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Foresight & Insight

The Future of Philanthropy


United Way

Scope of Work

  • Horizon Scan
  • Scenario planning
  • Trends impact analysis
  • Engagement
  • Strategic implications

Not all return on investment is measured in dollars.

United Way Centraide Canada is a not for profit national organization for over 100 autonomous, local organizations across the country. Each United Way office raises money for local groups that address community issues and problems such as poverty, homelessness and at-risk families. The national organization provides leadership, resources and co-ordination to its members. Each United Way Centraide is responsible to its own community, raising the resources and distributing it back to their community.

Not all return on investment is measured in dollars. Reputation, resilience and relevance are all critical outcomes of investing in strategic thought and planning.

In order to effectively deliver on its essential mandate through turbulent and rapidly shifting economic and social conditions, the United Way movement required deep understanding of the future of philanthropy and the role of funding agencies.

For United Way Centraide we conducted a ten year Horizon Scan to uncover critical uncertainties within the landscape of the not-for-profit sector including significant changes in donor motivation, technology related to service distribution and message targeting. This work involved deep research and facilitated engagement of key stakeholders.

We met with senior leaders in the government, police, business, faith-based institutions and community organizations in a fulsome and deeply investigative process. We workshopped emerging insights with a group of national leaders within the United Way movement.

We delivered a significant 80-page report and three comprehensive presentations of our findings to senior leadership nationwide, bringing future-focused research into practical application for present day problem solving.

We identified 28 trends and implications on a local and international context that went into shaping United Way’s strategic planning.


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