Federated Health Charities began in 1983, when members of the OPS created their own campaign to allow them to contribute to health charities in the same way they were able to contribute to social service agencies through the United Way campaign – chiefly through payroll deduction, but also by cash, cheque, Visa or MasterCard, as well as through participation in special events. Since the United Way campaign ran in the fall, Federated Health became a spring campaign, currently running from the beginning of April to the end of July.
Federated Health Charities was run under the aegis of the Ontario Government Employees Charity Trust, by staff seconded from the OPS, until the administration of the annual campaign devolved to the member charities, at the government’s request, with the hiring of part-time staff for the 1996 campaign. A full-time Executive Director was hired in November, 1997, and a full-time Campaign Administrator in January 1998. (The Ontario Government Employees Charity Trust continued to report campaign revenues under its Charitable Registration Number until Federated Health received its own in 1998.)
OPS staff has donated over $44.4-million in 34 years, making this one of Canada’s most successful workplace campaigns, and one that’s become vital to our 16 member charities. For example, each of our charities has a budget for client services, for 13 of the 16 charities in 2013, the OPS Campaign provided between 1% and 42% of those budgets – that means, between 1% and 42% of their clients get the help they need thanks to this campaign – a huge contribution, and one of which we can be very proud.