(Last updated: February 10, 2020)
Donations made through www.canadahelps.org, or through one of CanadaHelps’ tools for charities (excluding Ticketed Events), are legally made to CanadaHelps CanaDon, a charity registered with the Canada Revenue Agency (Registration Number: 896568417RR0001), but ensuring the gift is granted to the donor’s intended charity quickly is CanadaHelps’ priority.
CanadaHelps will use all reasonable and best efforts to honour all donors’ wishes and instructions in disbursing their donation to the charity or charities of their choice. CanadaHelps acts on donations through an implied trust relationship, where donated funds are given to CanadaHelps to then be delivered to a final recipient charity or charities as identified by the donor.
CanadaHelps therefore manages donations under the arrangement that a donation made through CanadaHelps is a gift made via trust, but with the constraints imposed by the CRA under the Income Tax Act. This means that:
Charities that have signed up for Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) with CanadaHelps will receive donations weekly, directly into their bank accounts. There is no minimum donation amount for the funds to be transferred to the charity.
Charities that have not signed up for EFT with CanadaHelps will receive donations, if any, by cheque. Cheques will be sent on or before the 15th day of the month following the month of the donation(s). There is no minimum donation amount for the funds to be mailed to the charity by cheque.
Exceptions to this disbursement schedule apply to donations made through a CanadaHelps Local or Cause Funds, CanadaHelps third-party partnerships (such as employee giving programs facilitated by a CanadaHelps business partner), and donations of securities.
Donations made to a CanadaHelps Cause or Local fund are normally disbursed quarterly, subject to a minimum amount of donations accumulating in the fund. If disbursement minimums of at least $10 per charity recipient have not been met, the donations to the fund will roll over to the next quarter, to a maximum of two quarters.
CanadaHelps issues a tax receipt for gifts of securities to the donor on the date the securities are sold received into CanadaHelps’ account. Once settled and funds have been received by CanadaHelps, the amount of the gift is disbursed to the designated charity(ies) as part of our normal disbursement cycle as described above.
CanadaHelps partners with businesses to facilitate increased giving in Canada. CanadaHelps considers these donations received at the time it receives both the funds for the donations as well as the details about the donation (including donor name and designated charities). Once this information is received, eligible tax receipts are issued and funds are disbursed to designated charities as part of our normal disbursement cycle as described above.
Charities may choose to offer Funds to which donors can direct their gifts. If no Funds have been created, donations will be made to the charity’s General fund.
On occasion, a charity will remove a Fund from their charity Profile on CanadaHelps or through their Customizable Donation Forms after a donation has been made but before the money has been disbursed to the charity; an example of when this might happen is in the case of a gift of Securities, which can take longer to process than gifts of cash, or for recurring donations where a charity’s needs may change over time and after the original gift was scheduled. If the charity removes a fund, CanadaHelps will redirect the donation to the charity’s General or default fund.
Gifts made through CanadaHelps are unrestricted; If a charity cannot use the gift for the purposes identified in the Fund, or if the Fund is deleted by the charity after the donation has been created, the donation will be used at the discretion of the recipient charity where it is deemed to be needed most.
CanadaHelps follows CRA guidelines for donation refunds and does not perform refunds of donations except under extenuating circumstances that are deemed appropriate at the discretion of the President & CEO.
These exceptions and circumstances may include, but are not limited to:
If a refund is issued, CanadaHelps will cancel the original donation receipt issued to the donor.
CanadaHelps may redirect a donation to a charity other than the one originally selected by the donor at the time the donation was made, in the following circumstances:
In very rare cases (representing 0.007% of the donations we process), we are unable to disburse funds to the intended charity by EFT or cheque. This can occur when a charity changes its banking information and fails to notify CanadaHelps, a charity changes their address and does not update Canada Revenue Agency, a charity becomes de-registered with CRA during the short period of time between the donation being made and the funds being disbursed, or a charity is ceasing their operations for other reasons. When this happens, we make reasonable efforts to contact the charity to have the required information updated.
If the charity does not update the required information, we make multiple attempts to contact the donor to get further direction on an alternate charity they would like funds disbursed to. If we cannot get direction from the donor, and after 18 months from the date of donation, the funds will be deemed “undisbursable” and CanadaHelps will act under the authority of the Income Tax Act and use the funds to carry out its work for other charities. The tax receipt issued to the donor by CanadaHelps is not affected if funds have been deemed “undisbursable.”