Frequently asked questions

General charitable campaign questions


What is the Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign?
  • The Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign (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. Last year employees and retirees donated an incredible $29.9 million.
  • Through the GCWCC, federal employees and retirees as well as current and former members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the RCMP can support United Ways/Centraides, HealthPartners or any of the other registered Canadian charities of their choosing.
Why does the GCWCC charitable campaign matter?
  • In 2017, federal public service employees and retirees gave close to $29.9 million to charities across Canada as part of the charitable campaign. Of that total, $16.1 million was raised in the National Capital Region and $13.8 million was raised in the regions.
  • The campaign helps more than 5,600 charities in over 90 communities across the country deliver critical care and services that are making a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable Canadians.
  • Donations ensured that:
    • Families were able to access food banks and emergency shelters;
    • After-school programs were able to continue so children could have a safe place to learn, play and grow;
    • Seniors were able to stay in their homes and communities longer; and
    • Canadians had the tools to cope with disabling and life-threatening diseases.
How can I donate?
  • Donating is safe, simple and secure. Donations can be made via payroll deductions, cash, cheque, credit card or PayPal. Use the online ePledge tool or a paper-based pledge form.
What is ePledge?
  • ePledge is an online tool that provides you with a fast, easy and secure way to donate. It is a separate piece of software from the Phoenix pay system.
  • ePledge allows you to give a one-time or monthly credit card donation, or a one‑time PayPal donation, or spread your donation across a year’s worth of pay cheques by using payroll deduction.
  • ePledge is not available everywhere, but it is being expanded to more regions of the country. Ask your campaign ambassador if your organization uses ePledge. The alternative to ePledge is the paper-based pledge form.
Are there tax benefits to donating?
  • Yes! Your donation is tax deductible. To determine the value of the tax deduction for donations, use the charitable donation tax credit calculator.
  • If you are making your first donation within the last five years, you are eligible to receive the first-time donor’s super credit.
  • Charitable donations made using payroll deduction are noted on your annual T4 slip.
  • One-time donations made by credit card or PayPal via ePledge are receipted electronically.
Do I need to support a specific charity?
  • No! Federal employees and retirees can choose their favourite charities, including the local United Way, Centraide Outaouais, HealthPartners or any of the more than 86,000 registered Canadian charities.
What is the overhead cost of fundraising?
  • The GCWCC is one of the most efficient ways for federal employees and retirees to give to your favourite charities.
  • Fundraising costs for the charitable campaign are kept at 15% or less, which is comparable to other registered charities.
How is my personal information handled?
  • Personal information collected from donors is handled with the utmost care and security, similar to any other protected information (Protected B).
  • Beyond your name, how much you plan to give and to whom, and the information needed to process your donation, as described in the following points, no other personal information is required.
Are public service managers compensated for achieving their charitable campaign targets?
  • No! Public service managers are not compensated in any way for achieving their charitable campaign targets. Goals are inspired by prior patterns of giving in the charitable campaign.
Can I continue to support the charitable campaign when I retire?
  • Yes! Every year, federal retirees across the country receive an invitation in the mail to participate in the charitable campaign. The invitation includes an Employees’ GCWCC gift form. If you would prefer to receive your invitation by email, please call the GCWCC Retiree Hotline at 1-877-379-6070 or send an email to retirees@unitedwayottawa.ca.
  • If you currently support the campaign through payroll deduction, you can continue to give after you retire. But you need to choose one of three options to ensure your deductions continue:
    • Convert your gift into monthly pension cheque deductions. Your payroll office can help you fill out the appropriate form.
    • Make your gift through a credit card donation, which can be submitted by calling 1-877-379-6070.
    • Send your donation by cash or cheque payable to “United Way GCWCC.” The address is:

      GCWCC Retirees
      363 Coventry Road
      Ottawa, Ontario
      K1K 2C5

Pay-related questions


Could this year’s campaign be affected by the Phoenix pay issues?
  • Donating is safe, simple and secure!
  • Phoenix has been deducting charitable contributions through the payroll system without any issues 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.
I am concerned that donating will result in issues with my pay, but I still want to give. What can I do?
  • Payroll deductions are safe, simple and secure.
  • Phoenix has been deducting charitable contributions through the payroll system without any issues since its implementation in February 2016.
  • That said, employees can also choose to donate through credit card, PayPal, cash or cheque. Credit card donations can also be scheduled to be monthly, in addition to one-time donations.
Can I donate by automatic bank withdrawals as an alternative to payroll deduction?
  • No. The banking platform used by United Way Ottawa / Centraide Outaouais, the administrators of the campaign, does not enable Pre-Authorized Debit (PAD) transactions.
Can I change my payroll deduction method of payment to another option?
  • Yes! You may change your method of payment, and make other changes to your pledge, within one month of the start of the deductions. Simply contact the GCWCC team for information on how to proceed.
If I experience an issue with my pay, can I stop my charitable campaign payroll deductions?
  • Yes! Donations can be stopped at any time. This feature of the campaign has always existed. Simply contact the GCWCC team for information on how to proceed.
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