Frequently Asked Questions
Making a donation
Finding a charity
Charity Gift Cards - Give the Gift of Giving™
Donations of Securities
For questions about CanadaHelps, please visit the About CanadaHelps FAQ section.
Making a donation
How do I make a donation?
To make a donation, first search for the charity you wish to donate to, enter your donation details, add it to your "Giving Basket" and then pay for the gift. Start your charity search here: www.canadahelps.org/BasicSearch.aspx
What payment methods does CanadaHelps accept?
CanadaHelps accepts donations by credit card, including Visa, Mastercard and Amex, and by Visa Debit and Interac Online.
I don’t want to donate online, can I send a cheque to CanadaHelps?
No. CanadaHelps accepts donations made online through our secure website only. To donate by cheque, please send the donation directly to the charity, not CanadaHelps.
Can I request that the charity I give to use my donation in a particular way?
Yes. Some charities have enabled a "fund designation" option letting you choose from a list of designation options, while others have not. If the fund you wish to designate the donation for is not available, you can include a message or instruction with your donation that will be received by your charity.
Can I designate my donation in honour or in memory of someone?
Yes. You can designate all donations in honour or in memory of someone.
Can I have CanadaHelps send a card to my honouree or to the family of the person who has passed away?
CanadaHelps offers free ecards for any donation you make in honour or in memory of someone. Ecards are available for any occasion, including birthdays, weddings, sympathy, Christmas, Hanukah and more. You can request that your charity send a hard-copy postal card or note to your designated honouree or memorial contact, and CanadaHelps will pass this request on to your charity. The onus is on the charity to fulfill your request for a postal card.
How much money gets sent to my charity?
CanadaHelps assesses a 3.9% transaction fee on donations before EFT disbursement. Donations to charities that aren’t registered for Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) of donations are assessed an additional 1% (for a total of 4.9% per transaction).
When does the charity get my donation? How?
CanadaHelps sends a weekly disbursement to charities that have registered to receive donations by direct deposit. Donations made from Sunday to Saturday are disbursed the following Friday. For those charities that still require disbursement by cheque, we batch donations monthly, and disburse cheques by the 10th of the following month.
Can I cancel my donation?
No. Donations are non-refundable according to the Canada Revenue Agency. We issue charitable tax receipts in real time, and because they are in digital format, we cannot ask that the file be returned. You cannot change your mind once you've made a charitable donation.
Finding a Charity
How do I find a charity to give to?
You can search on CanadaHelps for a charity by name, keyword, location, or charitable business number (or any combination these). You can also search by charity category or cause, including Animals, Artis & Culture, Charitable & Voluntary Sector Development, Education, Environment, International, Health, Religious Organizations and Social Services. Only charities that have selected a particular category will appear in the category search results. Start your search here: www.canadahelps.org/BasicSearch.aspx
You can find out more about selecting a cause in the Choosing a Charity section.
How many charities are on the CanadaHelps website?
CanadaHelps lists all of Canada's 85,000 registered charities. Some of these charities have registered to enhance their profiles and receive funds from CanadaHelps by electronic fund transfer.
My charity does not show up in the category search. Why?
Charities must register with CanadaHelps and log into their account to choose their categories. Once registered, charities can add keywords, upload their logos, enhance their profiles, and accept monthly donations. Registering with CanadaHelps is free for charities. If you represent a charity, please view our information found at the CanadaHelps for Charities section of the website.
How do I get my receipt?
Tax receipts can be downloaded once a donation is completed and are sent by email immediately following the payment of your donation(s). Please check your email following the donation and be sure to check your junk/spam folder in case our message has been diverted by your email client. If you have a MyCanadaHelps account, all donations and all receipts are stored online for you to be downloaded and printed at any time.
Is my receipt valid for tax credits?
Yes. CanadaHelps uses secure PDFs for tax receipting. Electronic receipts are valid for tax filing by the CRA.
I use Intuit QuickTax to file my taxes. How do my receipts get into the QuickTax program?
CanadaHelps is a partner organization to Intuit. When you are filing your taxes using QuickTax, you will be asked about your charitable tax receipts. If you have a MyCanadaHelps account, you will be able to choose CanadaHelps from the receipt source section, and will be able to have all of your giving history for the calendar year you are filing uploaded into the QuickTax program.
