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“We’ve found over the past few years that our website and computer system is basically outdated and we’re going to upgrade to state-of-the-art stuff,” Tupker said at a media conference at their Hewitson Street office.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