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.”

Just Posted

Westbank Museum shows it’s more than just artifacts

The museum will be hosting more interactive and family friendly events

Delegation seeking to save Lake Country golf course

Group wants to avoid Aspen Grove golf course from being turned into school playing fields

Open houses regarding transit between Penticton and Kelowna

The meetings will be held in Summerland, Princeton, Penticton, Peachland and Osoyoos on Dec. 4 and 5

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Waters: Tell a politician what’s on your mind

Don’t squander opportunity to let political representatives know your opinion

Most Read