Boxer Jean Pascal attends a demonstration calling for justice for the death of George Floyd and all victims of police brutality, in Montreal, Sunday, June 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Canadian non-profit creates fund to streamline donations to Black-based charities

CanadaHelps fund has raised tens of thousands of dollars

A Canadian non-profit has set up a collective to streamline donations amid a surge in protests against anti-Black racism.

CanadaHelps director of charity engagement Jacob O’Connor said that as protests ramped up, Canadians began to look for ways to give here at home.

In response, the non-profit created the Black Solidarity Fund, a collection of 40 Black-based charities operating in Canada.

“We said look, we have this platform that’s already to go and this is a moment when the Black community really needs support and solidarity… let’s do it,” O’Connor said. CanadaHelps initially began creating “cause funds,” which allow people to donate to causes instead of specific charities, back in the fall. Those two cause funds, directed at COVID-19 aid, raised a collective $5 million.

O’Connor said they first looked at collective funds because research shows that younger generations are less likely than their parents to feel loyal to a particular charity.

“Older generations might have had an affinity or loyalty to a certain organization… younger generation don’t have that same brand loyalty,” O’Connor said.

“They’re more attached to causes.”

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

Canada has about 86,000 charities, O’Connor said, making it “overwhelming” for people trying to decide which one to donate to, particularly for a cause they are just beginning to monetarily support.

CanadaHelps’ Black Solidarity Fund was whittled down to 40 charities, with the money raised spread between them. As of Tuesday, the fund had raised more than $53,600, with options for both one-time and recurring donations.

O’Connor said that whether people give to the fund or a specific charity, CanadaHelps’ encourages recurring donations.

“It is a predictable source of revenue for charities, which usually get the large bulk of their donations in the last two months of the year,” he said. “That’s always kind of a stressful time and a lot of charities have cashflow issues because of that.”

Giving can be hard in the midst of the economic crisis caused by the novel coronavirus, O’Connor said, but added that small, monthly donations can still be a great way to give back.

“A $5 a month gift, at the end of the year that ends up being $60,” O’Connor said.

“I think every bit helps. It’s going to have a transformative impact on the community.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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