What is PayPal Giving Fund and How Does it Compare to CanadaHelps?

As a charitable social enterprise that has been serving Canadian donors and charities since 2000, we are continually asked for guidance as new charitable tools and services arise. We know the Canadian charities and donors that know and trust CanadaHelps have questions regarding the recently launched PayPal Giving Fund (PPGF) and how it compares to CanadaHelps’ services. Here are our answers to those questions.

What is PPGF?

PayPal Giving Fund (PPGF) is a platform launched in late 2018 offering Canadians a way to make one time only (non-recurring) online donations to any of Canada’s charities. It is set up as a charitable foundation by the American corporation, PayPal. PPGF processes donations through its website and issues tax receipts. Charities must sign up for a PayPal Business Account, enroll in the PPGF, and be validated as a charity to receive donations in their PayPal account once per month (15-45 days from date of donation).

Unenrolled charities are listed on PPGF; if the charity receives a donation, PayPal first verifies they meet PayPal’s criteria and then sends funds to the charity by cheque, typically within 90 days.

The processing costs incurred by PPGF are being fully paid by the US parent corporation, PayPal. Donors are encouraged to sign up for a PayPal account when making a donation.

Supporting the charitable sector in Canada and connecting donors with charities is at the core of what we do at CanadaHelps and we welcome any advances that help with this cause. PPGF was activated in Canada only recently but a mirror site in US has been operating for a few years. PPGF posts its policies on its website for disbursing and redirecting the gifts to the charities donors recommend. As always, we strongly encourage our users and partners to fully research any donation platform they consider using to ensure that it’s trustworthy, fits their needs, and aligns with their values.

Why can’t CanadaHelps reduce its fees further?

Unfortunately, PayPal is not offering to also waive its processing fee for donors who use PayPal on CanadaHelps so we must continue to pay these fees. PayPal is also not waiving their processing fees on other charities’ websites.

What are the differences between PPGF and CanadaHelps?

At first glance, it may seem that PPGF is similar to CanadaHelps.org. We both offer a website where Canadians can donate to any Canadian charity, however CanadaHelps offers significant options to donors that are not offered on PPGF. We offer a powerful set of tools, additional services, and greater control to charities that PPGF doesn’t have. We also offer live, bilingual customer service (M-F, 9am-5pm, and extended hours in November and December). Our Charity and Donor Relations team responded to 34,000 charity and donor enquiries last year.

Specific to donors:

  • Both CanadaHelps and PPGF allow donors to make one-time donations through their websites and receive an instant tax-receipt. However, the CanadaHelps platform offers more options and features that support different common giving preferences and goals.
  • CanadaHelps enables monthly giving, donations of securities, and the ability for Canadians to launch their own personal fundraising campaigns in support of one or many of their favourite charities. CanadaHelps can also process donations for many charities in a single transaction. When charities have specific program fundraising needs, donors can choose to direct donations to a specific fund.
  • Donors can choose to receive an instant receipt after each gift they make or choose to receive a single, roll-up receipt at the end of the year for all their gifts. Donors can also access their donation history and receipts online, at any time, in their free CanadaHelps account. Donors who support the same charities regularly can use our Favourites tool to save them in their account and quickly give again. Logging into a CanadaHelps donor account makes giving quicker, but is not a required step. A PayPal account is required to make a donation through PPGF.
  • For donors looking to understand the impact of a charity, CanadaHelps provides tools and education to charities to share more than their financials. On www.canadahelps.org, many charities share their impact story and results, as well as insights on their programs, and each day more charities add an impact page to their profile on CanadaHelps. CanadaHelps also includes on every charity Profile the charity revenue and expense data charities must report to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as part of their annual filing.
  • CanadaHelps’ charity Profile pages allow more charity content, with no restrictive character limits so donors can learn more about each charity. Charities can also upload logos, hero images, and use the extensive media gallery for images and videos.
  • CanadaHelps offers more ways for donors to learn more the charitable sector and connect to the causes they care about. Our Personalized Recommendations and Popular Now discovery services help donors find the cause or charity they want to support. Our blog and eNewsletter help donors learn about the important and diverse work charities do. The Giving Report is a data-driven resource for Canadians to learn about giving trends and the charitable sector.
  • Charitable gifts, Charity Gift Cards, and gifts in honour or in memory of a loved one with free eCards are several ways that CanadaHelps adds value for donors beyond donation processing.
  • Our website is bilingual – designed for a unique Canadian marketplace.

