What is CanadaHelps?
CanadaHelps is a registered charity dedicated to increasing charitable giving across Canada. We do that by serving both donors and charities.
For donors, we offer a one-stop shop for discovering, donating, or fundraising online for any registered Canadian charity. We process donations made using our site, disburse the funds to the charities and provide instant or anytime access tax receipts directly to the donors.
For charities, we provide open access to our affordable, secure online fundraising platform and training so they can better connect with their supporters.
CanadaHelps is registered with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as CANADAHELPS CANADON, BN: 896568417RR0001
Because we’re a non-profit, our fees are a fraction of for-profit alternatives so your donation dollars go further and work harder when you give using CanadaHelps.
That’s good for charities and it’s good for donors, too.
For people who want to support the charities that matter to them, we offer simple ways to donate and to fundraise.
- Donate to the charities of your choice and receive your charitable tax receipt instantly.
- Set up a schedule of monthly donations.* You’ll help the organizations you like with a regular source of support while you spread your giving over time.* Make donations of securities and mutual funds for tax advantages that will save you money and allow you to contribute more to the charities you support.
- Give to a specific charity in honour or in memory of someone you care about and send an eCard announcing your gift.
- Prefer to give privately or without follow-up from the charity? Simply choose our option to donate anonymously.
- Create a fundraising page and turn any occasion into a charitable occasion,* from wedding and birthday celebrations to sporting events and personal challenges. You can raise money for one or dozens of charities on the same page, and then share your page with friends and family so they can contribute to your effort.
- Save a list of your favourite charities* to make giving to them even easier.
- Keep all of your charitable receipts in one convenient place* for when tax time comes around.
- Give the gift of giving with a CanadaHelps Charity Gift Card. They’re the perfect gift to celebrate an occasion or someone special.
- Connect with the Giving Life community on the CanadaHelps blog. It’s where Canadians, charities and sector thought leaders come together to share and engage on all things charitable.
*Open a free CanadaHelps account for donors to take advantage of these services.
What can charities do at CanadaHelps.org?
For charities, we offer simple ways to connect with supporters and to collect donations online.
- Collect donations through our safe and secure site: single donations, regular monthly donations, and donations of securities and mutual funds.
- Use our free Donate Now buttons on your charity’s site or in other digital media and customize the donation experience your users see.
- Set-up electronic fund transfers and receive donations weekly, directly in your bank account.
- Set up your free charity profile page to help people understand your organization and its mission.
- Announce special fundraising campaigns, share photos and videos, and tell people how they can support your organization in addition to their donation dollars.
- Receive email alerts of new donations or access donation information anytime in your MyCharity account.
- Take advantage of the educational and training resources on our free learning site, MyCharityConnects.org
How does CanadaHelps support itself?
CanadaHelps is a self-funded charity. We charge a transaction fee of between 3.0% of donations to 4.9% of donations depending upon the type of donation you make and whether the charity actively uses the CanadaHelps platform to accept donations.
Overall, just 1.8% of donation dollars goes to CanadaHelps, enabling us to continue to build and provide the new and innovative online fundraising tools that small to medium charities need, at the best, non-commercial rates. The remainder goes to payment processing costs of credit card companies, banks and other financial institutions.
We are also thankful for the generous contributions made by individual donors, and, from time to time, charitable foundations or corporations that support us. They recognize the vital work done by small to medium sized charities, and the need for these charities to have the open access to a secure fundraising platform at a fraction of the cost of the alternative for-profit solutions that we provide.
What fees does CanadaHelps charge?
When you donate using CanadaHelps, you receive a tax receipt for 100% of the value of your donation. The charity receives the amount of your donation less our processing fee.
CanadaHelps is a registered charity. Our mission is to increase charitable giving, and it’s critical to our mission that we pass along as much as possible out of every dollar we collect.
Just 1.8% of your donation ensures CanadaHelps can continue to provide charities with affordable access to online fundraising and educational tools.
Like all online transactions, online charitable gifts are subject to transaction processing fees from banks, credit card companies and/or supporting brokerage firm. To ensure our fee structure is as simple and transparent as possible, our fees include the payment processing costs.
These are the fees we collect on donations in order to keep CanadaHelps running:
|Donations to charities who actively use the CanadaHelps online fundraising platform||Donations to charities who use alternative, for-profit online fundraising tools|
|Credit Card, PayPal or Interac donations||3.9% fee||4.9% fee|
|Securities donations||3.0% fee||4.0% fee|
That’s it. There are no hidden fees.
