Last week a competitor published a social media and email marketing campaign comparing their online fundraising solutions to our full suite of fundraising solutions at CanadaHelps. Of the claims made, all easily verifiable on our website, 7 out of 9 were false.
Since becoming CEO in 2013, I’ve never felt the need to publicly address claims like this. When misinformation about CanadaHelps has been spread in the past, we have always been able to resolve it by reaching out directly to the company involved. This time, our outreach via email, phone, and social media was ignored, and additional public statements were made that continued the misinformation.
An attack like this can cause reputational damage which is why I’ve decided that I must speak out.
For those of you who saw the communication, I want to provide you with the correct information. For those of you who did not, I want you to know we are always here to answer your questions. I want to also offer thanks to our supporters and charity clients who saw the information, identified it as incorrect, and reached out to let us know.
We want to set the record straight and correct each of the false claims made:
Claim #1: Donation forms live on a third-party website - False
Since 2015, charities have been able to embed our donation forms directly on their website. Not only can each of our 5 donation form types (including our tribute-first and securities forms) be embedded, you can also embed CanadaHelps peer-to-peer and events campaigns directly on your charity’s website.
Claims #2 and #3: Donation forms cannot be customized (Charities cannot change colours, charities cannot add logos) - False
Not only do our donation forms include robust branding and customization options, so does CanadaHelps ticketed events and peer-to-peer campaigns. Adding a logo is just the beginning! We also offer the ability to choose your own colour palette, add additional imagery and design elements to suit your brand, and include custom, branded eCards for tribute gifts. Plus, we’ve made all of this easy so no coding or design skills are required.
Claim #4: You must download reports and import data into a 3rd Party CRM - False
We offer a robust, easy-to-use Donor Management System (a CRM made especially for charities) that automatically integrates all CanadaHelps data.
Our DMS also allows charities to streamline their stewardship, email their donors, track and process payments for offline donations, and more.
It’s true, if you prefer to use another CRM, you have to export your data from CanadaHelps. We make it easy to do so, believing your charity should have the choice to use whatever solutions work best for you.
Claim #5: Receipts are not branded- False
Charities are, of course, able to brand their tax receipts. We also offer the ability for charities to customize and brand their donation confirmation emails and offer additional tools to support donor stewardship, like a built in Thank You tool whether or not you choose to use our DMS.
Claim #6: CanadaHelps is listed on your credit card statement - True
We handle all aspects of payment processing for our clients, and our name is displayed.
This allows us to make things easier for our clients. We provide robust fraud protection that we manage for your charity and the highest level of PCI compliance. Plus, you still get your donations directly to your bank account each week. We save you the work of setting up or securing a payment processor, customizing your fraud protection rules, or dealing with financial institutions.
Claim #7: Donors are not able to “cover the fees” - True
This is also true. We are currently piloting this feature with a group of our clients to ensure we release an optimized feature.
A major change to a donation form can sometimes have unintended consequences for donation conversion rates. As such, we’re currently running tests to ensure the best possible conversion rates and experience for your donors.
Claim #8: Misstating our fees - False
The fees they include are incorrect.
Through your donation form, one-time donation fees are 3.75% and monthly donation fees are 3.5%, with no minimums or additional monthly fees. We do not charge extra for support, add-on features, and charities can create as many donation forms, P2P campaigns, and Events as they like.
Use of our DMS does require an additional fee, but the rest of our features are included in the donation processing fees.
Claim #9: We do not offer customer support - False
We provide phone and email support in both English and French to our clients and their donors!
We have a dedicated team of 15 in Toronto to provide support and answer any questions, plus we have a charity engagement and success team of 16, split between Toronto and Vancouver, who offer more in depth assistance, consultation, and account management support whenever it’s needed.
Plus, we create resources and offer educational programming that helps charities be more effective fundraisers, going beyond just the tools we offer to include topics such as email marketing, securing partnerships, improving SEO, and more. We believe so much in the charitable sector that these webinars and resources are open to anyone, not just CanadaHelps clients.