Specific to charities:

Another point of difference: CanadaHelps not only offers a direct to donor, we also offer customizable fundraising tools for charities. For charities to maximize donations from their fundraising efforts they must direct their donors to custom fundraising pages on their websites that are branded and specific to their charity.

Our work goes way beyond simple donation processing – for charities of all sizes, we remove the financial and technological barriers charities face in accessing effective fundraising tools and education in Canada. For no up-front costs, no monthly fees, and no contracts, we have built technology that allows smaller charities to grow online donations on their own websites using our single or multi-step Customizable Donation Forms, which include monthly giving, tribute giving, personalized e-cards, telephone number collection, and CASL email opt-in record keeping. Our Peer-to-Peer campaign and ticketed Events tools (with pre- and post-event split-receipting) are available to charities with no set-up costs, and we offer integration with the leading CRM providers.

Charities get the money faster and with full donor information from CanadaHelps. More than 15,000 charities have set up electronic funds transfer with us and we disburse funds with no minimums to them every week. For all other charities that have received donations, we send cheques monthly. All charities that sign up for an account with CanadaHelps and agree to our privacy policy can access full donor information, including name, email, and mailing address.

New initiatives: We have co-launched two giving initiatives in Canada, GivingTuesday and the Great Canadian Giving Challenge, which both significantly increase donations to charities each year since they launched.

Customer service: We offer bilingual customer service via phone, email and live chat, as well as support from our Charity Engagement team to help charities optimize the use of our tools.

Full Platform to Platform Comparison:

CanadaHelps PayPal Giving Fund
Charity Profiles Listing for every Canadian charity – including logo, name and description where available
Bilingual Website and profiles
Unlimited Description
Media gallery with photos and videos
Link to charity website
Charity Contact info
CRA Revenue and Expenses
Impact and Results reporting
Charity Campaigns
Customizable suggested donation amounts and related impact statements
Donation & Fundraising Options One-time donations
Gifts to multiple charities in single transaction
Monthly Gifts
Tribute gifts (in memory or in honour)
Gifts of Securities (to one or many charities in single transaction)
Charity Gift Cards
Fundraising Pages
Donor Favourites
Donation Delivery Weekly deposits to charities’ bank accounts
Monthly deposits to PayPal account
Tax Receipts Instant Tax Receipts
Aggregate tax receipts for all gifts made in a year
Support Bilingual, live customer service for donors and charities
Charity Success support team
Donor discovery and engagement options Popular Now & Personalized Discovery
Browse Charitable Gift Catalogue
Browse charitable campaigns
Browse fundraisers
Donor webinars
Personalized giving dashboards and benchmarking
The Giving Report
Blog Blog for donors
Blog for charities
Full Donor Information for Charity and Donor Opt‑In Name and email
Mailing address
Anonymity options
Crisis Relief Crisis Relief Centre
Fundraising Tools for Charities Bilingual, Unlimited Customizable, embeddable donation forms
Bilingual P2P
Bilingual Ticketed Events with split receipting
Integration with leading CRMs
Charity-branded tax receipts, customizable thank you messages, thank you tool within account
Education for charities Free webinars and workshops, courses and white papers for charities

Is CanadaHelps affiliated with any corporation?

CanadaHelps is an independent, self-supporting, Canadian registered charitable foundation that has been a trusted and secure partner for Canadian charities for 23 years, and is a destination of choice for Canadians to give. Since our launch, we have raised more than $1 billion for Canadian charities. In 2018, we distributed $183 million to 22,000 charities. This, combined with nearly two decades of regulatory and operating experience and a spotless legal track record, makes CanadaHelps a super convenient, one-stop shop for the many ways Canadians choose to donate and discover new charities.