Welcome to Cause Funds by CanadaHelps

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Technology is playing a major role in the giving of tomorrow, and eventually in our lifetime, all giving will move online. This has become even more apparent in recent months, when much of the world’s businesses, charities, and even family interactions were forced online in the COVID-19 pandemic.

This week, we officially launched Cause Funds by CanadaHelps, the newest innovative step we’ve taken to harness the power of technology, give Canadians more ways to easily give with confidence, and to respond proactively to changing preferences in giving, especially with younger people, in a way that meets their lifestyle, expectations, and interests.

What are Cause Funds?

This new way to give enables donors to make an impact for a cause they care about by making a single donation in support of a group of charities focused on the same cause. Donations made to a particular Cause Fund are pooled and then distributed equally among the registered charities in the Fund. Cause Funds democratize support for the charitable sector by easily connecting Canadian donors to the causes they are passionate about while supporting charities of all sizes. Donors can have confidence knowing money will be going where it is intended, stewarded by charities across Canada.

We know from our own research in The Giving Report, and numerous other studies, that the charitable sector in Canada and around the world is currently experiencing a crisis. Donations are declining, and younger donors are not engaging in charitable giving in the same way older generations have (though not for lack of passion about social change!). 

Cause Funds aim to address these trends by providing an easy and convenient way to connect donors and charities around the causes they care about, while ensuring that critical funding reaches the Canadian charities that need it. We see growing amounts of money going into platforms like crowdfunding where there is far less accountability and oversight around when the money is delivered, and how the money is spent. Cause Funds provide greater transparency, authenticity, and trust throughout the giving process by ensuring that only registered Canadian charities receive donated funds. Donations made to Cause Funds are sent directly to eligible charities, and tax receipts are automatically issued to donors. 

We launched Cause Funds for a few other reasons:

  • Cause Funds help even out the distribution of giving, enabling more donations to go to smaller charities. 91% of charities in Canada are small, with fewer than 10 staff, but they only receive 57% of the donations made in this country and 4% of government funding. Much in the way the trend in financial investments is towards “index” funds, our Cause Funds are based on an index-style aggregation of smaller charities, enabled by a technology platform.
  • For some donors, researching charities and gaining clear information in order to decide which ones to support is a deterrent to giving. With 86,000 charities in Canada, choosing the one(s) to support can be an overwhelming decision. For these people that may be deterred from giving, we thought, “how can we make this easier?”
  • Cause Funds are also a powerful way to enable giving in a crisis. We know from The Giving Report that Canadians are incredibly generous in times of crisis, but identifying charities responding — especially the smaller organizations that often have more focused missions — can be both challenging and time consuming. When COVID-19 hit Canada, we were able to give people a way to give with confidence to this crisis. Combined with a generous matching donation from Gore Mutual Foundation, our early COVID-19 Cause Funds for Health Care and Community Care raised nearly $5 million. Shortly after, we were able to launch the Black Solidarity Fund for the many Canadians wanting to support Black communities in the wake of the killing of George Floyd; this Fund has raised nearly $2 million from donors and our match partner, P&G. 

What Causes Can I support on CanadaHelps?

Now more than ever, Canadians also want transparency to ensure they can trust that their donations are going to the right organizations and advancing the causes that are important to them. CanadaHelps has introduced 29 Cause Funds to date, and plans to launch new Funds on an ongoing basis to address emerging crises and current events.

Discover all the Cause Funds you can support on CanadaHelps here.

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