Where your money goes to help children

A donation to UNICEF Canada means you are making a difference in children’s lives. We make sure every dollar is used effectively and efficiently to create the greatest impact for children.

By donating to UNICEF Canada: 

  1. Your donations go farther: UNICEF is part of the United Nations family, with a 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 2023 was 33%, which meets Canada Revenue Agency guidelines for charities. This means that 67% 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 the needs are 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, the Women UNlimited program provides collective and sustainable funding that creates transformative impact for women, children and families through our UNICEF Country Office partnerships. In 2024, Women UNlimited members directed their pooled thematic funding to Ecuador, with a focus on education, as the first part of their minimum 2-year funding commitment.

3. Emergency Response

During conflicts, crises and humanitarian emergencies, every minute counts. When UNICEF Canada asks for donations 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

With our unmatched global reach and experience, UNICEF provides life-saving care, supplies and protection to children in crises like no other organization. We operate the world’s largest humanitarian warehouse and can deliver essential nutrition, safe water, shelter and medicine within 48 to 72 hours when an emergency strikes.

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 children who need them most.


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/en/frequently-asked-questions

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