Agency Forum coming up

Each year, we gather together all the charitable agencies who either receive funds from the United Way or hope to in the future. The Agency Development Forum and Info Session is scheduled for Thursday, August 27th from 2 pm to 7:30 pm at the Golden Years Society on Main Street.

An essential step in the funding process, the Agency Forum dove into the realm of storytelling in 2014. The 2015 edition will build on that success.

“It was amazing to hear stories from agencies that effectively connected what they do on a daily basis with why they exist as organizations,” said Diane Shannon, Executive Director. “A number of our member agencies took those lessons learned and integrated them into how they talk about their work. In some cases, the results were pretty exciting.”

“We had great feedback about last year’s forum,” said Muna Yussuf, Community Investment Coordinator. “People were engaged and were able to use the information to strengthen their organizations.”

We will be asking a number of agencies to share some examples of how they’ve told their stories in different ways and what the impacts have been. We’ll also be diving into new and exciting territory doing exercises that will build on the lessons learned from last year.

“Sherry Duncan will be helping us on this portion of the day,” shared Diane. “She will be in her first week in her new Community Investment role with United Way, but with her energy and enthusiasm, there is no question she will be provide a memorable contribution to the day.”

The Agency Forum is also an opportunity to learn more about the United Way funding process and the many milestones that need to be reached to get support from the community fund. The Chair of the Community Investment Committee, John Evans, will be on hand to encourage members and prospective members to apply.

“We have made a concerted effort the make the process less onerous and stressful,” said Evans. “We have to maintain a high degree of transparency and accountability, but at the same time, we want the agencies to be successful. The community volunteers on our Community Investment support teams strive to be stalwart stewards of donor dollars while taking a partnership approach with the agencies.”

The Agency Development Forum and Info Session is open to all United Way funded agencies and any charitable organization seeking funding in the next cycle. Please RSVP to Lindsey Bradbury by August 19th to book your spot: or 780-791-0077, ext. 3019.


Author: Russell Thomas

​Russell is a marketing and communications professional who has spent 20 years in Wood Buffalo working with the OK Radio Group, Keyano College, Arts Council Wood Buffalo, and now with The United Way of Fort McMurray. A regular blogger, Russell's writing can be seen online ( and in multiple publications. His paintings can be seen in homes and businesses throughout the community. Married to Heather and "Papa" to Dylan and Ben, Russell is a passionate spokesperson for United Way.