Donate to our NWT Emergency Response Fund

The United Way NWT is fundraising to support organizations helping evacuees from across the Northwest Territories who have left their homes due to the wildfires. More than $1.5 million has been distributed so far to reception centres, women’s shelters, youth centres, local governments, Indigenous governments, and other organizations. This statistic covers from the beginning of the 2023 fire season in May until August 19th, and we will continue to update the community with more information.

Wildfires have impacted the entire Northwest Territories, and we’ve seen evacuations impact communities including Hay River, Kátł’odeeche First Nation, Wekweeti, Sambaa K’e, Tulita, Behchoko, Fort Smith, Jean Marie River, Kakisa and Yellowknife. The United Way NWT has mobilized and launched a fundraising campaign to support those impacted by the wildfires and help them respond to the damage they’ve experienced.

United Way NWT is proud to have supported communities across the Northwest Territories during emergencies, including during the COVID pandemic, flooding in the Dehcho region in 2021, and flooding in the Hay River and KFN area in 2022.

You Can Help!

Please donate to this cause through our Canada Helps page.

For businesses, unions, and public organizations looking to donate or support United Way NWT’s efforts, please contact our Emergency Response Coordinator at 867-675-2643.

Hay River Youth Centre brings youth and their families to a movie in Grande Prairie, during a August 2023 wildfire evacuation, funded by donations to the United Way NWT

Does UWNWT take an administrative fee when collecting donations?

It does cost UWNWT money to manage our emergency response. However, 100% of donations raised will go towards supporting evacuees.

When you are donating money to a charity, the charity has an obligation to notify you of how the funds will be used. If we use your donations to cover an administrative cost, we will always clearly indicate that on any donation portal or page. In this case, we have not indicated this. 100% of your donations will go towards helping organizations serving evacuees.

Funds used to cover our current administrative costs are coming out of our existing budget. If these costs become too high for our existing budget, we will be contacting our partners to help support this cost. Publicly collected donations will not be used.

NOTE: The CanadaHelps donation portal does charge an administrative fee per donation that we cannot control. CanadaHelps keeps this administrative fee. If you would like to make a donation through other means to avoid this fee, please contact us at

When we launch an appeal for emergency response, donations made to this fund will be used to help CRA-certified organizations with their immediate needs, such as food, fuel and incidentals. Your donations will be designated for the purpose for which they were given. In the unlikely event that United Way NWT raises more money than can be reasonably and effectively spent, we will use any remaining funds for recovery or similar purposes in that community or for future need in the Northwest Territories.

Access Help

United Way NWT does not provide direct aid to individuals. We urge individuals to contact community organizations or resources.

If you are a community or charitable organization seeking funds to support your wildfire response efforts, please get in touch with us as soon as possible. You can contact our Emergency Response Coordinator at or at 867-675-2643.

During the 2023 Wildfire season, United Way NWT has developed two key funding programs:

General Emergency Fund Program

We invite organizations, Indigenous governments, or community governments supporting evacuees to send us an email to request information about how to apply.

Requests should generally include:

  • Amount of funds being requested
  • Purpose of funds
    • If funds are being re-distributed, either in cash, gift cards, or physical items, additional information will be requested.
  • Budget / estimated costs
  • Additional questions, as determined by the Emergency Response Coordinator

Please email our Emergency Response Coordinator at

During active emergencies, response times are generally within 5 business hours.

Applicants may apply for any amount, however average funded projects range from $5,000 to $25,000. There is no limit on the number of times an organization can apply.

Processing times during active emergencies are generally within 24 hours.

Rapid Micro-Grant Program

If you are a registered charity or qualified donee, your organization can apply to access a rapid micro-grant of $2,500 to cover costs associated with providing programming or services that support evacuees.

Please email our Emergency Response Coordinator at, call us at 867-675-2643, or fill out the application below.

There is no limit on the number of times an organization can apply.

Processing times during active emergencies are generally within 10 business hours.

NWT Updates

To see updates from the Government of the Northwest Territories, you can visit their NWT Alert website here.

Thank You

The United Way NWT is incredibly grateful to the Union of Northern Workers – for providing a $60,000 donation to this fundraising initiative, and the Government of the Northwest Territories, who has matched your donations up to $150,000. Both these amounts are meant to provide immediate relief support to those who are working on the ground to support residents during this time, and in addition to formal government supports towards recovery efforts.

Through these spectacular partnerships, the United Way NWT is showing those impacted by the fires that they are not alone, and helping them get back on their feet.

The United Way NWT’s campaign to support those affected by 2023 Wild Fires has been met with huge support from the community of the NWT.

The United Way NWT would like to thank:

YOU – all the NWT residents and beyond who donated through our CanadaHelps page!

  • The Government of the Northwest Territories
  • PSAC – Social Justice Fund
  • Teck Resources Ltd
  • Enbridge Pipelines (NW) Inc.
  • DeBeers Canada Inc.
  • Diavik Diamond Mines Inc.
  • Arctic Canadian Diamonds
  • TD Bank
  • Northwestel
  • Canadian North Airlines
  • Commercial NDS
  • Serenia Financial Life
  • Det’on Cho Bouwa Wee Catering LP
  • Top of the World Travel
  • Lawson Lundell LLP
  • McLennan Ross LLP
  • YK Condo Corp
  • NWT Life
  • KJ Harrison and Partners Inc.
  • Several Anonymous donations