Commonly Asked Questions

General Charitable Campaign Questions

What is the Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign (GCWCC)?

The GCWCC engages federal public service employees and retirees in a combined effort to raise funds and donate time for those in need.

It is the largest and most generous workplace campaign in Canada and takes place annually between September and December. In 2022, employees and retirees donated almost $28.3 million through the GCWCC. 

Through the GCWCC, federal public servants and retirees and current and former members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the RCMP can support the named recipients —  HealthPartners and United Way Centraide — or any other registered Canadian charities.

Why does the GCWCC matter?

In 2022, the GCWCC helped more than 6,500 charities to deliver impact and help people in communities across the country. The generosity of campaign donors helped deliver critical care and services — when and where they were needed most — to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable Canadians.

Donations support:

  • people experiencing homeless to access affordable, safe and permanent places to live;
  • Life-saving research for new treatments, cures and earlier diagnosis;
  • building stronger, more inclusive, communities for everyone;
  • Programs, relief and assistance for people affected by chronic disease;
  • and more.

Supporting charities is a personal choice, so you can donate to the causes you care about most.

How many registered charities are there in Canada?

According to Canada Revenue Agency, there are over 85,000 registered charitable organizations to choose from.

In 2022, the GCWCC helped more than 6,500 charities to deliver impact and help people in communities across the country. The generosity of campaign donors helped deliver critical care and services — when and where they were needed most — to make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable Canadians.

How can I donate?
Donations can be made via payroll deductions, cash, cheque, credit card or PayPal. Use the GCWCC’s safe and secure online giving platform ePledge to make your donation.
What is ePledge?

ePledge is an online tool that provides you with a fast, easy and secure way to donate. Note that ePledge and Phoenix are not linked.

ePledge allows you to give a one-time or monthly credit card donation, or a one‑time PayPal donation, or divide your donation across a year’s worth of pay cheques by using payroll deduction.

Are there tax benefits to donating?

Your donation is tax deductible. To determine the value of the tax deduction for donations, use the charitable donation tax credit calculator. Charitable donations made using payroll deduction are noted on your annual T4 slip or Relevé 1 (Québec).

Electronic receipts are provided for one-time donations made by credit card or PayPal via ePledge.

All those who make a charitable donation of $20 or more will automatically receive a tax receipt, issued by the GCWCC processor, United Way Centraide East Ontario. Those giving under $20 may receive a receipt upon request.

Do I need to support a specific charity?
It is your choice to direct your support to one or as many causes as you care about. Federal public servants and retirees can choose any registered Canadian charity.
What is the overhead cost of fundraising?

The GCWCC, through its administrative partners at United Way Centraide, has one of the lowest fundraising cost ratios in Canada. In 2021, the GCWCC’s fundraising and administrative costs averaged 16%, well below the Canada Revenue Agency’s acceptable level of 35%, and well within Charity Intelligence’s reasonable range of 5 to 35%.

As registered Canadian charities, all United Way Centraides file T3010 reports with CRA annually, detailing all their fundraising, related operating costs, executive compensation, and other costs. The latest data can be found on CRA’s website.

Are public service managers compensated for achieving their charitable campaign targets?

GCWCC champions, leaders, volunteers and executives do not receive financial incentives for achieving GCWCC targets.

Can I continue to support the campaign when I retire?

Yes! Every year, federal retirees across the country receive an invitation via mail to participate in the GCWCC. The invitation includes a GCWCC gift form. If you would like to receive your invitation by email, send an email to

If you currently support the GCWCC through payroll deduction, you can continue to give after you retire. 

There are three simple ways to make your donation:

You can mail your completed form to:

GCWCC Retirees

363 Coventry Road

Ottawa ON  K1K 2C5  

When giving through the GCWCC, how long does it take for donations to arrive at designated charities?

Local United Way Centraides are directed to distribute cash, cheque or credit card donations to Other United Ways (Box 2) and HealthPartners (Box 3) within 45 days of the end of the campaign (January 31).

Designation donation payments to Other Canadian Registered Charities are distributed based on the local United Way’s designation payout schedule. Some United Way Centraides distribute funds twice a year, some do it quarterly. In both instances, one-time cash, cheque or credit card donations are delivered to charities in the first payment, whereas payroll deduction gifts are divided equally into all distribution payments as funds are received by government pay offices. Donation designation payments are subjects to minimum transfer thresholds.

For more information regarding designated donations in your region, contact your local United Way Centraide.


Table for FAQ
Donation Type Campaign close* Local United Way Centraide schedule
(cash, cheque, credit card)

(credit card)

Payroll deduction
(26 pay days)

*Within 45 days of campaign close

Pay-Related Questions

Could the campaign be affected by any Phoenix pay issues?

Phoenix has been deducting charitable contributions through the payroll system without any problems since its implementation in February 2016.

Specific measures were taken to ensure that Phoenix would be able to successfully process the correct amount of charitable donations from employees’ pay when they choose to make payroll donations.

Campaign ambassadors are aware of the various methods of payment available to donors including cash, cheque, credit card, PayPal and payroll deduction.

Can I donate by automatic bank withdrawals as an alternative to payroll deduction?

The banking platform does not support Pre-Authorized Debit transactions.

Can I change my payroll deduction method of payment to another option?

You may change your method of payment and your pledge within one month of the start of the deductions. Contact the GCWCC processor for information.Remember, donations through payroll deduction appear automatically on your T4 or Relevé 1 (Québec) and allows you to donate to many charities with just one contribution

If I experience an issue with my pay, can I stop my charitable campaign payroll deductions?

Donations can be stopped at any time. Contact the GCWCC processor for information.

What happens to my payroll deduction pledge if I need to take leave? 

If an employee has decided to make payroll deductions donation, and the employee in question must be absent from work on unpaid leave for a period of time (LTD, parental leave, etc) payroll deductions will be halted and will not be restarted upon return to work.

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