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Friday May 22 2015
10:39 PM EDT
2014-01-27 at 13:15

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From the left: Ontario Trillium Foundation
Matt Vis,
From the left: Ontario Trillium Foundation's Jason Hughes is joined by United Way Thunder Bay board president Julkes Tupker and MPP Bill Mauro (Lib., Thunder Bay - Atikokan) Monday afternoon. The Ontario Trillium Foundation has provided the United Way with a grant that will allow the local charitable organization to update its website and operating system.
By Matt Vis,

With a little help, the United Way is improving its online presence.

The United Way of Thunder Bay announced a grant of $92,600 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation Monday, which will help the organization modernize its computer system through updating the website and operating system.

United Way of Thunder Bay board president Jules Tupker said the organization has discovered they can reach a broader audience online and make it easier to collect donations.

“We’ve found over the past few years that our website and computer system is basically outdated and we’re going to upgrade to state-of-the-art stuff,” Tupker said at a media conference at their Hewitson Street office.

“If people have access to our organization they can find out what we do, which agencies we fund and how to contribute to the United Way. It’s great to do face-to-face but we don’t have the ability to talk to as many people as we would like to. Now they can go online and find all the information.”

The goal was to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the United Way’s online platform with the current system being no longer supported. The new setup will provide information on the organization, ability to donate online as well the capability to register and sign-up for events.

Tupker added the organization would likely not be able to implement the new systems without the financial aid, saying the capital costs would take too much away from the fundraised dollars.

Thunder Bay-Atikokan MPP Bill Mauro joined the organization for the announcement and said the grant is going to a well-regarded cause.

“If there’s a brand in Thunder Bay and many other communities that is incredibly well-respected by just about everybody, it’s the United Way,” Mauro said.

“They do so much good work on behalf of so many community based organizations and for us to support them is money that is going to repay itself many times over.”

Ontario Trillium Foundation grant review member Jason Hughes said funding decisions are largely made based on maximizing the impact

The nature of the work done by the United Way and the number of community agencies they support makes them a prime candidate.

“For each dollar we have we get requests for four dollars locally,” Hughes said. “We do have to make sure we invest in programs that are going to give us the best investment in the community and the United Way does that.”

The organization hopes to have the updated website operational at the beginning of April.



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tsb says:
It costs over $100,000 for a small, private sector company to set up a website and computer system for their business. $92,000 for the local United Way is an amazing bargain.
1/27/2014 8:21:51 PM
Dan dan says:
That's ridiculous. If someone charged you that much, I'm sorry, but you got robbed! $15,000 is a more reasonable number for a server and 5-10 computers.
1/28/2014 3:08:08 PM
smartguy83 says:
It would not shock me if it takes awhile to see a return on this $92K investment. Too many charities etc. out there and not enough families with money to give.
1/27/2014 3:37:17 PM
musicferret says:

Wow! That better be one heck of a website/Os upgrade! lol This is why I donate directly to organizations rather than through the united way.
1/27/2014 3:24:34 PM
Glyder says:
Computers, servers, licensing agreements for the software, and paying for a professional website. $92K is not a lot.

10-15 computers and 1-2 servers will cost you close to $20K, and the licensing will cost you at least that, if not more depending on the software you use.
1/28/2014 10:06:45 AM
JubJub says:
Wow! $92k for computers and a website, that seems a little excessive. At least it was spent from casino dollars and not donations.
1/27/2014 3:18:51 PM
tbaylady says:
I never give to the United Way, I give directly to the organization itself. More of my money goes right where it is needed, instead of covering the expenses of the United Way.
1/27/2014 1:22:41 PM
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