Standards of Conduct

United Way of Winnipeg is a volunteer organization whose mission is to improve lives and build community by engaging individuals and mobilizing collective action. Consistent with its core values of courage, compassion, conviction, credibility and connectedness, United Way operates according to the highest standards of ethics and integrity and is committed to volunteerism, accountability, accessibility, impartiality, being apolitical and respecting the rights of:

  • Donors.
  • Community groups and individuals (including service providers).
  • Every officer, Board member, volunteer, employee.

Consistent with the mission and core values, the following operating policies are adopted as being the responsibility of every officer, Board member, volunteer and employee. The main objective of these standards is to protect the dignity and rights of all individuals and groups affected by the actions of United Way of Winnipeg, and to set out the responsibility of every person associated with the organization.


Laws and Regulations

  1. The business of United Way of Winnipeg will be conducted in accordance with the laws of Canada, the Province of Manitoba, and the City of Winnipeg, and in accordance with the highest ethical standards. Furthermore, business will be conducted in a manner which adheres to the spirit as well as the letter of all applicable laws and regulations.
  2. No officer, Board member, volunteer or employee will knowingly permit United Way of Winnipeg to enter into any agreement, contract, or any other transaction which will require United Way to do any act prohibited by law or regulation or which would be inconsistent with maintaining the registered charitable status of the organization.


Board members of United Way of Winnipeg shall receive no remuneration for acting as such. It is well established in common law that board members of a charity should receive no remuneration for action as such. Board members may be reimbursed for expenses incurred while performing their role, (e.g. travel outside of Winnipeg incurred while doing volunteer work on behalf of United Way of Winnipeg).


All information with respect to third parties received by the officers, Board members, employees, or volunteers in the course of their involvement with United Way of Winnipeg will be confidential. No such information will be divulged to persons outside of United Way unless expressly authorized in writing by the Executive Committee, Board of Trustees, and/or the party who provided the information or to whom the information relates. No information obtained through involvement with United Way will be used for personal gain.


  1. United Way of Winnipeg’s financial affairs will be conducted in an efficient and responsible manner, in accordance with generally accepted principles of financial management, accounting practices, operational policies and applicable regulations.
  2. All public funds received by United Way of Winnipeg will be used to further its mission, vision, and objectives. All designated or restricted donations shall be used for their intended purposes. In the event of program or organizational changes, alternatives will be examined with the donors/or the donors legal representative. In all cases, the donation will be used in the most efficient manner and according to the donors original intention.
  3. As a community based organization, United Way of Winnipeg will ensure that every member of the community will have ready access to accurate pertinent information about the organization and its operations, including:
  • The mission, core values, role, and vision.
  • The identity of officers and Board members.
  • The annual report and financial statements.
  • The answer to questions related to the operations of United Way of Winnipeg.

United Way of Winnipeg will ensure that any materials or information relating to the operations of the organization are accurate and do not in any way misrepresent the results of United Way operations.

Conflict of Interest

Officers, Board Members, volunteers and staff will carry out their duties and conduct their personal affairs is such a way as to protect and maintain public trust in the integrity of United Way of Winnipeg. They will display loyalty and convey, by their actions a positive image of the organization. They will avoid any situation that could knowingly result in a conflict between their personal interests and their duties, including:

  1. No officer, Board member, volunteer or employee shall accept gifts (other than of a nominal nature), nor will they use their position with United Way of Winnipeg to obtain personal gain from those doing or seeking to do business with United Way of Winnipeg.
  2. No officer, Board member, member of a standing committee, or employee will bid, on any goods or services being purchased by United Way of Winnipeg without first disclosing their interest in writing to the Board. In addition to the disclosure of the conflict of interest, the individual will withdraw from any discussion concerning the contract, and will not vote on the awarding of the contract.

    As the perception of a conflict of interest is a concern for any organization which is accountable to the public, for this part the interests of immediate family members will be deemed to be those of the officer, Board member, member of a standing committee or employee. Immediate family members will include any person living with the officer, Board member, member of a standing committee or employee.
  3. It is recognized that the officers, Board members, volunteers and employees may be actively involved with or have other connections to organizations which receive funding or which wish to apply for funding from United Way of Winnipeg. Because it is essential that decisions made on the distribution of resources are both free from bias from actual conflicts and are perceived to be free from potential conflicts:
  • No employee of United Way of Winnipeg will be a member of the Board of any funded agency except when approved by the President or in the case of the President by the United Way Board of Trustees.
  • No employee of a funded agency or of United Way of Winnipeg can serve as a member of the Board of Trustees.
  • No officer, Board member, volunteer, or employee will participate in formal discussion or motions with respect to an organization with which a conflict of interest may exist or be perceived to exist. In such circumstances, the individual will declare the conflict, refrain from participating, and will not vote on any related motions.
  • In accordance with United Way of Winnipeg’s Service Purchase Agreement with the Province of Manitoba, United Way of Winnipeg may not knowingly allow any member of the Legislature of the Province of Manitoba to either directly or indirectly derive any financial gain or benefit arising from any dealing with United Way of Winnipeg. This does not preclude any such individual from receiving services provided by funded agencies in the ordinary course of their operations.

Fundraising Practices

UWW adheres to the Donor Bill of Rights, adopted as a condition of our membership in United Way of Canada.


The donor participates in the very essence of our mission and purpose, exercises rights, prerogatives and fundamental privileges that must be recognized at all times and without reservation.

