7 Misconceptions About CanadaHelps Charity Technology
October 2, 2023
CanadaHelps began in 1999 and has evolved greatly over the last 20+ years to continue serving the charity sector. We’ve made it easy for charities to manage their online donations, accept donations of securities and cryptocurrency and more. However, there are still some common misconceptions charities have about our charity technology, which we often hear on our webinars and support lines!
Read on to discover 5 common misconceptions about CanadaHelps Charity Technology and learn to separate fact from fiction.
1. CanadaHelps is just a place to list your charity
CanadaHelps.org is often the first place people learn about CanadaHelps. We strive to make it “Canada’s best destination for donating and fundraising online.” Potential donors can find any of Canada’s 86,000 charities, learn more about them and donate directly from our site. As a result, your charity may have received a disbursement cheque from CanadaHelps.
But that’s just the beginning! We are so much more than a directory for finding charities or a place to list your charity. Over the years, we have developed best-in-class charity technology from customizable donation forms that allow you to raise directly on your site, to events management platforms for ticketed events and P2P events. We even launched a Donor Management System to help bring this all together.
As the landscape of giving has evolved, we have also made it easy to accept donations of securities, and cryptocurrency! Plus, all of our tools accept common payment methods such as credit card, PayPal, Google Pay and Apple Pay.
If you’d like to learn more about our charity solutions, simply hover over Solutions in the navigation bar at the top and choose the solution you are interested in.
Aside from our charity tools, we provide plenty of free charity resources, from our new initiative the Charity Growth Academy made possible by Mastercard Changeworks™, a free digital transformation program to help Canadian charities grow, to our regular blog posts, webinars and whitepapers under the Resources tab. We encourage you to explore all that CanadaHelps has to offer, specifically for charities!
2. CanadaHelps contacts your donors and shares their details with other charities
We understand that privacy is a top concern for donors and a top priority for charities.
We do not reach out to your donors unless they have opted-in to communications from CanadaHelps. Donors who have opted-in may receive messages encouraging them to further support causes they've shown interest in. We also provide opportunities to deepen donor impact with informative newsletters and appeals for Crisis relief. This can help more charities like yours to receive increased donations.
If a donor opts out of communications, which they can do at any time, CanadaHelps does not reach out to your donors beyond providing a tax receipt. We also never share donor email addresses or other personal information with other charities.
3. Tax Receipts appear to be from CanadaHelps, and this cannot be changed
Tax receipts are issued with CanadaHelps as the recipient party because the donor is technically donating to CanadaHelps, and we redirect the gift. This can be a good thing as we take care of tax receipting, which is often a big burden on many small charities.
However, we understand the desire to have a tax receipt that is more clearly from you. If you setup a customizable donation form and a donor gives through this form, the tax receipt can be customized to reflect the branding of your charity! CanadaHelps will remain as the signing party, and automatically issue the tax receipt, but the branding will be in your control. This is one of the many benefits of using a customizable donation form instead of redirecting charities to your CanadaHelps profile.
4. Donor Information is not available for charities
As long as your charity has completed your registration with CanadaHelps you can view donor information within your CanadaHelps Charity account by going to the "Donation Reports" tab. This is also where you can resend tax receipts or say thank you to individual donors. Explore the various ways you can view your donor data and check out “Donor Insights” under Donation Reports.
If donor information is missing, it could be because they have opted to remain anonymous. We leave the ability to donate anonymously up to the charity and the donor. If the charity allows anonymous donations, the donor can choose whether they would like to share their information name, email and mailing address, only name and email with the charity or remain anonymous. You can turn this setting off if you would rather not receive anonymous donations.
If you need more robust donor management, reach out to us to discuss your Donor Management needs. The CanadaHelps Donor Management System automatically syncs with other CanadaHelps solutions. It could help you and your team save countless hours of time by automating key processes and get the insights you need to cultivate lasting donor relationships. If you already have a system you are happy with, you can export the data through “Data Download” or a “Custom Data Download.”
5. CanadaHelps is an expensive option for charitable donation processing
We are one of the charitable donation processors with the most transparent pricing. You can easily find an overview of our fees here. CanadaHelps is a self-funded charity and we charge a transaction fee between 2% – 5.5% of donations, depending on the type of donation made.
We deduct the transaction fee from the donation before sending it to your charity, and it covers all aspects of processing the transaction, including the credit card merchant rate, credit card transaction charge, reconciliation, tax-receipting, and disbursement-related costs. Unlike other providers, when Mastercard and Visa reduced their credit card fees, we even reduced our fees for charities accordingly.
Overall, just 1.8% of each donation comes back to CanadaHelps, so we can continue to build the new and innovative online fundraising tools that small-to-medium charities need, at the best, non-commercial rates. You may be surprised at all the features and benefits the transaction fee covers.
We have also experimented with allowing donors to cover the fees. However, we have left this decision in the hands of charities and you can easily turn the “Cover the Fees” ask off if desired when creating your CanadaHelps Donation Forms.
6. Using CanadaHelps means donors have to leave my site to make a donation
As mentioned, many charities and donors’ initial exposure to CanadaHelps comes from CanadaHelps.org where donors can make a donation to any registered charity. As such, many charities mistakenly believe the best way to receive their online donations is through their charity profile.
However, we actively encourage all charities to use a customizable donation form that can be directly embedded on their website! Our builder makes it easy - once you are finished with the design of your form, simply grab the embed code and paste it onto your website.
7. CanadaHelps branding will be on my donation form
Last but not least, the customizable donation form is exactly what it says on the box - customizable. It is one of the most customizable donation forms out there and we encourage you to make it your own. CanadaHelps branding will not be on your form.
To start with, some of the options you can choose from are:
Matching the colour and branding of your charity
Adding your logo and pictures
Adding your own options for e-cards when donors make a tribute gift
Customizing your tax receipt
Personalizing your thank you message to the campaign and charity