We do not charge charities to:
- Open or maintain a CanadaHelps account;
- Set-up electronic fund transfers for donations they receive;
- Customize and manage their charity profile and campaigns on CanadaHelps.org;
- Create custom-branded donation and fundraising pages;
- Access real-time donation reporting information;
- Benefit from the advocacy work we do in support of small to medium-sized charities.
And, we’re committed to keeping our educational tools for charities free or very affordable.
There is also no charge to open a CanadaHelps account for donors.
How did CanadaHelps get started?
Three university students founded CanadaHelps in 2000.
In 1999, a young university student named Aaron Pereira was ready to make a donation. But, as he dug into 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 the charities he supported were not collecting donations online, too?
Joined by two friends –Ryan Little and Matthew Choi – and with that question in mind, the trio began to put together the concept that eventually became CanadaHelps. They envisioned a way for all charities and donors to benefit from the same technology that helped businesses reach huge markets over the internet.
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. In its first year, more than $150,000 was donated through CanadaHelps to charities across the country.
And we’ve increased that amount every year since. In 2013, CanadaHelps facilitated over $78 million dollars in donations, benefiting over 14,000 charities.
Is it safe to donate through CanadaHelps?
Absolutely. We work hard to keep all of your information safe and secure.
CanadaHelps complies with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). That means we spend a lot of our time and resources on updating the security of our payment processes. As part of that compliance, we don’t actually store your credit card information on our servers, but can recall your encrypted information in order to save you time when you donate.
We protect your other information, too. We’ll never share your personal information with any charity unless you ask us to, and even then only if that charity has signed our privacy agreement.
How do I know that CanadaHelps is reputable?
It’s important to trust any charity you support. So we make as much information about our organization available to our public as we can.
We’re registered as a public foundation with the Canada Revenue Agency (our Business Number is 896568417RR0001). That means we comply with the Agency’s rules for maintaining our charitable registration. It also means that our financial statements are readily available for anyone to inspect. You can also view copies of our annual reports from our site, as well as from Charity Focus.
We’re proud to comply with Imagine Canada’s Ethical Code trustmark for charities that have committed to ethical fundraising and accounting standards. We join the other Canadian charities who have participated in this program that work to ensure that the non-profit sector upholds its promise of responsibility and accountability.
What charities can I support through the CanadaHelps site?
You can donate to any charity registered with the Canada Revenue Agency’s list of active charities. We update our list monthly, so we’re adding new organizations as they earn their charitable status and removing any which no longer exist or have had their status revoked.
Because we depend on Canada Revenue to verify the organizations we display on our site, you aren’t able to donate to individuals in need or non-profits which are not registered charities.
For that same reason, charities outside of Canada aren’t represented here either. If you’d like to support charities outside of Canada, here are some other organizations which may be able to help:
To support a charity registered in the US, visit Network for Good.
To support a charity registered in the UK, visit Charities Aid Foundation.
Remember that donations made to foreign charities may not be eligible for a tax deduction in Canada. For more information, refer to the Canada Revenue Agency’s web site.
How can I help CanadaHelps?
Every time you donate to a Canadian charity using CanadaHelps, you’re helping to increase charitable giving across Canada. You’re helping CanadaHelps to continue to provide charities with the new and innovative fundraising tools they need — at the best, non-commercial rates — so more of your donation goes to true charitable work. That’s what CanadaHelps is all about and we’re thankful for your support.
Of course, we’re very happy for any additional support you can offer, too. Here are some additional ways you can help us better serve both Canadian charities and individuals.
- When you donate to any charity using our platform, you’ll see an option to add a small donation to CanadaHelps to help support us in our work.
- You can also donate to us directly by visiting our profile page on the CanadaHelps site.
- Spread the word. Tell your friends and family about us: over the phone, in an e-mail, or by posting a link to our site on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr or your personal blog.
- Share the good feelings that come with giving. Give a CanadaHelps Charity Gift Card to someone you love.
- Come in and help out. We’re always looking for volunteers.
How can I contact CanadaHelps with more questions?
You can contact us in a number of ways.
Use our online form to submit a question by e-mail or send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(416) 628-6948 (in the Toronto area)
(877) 755-1595 (toll-free)
179 John Street, Suite 403
Toronto, ON M5T 1X4
How does CanadaHelps handle complaints?
CanadaHelps is committed to handling complaints from our clients and stakeholders in a timely, effective, responsible, and consistent manner. For more information, please read our CanadaHelps Handling of Complaint Policy.
Is CanadaHelps Accredited?
Yes. CanadaHelps was accredited under Imagine Canada’s Standards Program in November 2014. This accreditation recognizes CanadaHelps’ commitment to meeting the highest possible standards in five fundamental areas: board governance; financial accountability and transparency; fundraising; staff management and volunteer involvement. Click here to learn more..