The invaluable experience of being a United Way Sponsored Executive

Pay It Forward


One of the most rewarding volunteer opportunities that takes Payworks staff out of the office for approximately 90 working days is being a Sponsored Executive (SE) with the United Way.

Payworks has participated in the SE program for the past four years with United Way Winnipeg, which means for a three month time period we pay one of our staff’s salary so they can serve as a member of the United Way city-wide campaign. This is just one of the ways companies can donate to United Way; instead of giving a monetary donation, companies can essentially donate the time and skill sets of one of their employees.

Trevor MacHutchon.While at United Way, SEs are assigned accounts/workplaces which they then assist in any way possible throughout their United Way Workplace Campaign – helping them achieve their own fundraising goals. SEs can help organizations set their goals, help them brainstorm ideas, assist in fundraising strategies, and much more. The scope of duties is very broad.

“It was really interesting because the tasks vary so drastically,” said Payworks CRM Manager, Trevor MacHutchon, who was Payworks’ very first SE back in 2015. “One day I would be speaking at the University of Manitoba to hundreds of people about United Way, and the next day I would be flipping pancakes at an event.”

All of Payworks SEs say one aspect of the role they’ve truly enjoyed is the autonomy they were given and the capacity to run with campaigns in whatever way they could. They also all unanimously say being an SE is one of the greatest and most rewarding volunteer experiences they’ve been able to participate in.

“Part of being a SE is connecting with the community. It was incredible to listen to Winnipeggers from different backgrounds, with different life experiences, share their immensely personal stories with complete strangers,” said Business Development Specialist, Callan Davey, Payworks’ SE in 2017. “Those individuals share those experiences because it inspires people to believe that the world can change for the better and it helps you personally see that your small, positive actions can truly make a difference.”

Callan Davey.

Lauren Himbeault.In talking to any of Payworks past SEs, inspiration is the key ingredient they’ve walked away from the experience with.

“It was quite the experience. It was very impactful because I plan to continue living in Winnipeg and this is my city too. Working closely with United Way showed me how important it is that we take part in these initiatives that support our community,” said Systems Developer, Lauren Himbeault who was Payworks’ second SE in 2016. “It helped me see that we can make a difference.”

Business Analyst, Dee dela Cruz was Payworks’ SE in 2018 and explained that SEs do a fair amount of travelling throughout the city. At any point during the week she found herself anywhere from Transcona to Downtown, Murray Park, Tyne-Tees, or West Fort Garry Industrial, which was a fantastic way to gain a new appreciation and to learn more about the beautiful city she calls home. But most of all throughout her time as an SE she found herself repeatedly being in awe of the strength and courage of United Way’s speaker series.

“When they share their stories of how United Way supported agencies have impacted their lives, or the lives of others, it reminds me of the amazing work that is being done in our community,” said Dee. “Hearing those stories are invaluable. I think it shows people where their dollars go and puts a face to their donations. I know for me personally, after hearing my first speaker it was a no-brainer that I would support United Way. As I go on more tours and hear more speakers it reinforces my continued support.”

Dee and Callan.

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