The CanadaHelps Story
A true story of innovation, entrepreneurship and giving back.
In 1999, a young university student named Aaron Pereira sat in a church pew waiting for the collection plate to make its way towards him. As he dug in his pockets, he realized that he didn’t have any cash on him. The dot-com boom was in full swing, and e-commerce was the way of the future: how come his church wasn’t collecting donations online, too?
With that question in mind, he began to put together the concept that eventually became CanadaHelps. Aaron envisioned a way for all charities and donors to benefit from the same technology that helped businesses reach huge markets over the internet.
With 2 friends – Ryan Little and Matthew Choi – Aaron set about finding support to build CanadaHelps. The students convinced major supporters to back their vision of an engaged donor base online. With Canadian corporations and financial institutions offering donated funds, space and technology, CanadaHelps launched in 2000. CanadaHelps, itself a charity, supports the philanthropic efforts of both donors and charities – online. Ryan, Matthew and Aaron’s dedication and volunteer time led to its early success: in its first year, over $150,000 was donated through CanadaHelps to charities across the country.
Today, CanadaHelps facilitates over $40 million in donations annually. We continue to honour our entrepreneurial roots by innovating to stay ahead of online trends and offer Canadians new ways to give to their favourite causes.