Where your money goes to help children

Your donation to UNICEF Canada is used effectively and efficiently to support the right to a childhood for kids around the world. We make every dollar count to create the greatest impact for children.

  1. Your donations go farther: UNICEF is part of the United Nations family, with presence in more than 190 countries and territories. We work neutrally with governments to prioritize children’s rights and well-being. This means we can reach more children and families.
  2. Funds are used efficiently: UNICEF Canada’s cost of fundraising and administration in 2022 was 29%, which meets Canada Revenue Agency guidelines for charities. This means that 71% of every dollar goes to support children.
  3. Funds are used effectively and responsibly: our best practices in transparency, accountability, ethical fundraising, staff management and governance have repeatedly earned us Imagine Canada’s Standards Accreditation.

In Canada, our mandate is to create opportunities for people across the country to support the essential needs of children around the world. We also advocate with all levels of government to make children’s rights a top priority.

Although UNICEF is part of the United Nations, we rely entirely on voluntary contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations. UNICEF also receives grants from governments around the world who trust us to make a difference for children.


When you make a donation to UNICEF Canada, it is directed in one of three ways, pictured below:

Three Funding


Core Resources
Flexible funds for greatest needs
Designated resources
High-Value donations for specific projects
Emergency response
For natural disasters and crises

1. Core Resources

Core Resources is where the majority of UNICEF Canada donations go, to support the greatest short- and long-term needs of children. These needs can range from solar-powered fridges to store and safely deliver children’s routine immunization programs in hot climates, to providing radio education programming in regions with the highest out-of-school rates, and so much more.  

This funding is “flexible” because it enables UNICEF to be agile and adapt to changing situations where children are at the greatest risk. If you choose to give monthly or make a one-time donation, your donations provide this flexibility so that we can be there for children whenever, and wherever, needs are the greatest and where populations are underserved.

These funds are directed to UNICEF offices globally, where staff implement UNICEF’s programs to help children and their families.

2. Designated Resources

Some donors designate their support to one of 10 thematic funding areas, at the global, regional or country level. Thematic areas include but are not limited to:

  • Health and Immunization
  • Nutrition
  • Education
  • Gender Equality and Empowerment of Girls and Women
  • Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Child Protection
  • Mental Health

Programs must be sustainable, scalable and innovative. For example, UNICEF Canada’s Women UNlimited giving circle is supporting early childhood development in Mongolia, primary education in Bolivia, and secondary education in Ghana, with an emphasis on girls’ education.

3. Emergency Response

Every minute counts during a humanitarian emergency like a natural disaster or conflict. When UNICEF Canada asks for donations to support an emergency response, donations go to a specific fund created to rapidly assist children and families caught in that crisis.

In a humanitarian emergency, your donations help to provide life-saving resources such as:

  • Medical supplies
  • Safe water
  • Nutrition support
  • Shelter
  • Sanitation and hygiene infrastructure
  • Safe spaces providing psychosocial support (including trauma counselling), education and child protection

When you purchase a Survival Gift®, your gift may be a product that supports an emergency response, or it may be a product that supports an already established program addressing ongoing needs for children and their families. Survival Gifts are real gifts with real impact that are guaranteed to reach those most in need.

Did you know?

In emergencies, UNICEF is…

  • Global emergency response lead among all humanitarian agencies for safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
  • Global lead for children’s education in emergencies with additional emphasis on girls’ education. We provide safe spaces and learning materials to give children comfort and a sense of normalcy during traumatic situations.
  • A specialist in helping children who have been separated from family during a crisis. We activate a sophisticated network of Child Protection Specialists who stop at nothing to reunite children with their loved ones.


UNICEF Canada is a National Committee of UNICEF. Our mandate is to raise support in Canada, and to advocate with all levels of government for every child’s right to a childhood. The funds we raise for international programs work are remitted on a monthly basis to UNICEF’s global headquarters.


UNICEF works in some of the world’s most difficult regions where there are many barriers to children’s rights. We ensure that life-saving programs and resources reach children and families according to their needs. To do this, UNICEF works only with non-governmental organizations that go through a rigorous screening and approval process with the United Nations. This process is repeated every few years.

These “implementing partners” are bound by agreements that they enter into with the UN. The agreements require that cash, supplies and equipment under their control are kept in the right hands for their intended purposes. This means they are not used to provide support to individuals or entities associated with terrorism, and they are not transferred by the implementing partner to any individual or entity that is listed on the UN Security Council Committee Consolidated List.

We’re here to answer your questions

More of your questions can be answered at unicef.ca/frequently-asked-questions

If you would like additional information, please reach out to us at info@unicef.ca or call 1 800 567 4483.