I live in Quebec and am required to have three copies of my tax receipt. What do I do?
Please print your PDF receipt three times.
I've lost my charitable receipt(s). How can I be reissued my tax receipts?
Please contact us, with your name, and approximate date of donation. We'll resend you your tax receipt by email.
What information must be on a tax receipt?
Tax receipts must contain the name and address of the payee of the gift as well as details about CanadaHelps, including our address, charitable business number and official signature. Official tax receipts also need to have the Canada Revenue Agency website on them.
Why can't I have tax receipts issued in someone else's name?
Receipts can only be issued to the payee of a donation. The donor/payee of a donation makes the cash donation to charity and therefore qualifies for the tax credit. For more information about how Canadian charities must issue tax receipts, please visit www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/chrts/plcy/cpc/cpc-010-eng.html .
If you would like to dedicate your gift, you can make a donation in honour of someone, or give them a Charity Gift Card
– but only the donor or payee can receive the tax receipt.
Why do you collect my email address?
Your email address is used as a login for future donations and is how CanadaHelps issues your tax receipt and will communicate with you about donation details. As an online entity, CanadaHelps does not mail donors newsletters or receipts.
What information do you collect and what information is passed onto the charity(ies) I support?
CanadaHelps collects your email address, name, and address. We also collect payment details. We pass only the information you want us to pass on to the charities you give to; you can give the charities your name only, name and email, all contact information, or make your donation anonymously to the charities you donate to.
Do you sell/trade donor information?
No. CanadaHelps does not share donor information with any third parties. Please read our privacy and security policy for more information.
Is CanadaHelps PCI compliant?
When it comes to handling your credit card information, CanadaHelps adheres to Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). Moreover, when necessary to do so (i.e. for monthly donations), we use the facilities of our PCI DSS compliant payment processor to securely store your payment card details.
Click here to download CanadaHelps’ compliance certificate.
How does monthly giving work?
Monthly donations are a great way to give back and budget your giving. To set up a monthly gift, first search for your charity and then click DONATE MONTHLY to complete the details of your gift, including day of the charity and amount to be given monthly. Your credit card will be charged every month on the same date for your donation. Monthly donors must create a secure MyCanadaHelps account to store their credit card information. You can log in to your MyCanadaHelps account at any time and change the details of your monthly gift or download your tax receipts.
How do I get my receipt?
Receipts for monthly gifts are not created each month. To access a receipt for monthly gifts, log in to your MyCanadaHelps account and click the Donations & Receipts section to download your receipt.
Why can I donate monthly to some charities but not others?
CanadaHelps can only facilitate monthly gifts for those charities that signed up to receive donations by direct deposit (electronic fund transfer) and not for those that receive payments from us by cheques. The direct deposit disbursement process is much more cost-effective for CanadaHelps.
Will I receive notification when my credit card is processed?
Yes. You receive an email when we have charged your credit card.
If my monthly donation fails, will I be notified?
Yes, you will receive an email if your monthly donation does not get processed correctly.
How do I cancel a monthly gift?
To cancel a monthly gift, log in to your MyCanadaHelps account and delete the monthly gift in the Monthly Giving section. Click here to log in to your MyCanadaHelps account.
What is a MyCanadaHelps account?
A MyCanadaHelps account is a secure, online account with CanadaHelps that lets you keep track of your giving all in one place. A MyCanadaHelps account lets you:
- Store your receipts to print out at tax time
- Securely save payment details for quicker donations
- Create a list of Charity Favourites, for quick one-click giving to your favourite charities
- Manage your monthly donations
- Stay organized!
A MyCanadaHelps account is free and easy to set up – simply follow this link and click the REGISTER WITH CANADAHELPS button: www.canadahelps.org/Login.aspx.
How do I log in to my MyCanadaHelps account?
To log in to your CanadaHelps account, go to www.canadahelps.org/Login.aspx. Enter your email address and password in the donor login section. Please remember that the login information is case sensitive.
I’ve forgotten my password, how do I reset it?
Visit the login page here: www.canadahelps.org/Login.aspx. Then, click on “Forgot Your Password?” under the Donor Login. Enter your email address into the field and an email will automatically be sent to you with instructions on how to reset your password.
How do I update my credit card or personal information?
