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United Way Halton & Hamilton’s capacity building program for the social sector.

The ConnectED program strives to help non-profit staff enhance their knowledge, skills, and ability to create community impact.

We partner with subject matter experts to offer quality, relevant, and affordable opportunities to build organizational capacity that will strengthen the sector.

Do you have an idea for a workshop, or want to see resources on a certain topic? Do you know of a civic engagement that could build the capacity of our sector and community?

Get in touch! You can share your resources and ideas, and sign up for our ConnectED newsletter to learn about upcoming opportunities, by emailing Gavan at

ConnectED Workshops

ConnectED Workshops are live sessions, virtual or in-person, lead by subject matter experts. These are varied experiences intended to provide resources, knowledge, and support for organizational and community needs in the social sector. Click on the titles below to find out how to attend upcoming sessions!

Stay tuned for coming workshops

Learning Library

ConnectED’s Learning Library shares resources focused on social sector insights gathered within United Way’s local communities, in partnership with diverse sector leaders. These offerings are meant to be accessible and applicable for a range of social sector professionals, to bolster the network’s capacity to foster thriving communities.

If you have any creative capacity building resources or wish to partner in sharing your sector learnings, please get in touch.

From 2020 – 2023, United Way Halton & Hamilton partnered with Behavioural Insights Team of Canada to enhance the Financial Empowerment and Problem Solving Program in Halton, with support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Working with multiple community partners through FEPS, United Way has supported neighbours in moving from poverty to possibility. And with this investment into social innovation, United Way now wants to share the possibilities across other aspects of the social sector.

To read the final official report on the impact of Behavioural Insights on the FEPS program, click here

To read United Way’s Blog, click here

To read BIT’s Blog, click here

United Way’s first Learning Library resource comes from Social Impact Squared, a longstanding partner offering pro-bono 1:1 evaluation support through ConnectED. Written by Paul Bakker, Founder and Lead Evaluator, this article reflects on the collaborative sessions, and captures years of learning about best practices for collecting sensitive demographic information within community programming.

Read the first Learning Library resource by clicking through to Social Impact Squared.

Have you ever wondered why people behave in certain ways, and how you can encourage positive outcomes? Behavioural insights is one tool that can support you to meet people where they are at. United Way partnered with the Behavioural Insights team of Canada to develop a course for the social sector, designed to apply behavioural insights to the unique situations of our work. In this self-paced learning experience, you will learn foundational concepts and simple techniques that you can start implementing in practical ways.

Register by clicking here.

Academia has been increasingly engaged in efforts to ignite social change. Since 2019, United Way and The/La Collaborative at McMaster University have been working together to increase collaboration between the academic and social sectors, including creating experiential learning opportunities that are mutually beneficial.

Maximizing the impact of these collaborations requires that we test assumptions and better understand perspectives across stakeholders. In this report, co-authors Sandra Lapointe, McMaster University, and Vivien Underdown, United Way, along with student support and collaboration, discuss qualitative research with social sector and student stakeholders about their experiences.

The research reveals interesting insights about motivations, success factors and barriers that can be helpful to stakeholders involved with implementing experiential learning initiatives at both the program and systems level. Reciprocity is of crucial importance and deserves investment, to increase both academic and social sector partners’ capacity to contribute to social innovation and systems change.

A special thank you to the Futures Skills Centre and Mitacs for supporting this research. To read the report, click here.

The United Way of Halton & Hamilton’s ConnectEd program helps to build the capacity of local nonprofits to help them achieve their mission. However, since the pandemic, United Way has received less feedback from organizations in their network about what their capacity building the needs are, driving them to reach out to the McMaster Research Shop for help conducting a needs assessment. The McMaster Research Shop partnered with United Way to help assess the post-pandemic needs of local nonprofits, including their organizational priorities, capacity building topics that would help them with their priorities, and the formats capacity building initiatives should take.

Click here to read the full report

Natural Supports are those people who can provide support through existing connection – family members, friends, colleagues, coaches, or other community connections. This interactive simulation guides people through customized scenarios where a youth is in need of support from their community, and your choices in the simulation lead to different results.

Learn more about how you can complete the Natural Supports Simulation on your own, or book a facilitated session with our team at our dedicated Natural Supports Simulation page.