We believe in a world without philanthropic borders. With receipts from a Canadian charity, Canadian donors could be eligible for tax credits worth up to 51% of the donation amount! This has been shown to be a massive incentive for Canadians to give. Since 2017, we’ve passed over $9 million CAD to dozens of US-based nonprofits, and have supported initiatives in several other countries.
It’s our goal to make giving as cost-effective as possible for Canadians looking to support your nonprofit. Here’s how we can help you provide your Canadian donors tax-efficient giving options.
Who is this service for?
We’ve built this service for US 501(c)(3) nonprofits that want to offer their existing or future Canadian donors tax-efficient giving options.
If you have Canadian donors or tax receipts are a barrier to your Canadian fundraising, this service could be a great fit for you!
How does it work?
- We’ll connect over email, then video chat: To start the conversation, reply to the email we sent you, or fill in our short inquiry form. We’ll ask you to set up a quick call (book it here!) so that we can answer your questions and explain this service in more depth.
- We’ll onboard your 501(c)(3): We’ll take you through the vetting and onboarding process and set up your nonprofit’s private donation page (example here) for your approval.
- You’ll direct your donors: You’ll encourage Canadians to donate via your private donation page, or via a button you can embed on your website.
- Your donors will get receipts: When your Canadian supporters donate via your private page, they’ll receive an official donation receipt via email.
- We’ll regrant to you: We’ll move these Canadian donations to your nonprofit quarterly, less credit card fees (if applicable) and less our tiered administrative fees. With these quarterly disbursements, we’ll also share any donor info they consented to share.
How much would this service cost our nonprofit?
Every quarter, our team will move your donations through a complex international regranting process that we’ve developed over years of iteration and investment.
We’re ourselves a small charity, and the fees we charge your nonprofit directly offset our operating costs.
We charge two types of fees for these services (these fees do not include credit card fees):
- A one-time onboarding fee
- Ongoing, tiered fees that reward you for fundraising success in Canada
Example: If your Canadian donors were to give $450,000 CAD in 2021
One-time onboarding fee $250 USD
This is paid by you, the nonprofit, before we set up your page.
6.5% of first $100,000 CAD* $6,500
5% of second $100,000 CAD* $5,000
4% on final $250,000 CAD* $10,000
TOTAL TIERED FEES $21,500 CAD
*Our tiered fees reset each calendar year and do not include credit card fees
In this example, if your Canadian donors were to give
to your nonprofit in 2021 via your private RC Forward page, we will regrant and exchange into USD
(not including credit card fees)
Your Canadian donors will receive receipts that they can use to apply for tax credits collectively worth
$180,000 to $238,000 CAD*
* Variable depending on province. Check out our Tax Credit Calculator for more information.
Frequently asked questions
For some 501(c)(3) nonprofits, this program is a straightforward “yes”: They already have Canadian donors, or they hear feedback from prospective donors that no receipt = no donation.
If you don’t have an established or known prospective donor base in Canada, consider that it may be the case that some Canadians would be excited to support your nonprofit, but that they are dissuaded before you even hear from them, because they don’t see tax-efficient giving options advertised on your website.
That said, we don’t think this program is a good fit for all US 501(c)(3) nonprofits. If you don’t have any Canadian donors or don’t expect to ever have any, or your mission and vision are very locally focused and target donors in your local community only, then this may not be worth your team’s time and budget.
But before you say no, do keep in mind that you only pay our onboarding fee once, and after that you don’t pay fees to keep your page live. We just deduct fees from Canadian donations you receive. The upfront investment to your team is only $250 USD. Then, you’re good to go in your future Canadian fundraising.
The short answer is that your nonprofit’s RC Forward page will be private. Your Canadian donors will need the URL to find the page.
The long answer is that our passion and purpose is to explore altruism through the specific lens of impact and cost effectiveness. This is the core reason that we, Rethink Charity, set up our RC Forward donation platform: to connect Canadians with charities that have been evaluated for effectiveness by experts and evaluators. Hundreds of Canadian donors trust us to direct them only to charities evaluated from this perspective, and we take this trust really seriously. It’s what sets us apart in Canada.
Because we don’t have the expertise to evaluate charities ourselves, we rely on the recommendations of evaluators including GiveWell, Animal Charity Evaluators, Open Philanthropy, The Life You Can Save, and Founders Pledge, to decide which charities we should list publicly as our RC Forward “partner charities.”
We encourage you to reach out to these organizations if you’d like to request that they evaluate your nonprofit.
