TORONTO. SEPTEMBER, 1986
Welcome to the United Way’s Annual General Meeting. In typical fashion we run these with a maximum of information and a minimum of formality.
This is also a celebration of the United Way’s 40th Anniversary of providing service to the people of the Greater Toronto Area. Gord Martineau will host these proceedings immediately following the necessary formalities.
I very much appreciate the hosting of this event by The Bay. I am reminded that while we are proud of having been here since 1956, The Bay has been around since 1670, so this is certainly an appropriate place to hold a celebration of long service!
The meeting is now officially called to order and I am pleased to now introduce Anne Golden, a person of whom I am sure you must of read something about over the past year.
CHAIRMAN’S REPORT – UNITED WAY AGM
The nice thing about Annual General Meetings is that it gives the Chair the opportunity to tell you what a wonderful job he or she has done and to remind you that during the term of office the organization has of course met all of its’ objectives. This can be done quite safely because no one will remember what was promised in any case. With that in mind, I am pleased to assure you that during the passed two years we did accomplish a number of things, but I am also pleased to report that the Incoming Chair will not be short of challenges that we have left for him.
A few of the highlights would be:
â€¢ Some outstanding campaign results. Since my campaign in 1991, a succession of excellent campaign chairs including Courtney Pratt, Bill Etherington, Al Flood, John Cassaday and now Reay Mackay have increased the amount raised for the benefit of the community from some $43,000,000 to well over $50,000,000. This has been done during a very difficult economic period.
During the last couple of years, we have solidly recognized that Donor Choice is no longer a simple add-on to the campaign, but is now a significant part of our program. In these challenging days for fund-raising by all registered charities in Canada, the United Way now offers the capability of the United Way campaign, so that our Donors can contribute to any such charity in Canada.
â€¢ Like a professionally managed mutual fund, we are also improving the promotion of what we now refer to as the Community Fund as that group of social service agencies that form the core of what the United Way believes is the most important group of charities in the country. We have sometimes referred to this as being our President’s Choice, i.e. we will put anyone’s product on our shelves allowing the Donor to choose what he or she wants, but we will promote our brand as being very worthy of the highest level of support.
We introduced a major program to assist our agencies in dealing effectively with the changes resulting from the alternation in Government support for the social service area, as well as, introducing an emergency fund to assist those particularly disadvantaged over the last winter. Action Grants armed at helping people with a hand up, not a hand out.
â€¢ We are in the final stages of re-negotiating an expanded Areawide campaign to include many more organizations that operate in our sister United Ways’ regions in the Greater Toronto Area. We hope this type of new agreement will be the harbinger of even greater cooperation amongst the municipalities of the GTA.
â€¢ We launched the highly successful Tomorrow Fund to ensure that support for a better community will be available in the years to come for the benefit of our children and their children. Nearly 17 million.
â€¢ We have accomplished all of this while reducing the ratio of fund-raising costs to revenue.
But this is only interim progress. The United Way is a very dynamic organization, and yesterday’s solutions may not meet tomorrow’s needs. I know your new chair-elect, who will be introduced in a moment, will provide the dynamic leadership necessary to carry on this process of developing innovative ways to ensure the United Way is the Way To Help The Most.
It is now my pleasure to ask Bahadur Madhani to, for the final time, present his Treasurer’s Report.
INTRODUCING THE INCOMING CHAIR – UNITED WAY AGM
Ted, thank you for another example of both your personal generosity and that of Rogers Communications. The organization is already acknowledged as a ‘Caring Company’, as part of the Imagine Campaign. Personally, I cannot think an acknowledgment that I appreciate more than what you have done today. I also know the people of Toronto will greatly appreciate your generosity.
Ted and I work on the 64th Floor of Scotia Plaza. From there one gets a very unique view of our community. When you look down on people from that height they seem very small. It is very easy to assume therefore that their problems are also very small. One of the great benefits the United Way provides to business people such as myself is that it provides an opportunity to learn more about people as they really are rather than how they appear from a great height.
I should be thanking you for the opportunity that the United Way has provided to me to do something very positive for our community.
I should add that whatever has been accomplished could only have been done with:
â€¢ A first-class Board. The Boards I have worked with at the United Way are amongst the best I have every worked with in any context.
â€¢ An excellent staff that carried on without a hitch during the time when we provided Anne Golden to the GTA Task Force. This is a testimony to the staff that Anne has put together over the years.
â€¢ Some 80,000 dedicated volunteers who work in the Fund-raising and Agency operations.
â€¢ Finally, a Caring Community. The United Nations has regularly declared Toronto one of the best cities in the world in which to live.
Much of this is because we do live in a community that really does care.
It is now my honour to turn the Chair over to Bahadur Madhani. As you know, he has:
â€¢ Served the United Way in many capacities over a number of years including his most recent position as your Treasurer.
â€¢ Been a tireless supporter through many innovative events, such as the Ishmali Run. I also count him amongst my very best friends. The United Way will be in very good hands with Bahadur as Chair.