CanadaHelps, one of the largest platforms in Canada for donating and fundraising online, today announced new Cause Funds. This new and innovative way to give enables donors to make an impact for a cause they care about by making a single donation in support of a group of charities focused on the same cause. Donations made to a particular Cause Fund are pooled and then distributed equally among the registered charities in the Fund. Cause Funds democratize support for the charitable sector by easily connecting Canadian donors to the causes they are passionate about while supporting charities of all sizes.

“We introduced Cause Funds in response to evolving trends in charitable giving, including an overall decline in charitable donations. Demographic patterns are shifting, and we know that younger generations are more likely to support a specific cause than form relationships with individual charities. Canadians are also looking for an easier way to give to a cause close to their heart and simultaneously support multiple charities focused on a particular cause,” said Marina Glogovac, President and CEO of CanadaHelps. “Now more than ever, Canadians also want transparency to ensure they can trust that their donations are going to the right organizations and advancing the causes that are important to them. At the same time, charities of all sizes need to receive critical funding to continue to be able to deliver on their missions. Our Cause Funds serve both of these needs while setting a new bar for charitable giving.”

Research shows that the charitable sector in Canada, and around the world, is currently experiencing a crisis. Donations are declining, and younger donors are not engaging in charitable giving in the same way older generations have. Cause Funds aims to reverse these trends by providing a modernized way to connect donors and charities around the causes they care about, while ensuring that critical funding reaches the Canadian charities that need it. Cause Funds also provide greater transparency, authenticity, and trust throughout the giving process by ensuring that only registered Canadian charities receive donated funds. Donations made to Cause Funds are sent directly to eligible charities, and tax receipts are automatically issued to donors.

The following Cause Funds are some of the new Funds offered by CanadaHelps:
• Housing for All in Alberta – Alberta is in the midst of a housing crisis, with more than 2,900 people in Calgary and 1,900 people in Edmonton experiencing homelessness. This Fund includes more than 50 registered charities that are leading efforts to end homelessness in Alberta.
• Housing for All in Vancouver – The skyrocketing cost of rent, job loss, and social issues have created a homelessness crisis in Vancouver. Of more than 2,100 Canadians experiencing homelessness in the city, 40 percent of Vancouver’s homeless population identify as Indigenous, and 49 percent are facing chronic homelessness.
• Literacy for All Fund – In Canada, 17 percent of adults between 16 to 65 years of age struggle with low levels of literacy. This Fund includes over 270 registered charities that are improving literacy rates across Canada.
• Life with Alzheimer’s Fund – Across Canada, there are more than 747,000 people living with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Donations to this Fund will reach more than 70 registered charities that provide support services and assistance to affected Canadians and their families.
• Removing Barriers for People with Visual Impairments Fund – An estimated 1.5 million Canadians live with vision loss and 5.5 million more Canadians live with a condition which could cause loss of vision. Donations to this Fund will reach more than 30 registered charities helping people living with blindness.
• Autism Community Support Fund – Approximately 1 in 66 children in Canada between the ages of 5 and 17 are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and face challenges associated with social interaction, speech and nonverbal communication, or restrictive or repetitive behaviours. This Fund includes over 90 registered charities.
• End Hunger Fund – 1 in 8 households in Canada are food insecure and struggling to put food on the table. The End Hunger Fund supports more than 400 Canadian charities.
• Protect the Environment Fund – Less than 11 percent of Canada’s plastics get recycled; the rest end up in our lakes, parks, landfills, and oceans, destroying ecosystems and leaching toxic chemicals. This Fund supports more than 530 Canadian charities working to ensure the health of our planet.
• Stand Up for Mental Health Fund – An estimated 1 in 5 Canadians will struggle with mental health this year. This Fund will help more than 470 Canadian charities providing critical services such as crisis support, counselling, education, and other types of treatment and professional support services.

Cause Funds by CanadaHelps are already proving to be an effective new model for engaging donors. The COVID-19 Healthcare and Hospital Response Fund, COVID-19 Community Care Fund, and the Black Solidarity Fund have already raised millions to support charities across Canada. The two COVID-19 Funds were matched by the Gore Mutual Foundation for $1 million each; the Black Solidarity Fund was matched by P&G Canada for $1 million.

CanadaHelps has introduced 29 Cause Funds to date, and plans to launch new Funds on an ongoing basis to address emerging crises and current events – with each falling under one of four categories: General Cause Funds, Community Support Funds, Curated Cause Funds, and Local Funds.

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Amnesty International Writes to the Prime Minister
Here’s part of what they wrote:

We write this Open Letter, on behalf of 400,000 supporters of Amnesty International across the country, in times of considerable uncertainty, turmoil, injustice and fear; but also of mobilization, courage, determination, and possibility.

Against that backdrop, you have indicated that your government’s upcoming Throne Speech will lay out a “plan to rebuild a stronger, more resilient Canada” and offer a “roadmap out of the pandemic towards a society that is fairer and more welcoming.” Central to those goals is the imperative to implement a genuinely transformative human rights agenda. This Throne Speech must acknowledge that respect for human rights will be central to all aspect of adopting laws, developing policy, making budgetary choices and taking action. Towards that vision, we urge you to take up the following seven recommendations:
1. Recognize and uphold economic, social and cultural rights as the essential framework to a just, safe and transformative recovery.
2. Honour your promises to bring forward legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and fully fund the creation and implementation of a National Action Plan to implement the Calls to Justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
3. Commit to concrete action to address systemic racism in Canada, including a ban on carding, street checks and racial profiling by all police and security agencies under federal jurisdiction, strengthening implementation of the federal Anti-Racism Strategy, and initiating consultations towards wider reforms such as options for defunding police.
4. Implement a feminist pandemic recovery plan which builds upon the Safe Restart Agreement and includes establishment of a fully-funded national childcare system to provide high quality, accessible, affordable, inclusive childcare for every family in Canada.
5. By the end of the year, adopt legislation and policy, consistent with human rights obligations, that reflect current scientific, Indigenous and international best practices and knowledge to mitigate the global climate crisis, which will ensure a viable future on this planet for future generations and all species, and limit the global temperature increase by 2030 to no more than 1.5˚C.
6. Put in place effective implementation and oversight of Canada’s human rights obligations, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
7. Commit to consistent and unconditional respect for international human rights in all of Canada’s bilateral and multilateral relations.

We ignore today’s urgent challenges to our collective shame and at our collective peril. Amnesty International also called for seven commitments to be reflected in the government’s Throne Speech, backed up by action and resources included in the next federal budget. If you go to their website, you can see the whole letter. Worth reading. Over to you, Sir.

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