For many Canadian donors, there’s a strong incentive to only support charities that can give them official donation receipts. Our service helps your nonprofit by solving this problem, which may otherwise limit your Canadian fundraising efforts.
The service advertised on this page isn’t a marketing or fundraising program. We set up and maintain your nonprofit’s private donation page, but it’s up to your team to find and connect with Canadian donors and to direct them to donate through this page.
We’re a small charity called Rethink Charity, and the RC Forward donation platform is one of our core charitable projects. Most of the Rethink Charity team works on RC Forward in some way, but the project’s core team is Siobhan, Baxter, Marisa, Jacob, and Megan. We’re a 100% remote team, and most of us are based in Canada.
We set up this platform a few years ago for two core purposes: to connect Canadians with charities evaluated through the specific lens of impact and cost effectiveness, and to ensure that these donors wouldn’t have to sacrifice valuable tax benefits by donating to these charities.
It takes a few weeks to connect, assess mutual fit, onboard and vet your nonprofit, and get your page set up so that it’s ready to accept Canadian donations.
If you have urgent time constraints (for example, if you’re building a relationship with a Canadian donor that wants to donate on a certain date), get in touch and we’ll see what we can do.
We get it, it seems strange that the Canadian government would offer tax credits for donations ultimately being received by organizations that aren’t registered Canadian charities.
We only advertise this program and run this platform because we’ve done our due diligence to ensure that this presents no legal risks to our team or to the nonprofits we regrant to.
We are fortunate to benefit from legal counsel and advising services that help us understand all legal and financial aspects of our international regranting.
RC Forward is a project of Rethink Charity Foundation, a registered charity in Canada. We will regrant your donations from Canada from our United States 501(c)(3) organization, Rethink Charity USA. Because you’ll be receiving regranted donations from a 501(c)(3), there’s nothing unique you need to do in terms of reporting.
We disburse donations quarterly. This means that, in some cases, it may take several months from the time your Canadian donors donated to the time these donations reach you.
It takes a while because the international regranting process we use to run RC Forward is actually fairly complex and time intensive. To do it faster would cost us, and the nonprofits we regrant to, more money.
Your Canadian donors will receive their receipt via email shortly after donating. The receipt will contain all the information they need to apply for charitable tax credits on their income tax return.
Here’s more information about how your donors will receive receipts:
When a donor submits a donation on your nonprofit’s private RC Forward donation page, they’ll be asked to provide their email address. Shortly after they donate, they will be emailed an official donation receipt by our partner, the Canadian donor-advised fund Charitable Impact. (We work with Charitable Impact to process donations, and if you hit “donate” on your private page, you’ll see the Charitable Impact logo on the donation dialogue.)
If your donors are looking to donate more than $1,000 CAD at one time or more than $200 CAD monthly, reach out to our team as we may have alternative giving options for them that reduce credit card fees. For these donors, who may opt to donate by cheque, e-transfer, or AFT, our team will email them a donation receipt within a few days of their donation.
We use a standard page template that we customize with content you provide. For an example of your page’s appearance, check out NutritionFacts.org’s page. You’ll have final say over the appearance of your page, within the confines of our template.
During onboarding, we send you a form with specific instructions on what content to share with us so that we can build your page.
Any personal information that the donor consents to share will be sent to you with your quarterly disbursement of donations. (Donors also have the option to donate anonymously.)
We know it’s not ideal to receive a donor’s information a while after they donate, and we are interested in accelerating the process so that nonprofits can thank their donors faster. We’re currently exploring our options for improving this. In the meantime, we do our best to accommodate periodic requests that a nonprofit may have about the status of major donations.
It’s important that Canadians can quickly and easily learn that their support of your nonprofit will be eligible for a tax receipt. Here are two options for how to communicate this information on your nonprofit’s “donate” page:
- Link to your private RC Forward page from your website’s “donate” page. Here’s examples of how other charities do this: Animal Charity Evaluators, ALLFED, GiveDirectly (flags in the footer, easy to see!), and Faunalytics
- You can embed a button directly on your site that will open our donation form, so your donors don’t have to leave your site. If you opt for this option, we recommend adding some text near the button to explain that Canadian donors will be eligible for a tax receipt by donating via this button.
No, our tiered fees does not include credit card fees.
If you have donors looking to donate more than $1,000 CAD at one time or more than $200 CAD monthly, reach out to our team as we may have alternative giving options for them, to reduce credit card fees.
Yes! When your donor hits “donate” on your private donation page, in the Charitable Impact donation form there’s an option to set up a monthly donation. (Charitable Impact is a donor-advised fund we work with to process donations.)