  • The right to be informed of the organization’s mission and purpose and to become a member of the organization if the donor so wishes;
  • The right to know the identity of the organization’s officers and members of the Board of Directors and to expect that they act with the greatest transparency, integrity and discernment in implementing the organization’s mission and purpose for the best interests of the community;
  • The right to have access to the organization’s annual financial statements and to easily obtain a copy;
  • The right to know how donations, directly or indirectly contributed to the organization are distributed, and to be assured that donated funds are used as intended by the donor;
  • The right to be treated with consideration and respect by the organization and to receive appropriate acknowledgment and recognition;
  • The right to confidentiality regarding personal information about donors and facts about their donations;
  • The right to expect that all relationships between the organization’s representatives, and the donor, will be professional in nature;
  • The right to be informed of the exact nature of the relationship which exists between fundraisers and the organization;
  • The right to expect that the organization will not share or sell a mailing list which includes the donor’s name, without providing the donor with a meaningful opportunity to decline;
  • The right to ask questions of the organization and to expect prompt, truthful, and complete answers in an easy-to-understand manner.

    In addition to the Donor Bill of Rights:
  • All Board Trustees other volunteers and employees will conduct themselves in accordance with UWW’s Code of Conduct & Ethics, and will apply accepted professional standards of accuracy, truth and integrity in all fundraising activities. They will inform, serve, guide and otherwise assist donors who wish to support UWW’s activities but not pressure or unduly persuade.
  • In all matters involving the donor, the interest and well-being of the donor must take priority. In cases of potential conflict of interest, those acting on behalf of UWW must declare the conflict and allow an impartial individual to act for UWW.
  • All donor solicitations will treat the donor with integrity, respecting the donor’s wishes around how he or she wishes to be solicited. Any individual making a solicitation on UWW's behalf will disclose whether they are an employee or volunteer. We will cease solicitation of a prospective donor who states that he does not wish to be solicited or indicates that he or she considers the solicitation to be undue pressure.
  • UWW does not control the practices of other workplace organizations who support the annual campaign through the solicitation of their employees. However, it will at all times encourage respectful practices through the training and advice given to our supporting organizations and their employees who volunteer in their United Way workplace campaign.
  • UWW honours donor requests to discontinue direct solicitation. Every effort is made to comply as quickly as possible, and to meet other requests regarding frequency or method of solicitation as much as possible.
  • UWW does not sell, rent or trade our donors’ personal information.
  • UWW follows the Canadian Code of Practice for Consumer Protection in Electronic Commerce in our online solicitation practices.
  • When a donor is considering making a significant or complex charitable gift, it is the responsibility of the donor to discuss proposed gifts with an independent financial planner, legal adviser and/or tax adviser of the donor’s choice and at the donor’s expense, to ensure that he or she receives a full and accurate explanation of all aspects of the proposed charitable gift. UWW may decline a gift if the donor has not obtained independent advice.
  • UWW does not hire third party or commission-based fundraisers. UWW employees are compensated by a base salary or hourly wages and customary employee benefits. UWW does not pay finders' fees, commissions or other payments based on philanthropic contributions received or funds raised.

Community and Agency Relations

Many community groups and individuals, including the providers of human care service, work with United Way of Winnipeg to contribute to the resolution of human care issues in the community and build a stronger, safer, more caring community. United Way of Winnipeg is committed to ensuring that relationships between various community organizations and United Way are characterized by mutual trust and respect, and a sharing of common goals. In addition to the general standards, United Way of Winnipeg will ensure that:

  • Community partners are treated with consideration and respect and receive appropriate acknowledgement and recognition for their work.
  • Relationships between United Way of Winnipeg representatives and community partners are professional in nature and will:
  • Respect the autonomy of funded agencies without establishing subordinate relationships.
  • Respect the missions of other public agencies and philanthropic institutions.
  • Seek to ensure that United Way and community partners work together in the pursuit of common social objectives.
  • Requests made by community groups for information or for financial or in-kind support are responded to within a reasonable period of time.
  • Information used for analyzing requests is confidential.
  • Requests made by United Way of Winnipeg of community groups to provide information, participate in various activities, and other requests, are reasonable in the circumstances.

Respectful Environment

United Way of Winnipeg is committed to maintaining a respectful business environment. Every officer, board member, volunteer and employee is an important contributor to the harmony of the environment and is responsible to ensure that:

  • The dignity and self-respect of every officer, Board member, volunteer and employee is valued.
  • The environment is inclusive and free of offensive (i.e. demeaning, intimidating, or embarrassing) remarks, materials, and behavior.
  • Individuals(1) have a right to complain if they feel they have been discriminated against or harassed on the basis of any of the characteristics protected by The Human Rights Code (Manitoba), including ancestory, colour, race, nationality, ethnic background, religion, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital or family status, source of income, political belief, mental or physical disability or social disadvantage.
  • If any activity undermines this policy, whether or not there has been a complaint, action will be taken to investigate the situation and halt the activity. Disciplinary action will be taken against anyone found in contravention of this policy.

ENFORCEMENT OF STANDARDS The enforcement of these standards is the responsibility of every officer, Board member, committee volunteer, and employee of United Way of Winnipeg.

Non-compliance, which cannot be resolved through normal channels, should be reported to the President in the case of employees and to the Chair of the Board in the case of officers, Board members, and volunteers. The President or the Chair of the Board, as the case may be, will assess the circumstances and will make a recommendation and take appropriate action. The Executive Committee shall be consulted as deemed appropriate.

A copy of the Standards of Conduct will be provided to every officer, Board member, committee volunteer and employee of United Way of Winnipeg and be utilized in their orientation.

(1) “Individuals” means UWW Volunteers, Staff, Donors and the General Public



Primary audience: All Staff, Board Trustees and Volunteers
Frequency: Every five years
Created: May 5, 1993
Reviewer: Internal Relations & Operations
Created by Internal Relations & Operations
Last updated on: September 26, 2016
Update Approved: Board of Trustees, September 26, 2016
Approved: September 26, 2016
Date of next review: 2021