims to build awareness around the importance of social purpose in business and celebrate the organizations and individuals working towards building a purpose-driven economy. We’ve produced, participated, and supported the development of social purpose insights and resources such as:
- Propelling the Canadian Purpose Economy – A Framework for Action, UWBC SPI
- United Way BC Shows Business the Way (w/ Mike McKnight), Beyond Profit Podcast
- Social Purpose Transition Pathway, Corporate Knights
- Bringing Corporate Purpose into the Mainstream: Directions for Canadian Law, David Suzuki Foundation
- Promoting Purpose in Canadian Public Policy – Options for Governments in Canada to Accellerate Social Purpose in Business, UWBC SPI
- Social Purpose Practices Kit – Insights and Ideas, UWBC SPI
- Purpose Playbook – Turn Purpose into Practice, Shared Value Initiative
- Canadian Purpose for Business Report, MaRS
- Canadian Voices on the Role of Business in Society, Global Canada
- Marketing on Purpose: What Marketing Looks Like in the Purpose-Driven Enterprise, BCLC and Forrester
- Purpose Driven Organizations: Worldviews, Principles and Behaviors, PAS 808
- How Risk and Internal Audit Operate in Social Purpose Companies, Deloitte and BCLC
The work SPI engages in is a natural extension of United Way BC’s philosophy that united, we are stronger together. Through all its programs, UWBC has the ability to respond to the urgent needs we face today, and the Social Purpose Institute aims to help do just that – but we need support to keep our communities strong. By donating to UWBC, you help important programs and initiatives continue to innovate and grow by championing a purpose-driven economy. This vision can help accelerate a new business ethic focused on the long-term well-being of all people and planet, and build the healthy, caring and inclusive communities we need.
To learn more about how you can get give or get involved, visit United Way BC, or connect with the Social Purpose Institute directly at email@example.com to learn more about the adopting and implementation of social purpose in business.
We’re here for each other. We’re #HereforBC.