United Way Case Study


An economic downturn typically doubles the challenges for local non-profit organizations by suppressing donor contributions at a time when the need for support increases. In Calgary, the impact of a pandemic in 2020 only served to deepen the effects of a downturn the city was already experiencing. For an individual not-for-profit, this presents obstacles. For an organization like the United Way of Calgary and Area, who serves multiple community members, the challenge multiplies and becomes even more daunting.


United Way is a staple in the city’s nonprofit sector, with a diverse mandate providing a wide scope of services. Unfortunately, the details of their efforts are not well-understood amongst both current and non-current donors. They lack clarity on the positive impact the organization has with important causes, even those they know and are personally engaged with. United Way needed a strategy to better demonstrate their impact as a way to attract new donors and deepen their relationships with current donors. That’s why they hired Emotive Technologies leveraging the Apex Scoring System.


Leaning on the power of the Apex Scoring System, we uncovered several key ingredients – feelings and beliefs, that forge bonds amongst the strongest supporters of United Way, and are equally motivating for potential donors to give. In particular, Apex confirmed that, by focusing on building a greater sense of personal meaning, United Way could form new and lasting donor relationships with the people that matter most.

Extending their efforts into a broader Apex Roadmap exercise, we enabled the organization to look at themselves through the critical lens of those who are most important to their success. This helped United Way set a specific course for change within their marketing and operations that is not only framing a new plan for Calgary, but may also provide strategic guidance for United Way nationally.

What United Way of Calgary Has to Say

“Working with Apex has been integral to our marketing transformation work. By using an evidence-based approach, we are able to understand what drives attitudes and beliefs around the behaviour of giving, and will be able to engage with our audiences in a more meaningful way.”

Yvette Biggs, VP, Marketing and Communications

United Way Case Study