To update your credit card number, name and/or contact information, log in to your MyCanadaHelps account here: www.canadahelps.org/Login.aspx. Once logged in, click on the Personal Info tab. Click the “Edit” button beside the information you’d like to update and make sure to click “Save” when finished.
How do I update my donation preferences related to tax receipts, privacy and contact by charities?
To update your donation preferences related to tax receipts, privacy and contact by charities, login to your account at the following link: www.canadahelps.org/Login.aspx. Once logged in, click on “Change my Preferences” underneath the “Need to update your personal details and preferences?” heading. Make any necessary changes and click “Save” when finished.
How do I access my tax receipts?
To access your receipts as well as your donation history, first log in to your CanadaHelps account here: www.canadahelps.org/Login.aspx. Once logged in, click on the “Donations and Receipts” tab. Click the GET RECEIPT button to download the receipt you’re looking for. If you don’t see the receipt, click on the "Create Receipt for Previous Year" button or the "Create Receipt for Current Year" button depending on which tax receipts you are looking for.
What are Charity Favourites and where can I view or edit my list?
You can simplify your giving by creating a list of favourite charities in your MyCanadaHelps account. Instead of searching for each charity’s profile to make a donation, you can make multiple donations to multiple charities at one time using this feature.
To view, add and remove charities on your list, log into your MyCanadaHelps account here: www.canadahelps.org/Login.aspx. Click on the “Charity Favourites” tab once logged in to add new charities to your list, view your list, and make a donation to your favourite causes today!
Charity Gift Cards - Give the Gift of Giving™
What are Charity Gift Cards and Give the Gift of Giving™?
The CanadaHelps Give the Gift of Giving™ Charity Gift Cards allow donors to give a charitable donation to friends and family. Purchase a gift card of any value and your gift recipient chooses which charity receives the donation amount. Charity Gift Cards are a great way to give a meaningful gift for any occasion: weddings, birthdays, Christmas, Hanukah, teachers’ gifts... any occasion!
How do Gift Cards work?
It’s easy! First, you select the amount of the gift card and choose from one of our attractive designs available for any occasion. Next, choose whether you want the card delivered by email to your recipient of if you want to print it off to give. The recipient then visits www.canadahelps.org to enter their Gift Card number and select which charity will receive the donation.
Can I print a copy of the card to give to my gift recipient?
Yes. Once you've paid for the donation, you are given a link to your Gift Card to print out.
Can CanadaHelps personalize Charity Gift Cards for corporate giving? Can I put a logo on a card?
Yes, you can order personalized cards in larger bulk orders. Please Contact Us to discuss options for your company.
Will CanadaHelps mail a real card to my gift recipient?
No. You are able to send your gift card by email or print a copy of the gift card to give to the recipient.
Can I buy Charity Gift Cards in stores?
No. The only place to buy Give the Gift of Giving™ Charity Gift Cards is online at www.canadahelps.org/GiftCards/.
What does my gift card recipient get?
If you choose to send the gift card by email, your gift card recipient will get an email from CanadaHelps with the link to the gift card online, the message you entered and their gift card number. The link will guide them through selecting a charity. If you choose to print out the gift card, you will print out a page that includes the gift card image, your message, the gift card number and instructions for going online to select a charity.
What if my recipient does not redeem his/her gift card?
If the gift recipient does not redeem his/her gift card to the charity of his/her choice within 6 months, CanadaHelps will contact you. You will then be asked to designate the donation to the charity of your choice.
What if we lose the gift card number or did not print out the card?
CanadaHelps sends you the link to your gift card so you can print it out at your convenience. If you don’t have that email, please contact us. We can resend you the link to print out the card.
I can't see the gift card preview! Why?
You must enable pop-ups form your browser. To do so, please review your browser's Help function.
What are GivingPages?
GivingPages let you raise money online for the charities you support with personalized fundraising web pages. GivingPages are an easy way for fundraisers to reach out to people and make it easy for those people to donate.
Does it cost me anything to use GivingPages?
No. CanadaHelps assesses a transaction fee of 3.9% from each donation to cover the costs of accepting credit cards online and processing the donations for the charities. Donations to charities that aren’t registered for Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) of donations are assessed an additional 1% (for a total of 4.9% per transaction). Our fees are very cost-effective for charities that choose to fundraise online. By using CanadaHelps, you save the charity the time and cost of tax receipting, collecting cheques or cash, printing and mailing letters, and creating their own in-house online e-commerce system for accepting online donations.
