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How It Works

This page explains how to donate to a high-impact fund or charity via RC Forward. It takes just a minute or two of your time to donate. 

We’re as eager as you are for impact, but please note that it takes more than a minute or two for your donation to reach the charity. Four times a year (quarterly), we facilitate an international regranting process to get your donation to its intended recipient charity. Visit “Where is my donation?” to learn more and to track your donation’s progress.

If you’re donating more than $1,000 or $200 monthly, contact us to optimize fees. Otherwise, to donate online by credit card, just follow these four easy steps:

1. Find the fund or charity you want to support

Visit the Donate page to see all the charities and funds that you can support. You can filter this page by cause area, and we update this page whenever we approve a charity for RC Forward. Click “Learn more” to open the donation page for a charity or fund.

2. Hit “Donate” on the fund or charity page

If you’re decided, simply click “Donate” at the bottom of the fund or charity page. If you’re deciding, you can find essential information and links on each page.

3. Complete the Charitable Impact donation form

You’ll see “Charitable Impact” on the form. We work with Charitable Impact to route your donation to your chosen charity (see our FAQ, below, for more information).

4. Receive your official donation receipt by email

Charitable Impact will send a receipt to the email address you provided in the donation form. Check out our calculator to estimate the value of your donation’s tax credits.

world health

Mission accomplished

That’s it! Thank you so much for choosing RC Forward for your high-impact giving. If you have more questions, please see our FAQ below.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you donate online via RC Forward, your donation will be routed through Charitable Impact on its way to the charity you’re supporting. Charitable Impact is a donor-advised fund and registered Canadian charity, and our partnership helps us move your donation to your chosen charity in a cost-effective manner. Charitable Impact does not deduct fees from your donation. 

Charitable Impact provides you with an official donation receipt via email, and your donation will appear as CHIMP FNDN * DONATION on your credit card or bank statement.

As of February 26, 2020, we allocate 4% of all donations made through our platform to our operations, except for donations that meet one of the following criteria:

  • Donations made directly to our partner charities that are registered in Canada (i.e., Against Malaria Foundation and Iodine Global Network, as of February 2020). None (0%) of these donations will be allocated to our operations, unless the donor indicates that they wish to support our operations with a portion of their donation. (Note that this exception does not include donations to RC Forward Funds.)

  • Large donations made by donors who have provided significant support for our operations in the past. These exceptions will be determined on a case-by-case basis through correspondence with the donor. If you feel this applies to you, please reach out to our team at the time of donation for more information.

  • Donations made to charities that are not official partner charities (our partner charities are those listed on our website). In these cases, it is possible that a proportion of the donation larger than 4% will be allocated to our operations. The operations allocation will be determined on a case-by-case basis through correspondence with the individual donor.

We hope that this allocation will only be temporary. You can read more about our decision on this here.

Our goal is to maximize your donation’s positive impact on the world. In line with this goal, RC Forward is the most cost-effective way for Canadians to support our partner charities located outside of Canada. By using the RC Forward platform to donate to these charities, you’ll receive an official donation receipt that you can use to claim valuable charitable tax credits. If you were to donate through these charities’ websites, these tax credits wouldn’t be available. Given that Canadian charitable tax credit rates are generally between 20% and 49% of the amount you donate, they far outweigh the 4% of your donation that we allocate to RC Forward’s operations.

For charities that are already registered in Canada (Against Malaria Foundation, Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, and Iodine Global Network), you’ll receive the same tax benefits and similar credit card fees by donating via the charity’s website. In this case, the main advantage of giving through RC Forward is the convenience of making all of your high-impact donations in one place. However, if you’re only donating to one of these charities, or would prefer for your donation to be delivered to the partner charity instantly, giving through the partner charity’s website may be the best option for you.

Feel free to get in touch if you have additional questions about whether giving through RC Forward is right for you!

Depending on when you donate, it may take up to three months for your donation to be received by the charity. But it’s not always that long, and we’re building a tracking page to help you understand your donation’s progress towards its destination.

Our team moves your donation from Canada to its destination with a registered 501(c)(3) organization in the United States. There’s actually several steps in this journey, and its complexity is one reason it takes some time for your donation to reach the charity.

One step in the process is converting your donation’s currency from Canadian to American dollars. Batching donations together to exchange more at one time is one way we maximize cost effectiveness, thereby increasing your impact.

A strong desire to immediately get your donation to your chosen charity is one reason to donate directly through the charity’s website instead of using RC Forward, but unfortunately in most cases you’ll then forfeit valuable Canadian tax credits

We use operations allocations to pay for

  • Salaries for our team of four
  • Third-party cross-border and fund transfer fee coverage;
  • Technology, accounting, and legal costs, as well as conference attendance for our staff

If you are making a one-time donation over $1,000, or a monthly donation over $200, we recommend you connect with our team to maximize your impact by optimizing credit card fees. Please get in touch by emailing Siobhan at [email protected].

Yes, you can use RC Forward to donate from any country. However, you will only be able to use your official donation receipt if you have a valid Canadian physical address.

Yes! You will see various privacy options as you move through the donation process. By providing information to the group organizers, you are giving Rethink Charity permission to pass that information on to the charity/charities represented by the group you donated to.

Yes! While making your donation you’ll find a dropdown menu option entitled Repeat this gift? where you can choose to make this a one-off donation, a monthly donation on the 1st of each month, or a monthly donation on the 15th of each month. Unfortunately, there are currently no options available to donate in a frequency other than monthly.

All of our partner charities meet at least one of the following five criteria:

  • The charity currently is or recently was recommended by a well-respected, unbiased, evidence-based charity evaluator, for example GiveWell or Animal Charity Evaluators.

  • The charity has been identified by a third-party expert in the charitable sector as implementing extremely cost-effective interventions in its particular cause area.

  • The charity is itself a well-respected, evidence-based charity evaluator or incubator.

  • The charity serves to educate and build a community around concepts like high-impact and cost-effective charity.

  • The charity’s intervention is as of yet unproven, though evidence reviewed by the experts mentioned above suggests the intervention is especially promising.

Our list of selected charities is not exhaustive by any means, and we hope to continue to add charities as time goes on. Rethink Charity reserves the right to add and subtract charities from the list with or without public explanation. We also reserve the right to deny any charity a spot on our list even if they meet one or more of the above criteria. With that said, we strive to be as inclusive as possible within the bounds of high-impact charity.

No problem! Contact Us and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.

More About High-Impact Giving

What is High-Impact Charity?

High-impact charity is about finding the most cost-effective solutions to the world’s biggest problems. Through careful, evidence-based reasoning, most individuals can have a much bigger impact on the world than they realize.

Finding Outstanding Opportunities to Do Good

Finding charities that make the biggest impact is no easy task. The biggest and most well-known charities aren’t always the most effective. A charity might be excellent at collecting donations, but poor in meeting objectives and making a meaningful impact.

Charity Evaluators

Identifying the most effective charities in the world requires hard data, rigorous analysis, and critical thinking. Fortunately, charity evaluators such as GiveWell, The Life You Can Save, Animal Charity Evaluators, and Founders Pledge have already identified effective charities and are continuously searching for more.