What kind of GivingPages can I create?
You can create GivingPages for almost any event or milestone! We have templates for weddings, birthdays, memorial pages, sporting events, anniversaries, pledge events and more.
How do I create GivingPages?
To set up your own GivingPage, visit the www.canadahelps.org/GivingPages/ and click the CREATE A GIVINGPAGE button. You will create a GivingPage account to manage your page and keep track of the donations you receive.
How do I find a GivingPage to donate to?
Use the GivingPage search here: www.canadahelps.org/GivingPages/ to find a GivingPage. You can search by the page creator's name, or browse for pages by category.
How do I let my supporters know about my GivingPage?
Once you have created your GivingPage, you are given a custom URL (link) that will bring donors to your GivingPage. You can send an email with the link to your friends, family and supporters or use the SHARE/SAVE button right on your GivingPage to post the page to your social networks. You can also link the URL to your website, blog page, or signature file.
How does the charity(ies) I choose get the money?
Payment is sent to charities in batches, either weekly or monthly, depending on our set-up with the charity. Donations that are disbursed weekly by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) are assessed a 3.9% transaction fee. Donations to charities that aren’t registered for EFT receive cheques monthly and are assessed an additional 1% (for a total of 4.9% per transaction).
Who gets the tax receipt? How does it get sent?
Each donor will get a tax receipt emailed to them once payment has been made. Receipts are sent by email as secure PDF documents.
Can I process non-charitable payments, like ticket sales or the sale of goods through my GivingPage?
No. Because donors receive a tax receipt, each donation made through a GivingPage needs to be fully charitable, meaning the recipients cannot receive any other value for their gift. This is in accordance with Canada Revenue Agency regulations.
Donations of Securities
What counts as publicly listed securities?
Your donation must be of securities that are traded on a public market in Canada or the United States. This includes stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, but excludes shares in a private corporations and stock options.
How does it work?
Once you've completed the online form and submit the Letter of Authorization to your financial advisor, the securities are then transferred to CanadaHelps. CanadaHelps in turn sends you a tax receipt. The securities are then sold and the donation is forwarded to your charity of choice.
How do I actually save more and give more by donating gifts of securities?
Here’s an example: let’s say you purchased common shares in ABC Company for a cost of $1,000. If the current market value of the shares has increased to $5,000, you would have a capital gain of $4,000. If you sell these shares, and donate the cash, you would need to pay tax on the capital gain. Instead, by donating the shares, you get a tax receipt for the $5,000 and pay zero capital gains tax. As a result, you now have a tax credit of $2,300, which is $920 more than if you had sold the shares and donated the proceeds. Thus, this method of giving is more tax-efficient.
This information provided is general in nature, does not constitute legal or financial advice, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional advice. We strongly encourage you to seek professional legal, estate planning and/or financial advice before deciding upon your donations to charity.
How long does it take for my donation to reach the charity?
That depends. Generally, most securities take a few days to get to CanadaHelps once you’ve submitted the Letter of Authorization to your financial advisor. Some securities, e.g. mutual funds, however, can take a few weeks. Once CanadaHelps receives the securities and they are sold, we distribute them to the charity in the next disbursement cycle. It can take as little as a week.
How much actually goes to the charity?
As the donation of securities is a transfer in ownership, it is subject to the fee structure you have set up with your broker. CanadaHelps will not levy any transfer fees, however, there is a nominal 3% transaction fee. This amount covers all brokerage fees, transaction fees, banking costs, receipting, reconciliation, and disbursements incurred by CanadaHelps. This 3% is deducted based on the proceeds of the sale of securities you donated, before the donation is sent to the charity, and is a modest charge for the service that CanadaHelps provides to Canadian donors and the charities they support.
How and when do I get my tax receipt?
You will receive your tax receipt after your securities have been received in the CanadaHelps brokerage account, and then subsequently valued based on closing bid price. Please note: according to the guidelines of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), the actual value of your donation for tax receipt purposes will be determined on the day that your donation is received in the CanadaHelps brokerage account.