Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 Emergency Funds

What is the GCWCC COVID-19 Emergency Campaign?

The GCWCC COVID-19 Emergency Campaign is an online one-time emergency fundraising campaign geared towards federal public service employees who wish to contribute. Through this campaign, federal public service employees are encouraged to donate to either United Way Canada’s “Local Love in a Global Crisis” Emergency Fund and/or HealthPartners' “Help our Helpers” Campaign. 

To make your online one-time donation by credit card, please visit the COVID-19 Emergency page to get more information.

Can I direct my contribution to a specific charity as I can during the regular campaign?

During the COVID-19 appeal, you cannot select your specific charity as this campaign is an emergency appeal that requires the guarantee the funds will be directed to the COVID-19 response in a quick timeline, to your community, using your postal code.  We know that our Named Recipients can deliver on that. If you want to donate to another charity, visit their website directly to make your donation, which will not be a part of our collective effort for the GCWCC 2020.

How will the funds be used?

If you choose to give to United Way (UW), the money will be sent to your closest local UW (based on your postal code). UW is working with community organizations and will swiftly transfer funds to the most urgent and impactful project helping: seniors, Indigenous peoples, people with mental health and addiction issues, people with disabilities, people experiencing homelessness, victims of domestic violence, and newcomers.

If you choose to give to HealthPartners “Help our Helpers” special appeal, donations will be directed to the 16 national health charities to provide critical and life-saving information and support to Canadians living with chronic disease and their caregivers during this crisis.   

How is this donation different from my usual GCWCC contribution?

The COVID-19 Emergency Campaign is a special voluntary initiative being promoted by the GCWCC to respond to the crisis that has affected so many Canadians across the country.  The regular GCWCC is still scheduled for launch in the fall of 2020, and you will still be able to support your favorite organization(s) to ensure the sustainability of its programs and essential services offered to your local community.

How will donations be accredited to the GCWCC?

When you make a donation through your selected organisation (United Way or HealthPartners), you will be prompted to enter the name of your organisation. Please fill the field to help us trace it back to your department. Donations will be credited to the GCWCC as special funds.

Why is GCWCC promoting these emergency fundraising campaigns?

The COVID-19 health pandemic is hitting everyone, but for some it is hitting harder and community organizations are at the forefront, responding to the most urgent calls. Through the GCWCC, public service employees and retirees can voluntarily donate to either or both of the GCWCC’s named recipients: United Way or HealthPartners and their respective emergency response campaign. 

In previous years, the GCWCC has responded to local crises to raise funds for communities in need.

Will I get a tax receipt for my donation?

Yes, any donation that you make that is $20 or more will produce a tax receipt. It will be sent electronically.

How will I know my contribution to the fund is having the greatest impact?

As the needs are unprecedented, the administration costs will be reduced for both Named Recipients. The United Way federation members have agreed that the costs would be no greater than 5% to invest a maximum amount in the programs.  HealthPartners is committed to providing as much relief to their charities as possible. The administration fee for this campaign is 8%, which will primarily cover the cost of credit card fees. 

Both Named Recipients have agreed to cover most of the costs of the Emergency response appeal as their contribution to the joint effort.  During the regular campaign, this wouldn’t be sustainable, but due to the exceptional circumstances, most costs will be supported by respective organisations.

Impact reports will be required for all sums allocated to the Emergency response and the GCWCC team will be sharing information through the official GCWCC communications channels.

General Charitable Campaign Questions

What is the Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign (GCWCC)?
  • 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. In 2018, employees and retirees donated $29.8 million. Of that total, $14.6 million was raised in the National Capital Region and $15.2 million was raised in the regions.
  • Through the GCWCC, federal public servants and retirees as well as current and former members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the RCMP can support HealthPartners, United Way Centraide or any other registered Canadian charities.
Why does the GCWCC matter?
  • In 2018, the campaign helped 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:
    • Canadians had the tools to cope with disabling and life-threatening diseases;
    • 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; and
    • Seniors were able to stay in their homes and communities longer.
  • 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 2018, the campaign helped more than 5,600 charities in over 90 communities across the country delivery critical care and services that are making 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 ePledge or a paper-based pledge form to make your donation.
What is ePledge?
  • ePledge is an online tool that provides you with a fast, easy and secure way to donate.
  • It is important to 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.
  • ePledge is not available everywhere, but is being expanded to more regions every year.
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.
  • Electronic receipts are provided for one-time donations made by credit card or PayPal via ePledge.
  • All those who make a charitable donation above $20 will automatically receive a tax receipt, issued by the GCWCC Manager, United Way Centraide. 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 average national cost of fundraising and administration for the GCWCC is 15%. Depending on the region, administration costs may vary. For more information, contact the local United Way Centraide.
  • According to Charity Intelligence (CI), a Canadian charitable sector expert, fundraising/administrative fees below 35% (65 cents on the dollar going to the cause) are considered to be within a reasonable range based on the hard costs associated to fundraising, processing, receipting, reporting and auditing requirements.
Are public service managers compensated for achieving their charitable campaign targets?
  • GCWCC champions, leaders, volunteers and executives do not receive financial incentives for achieving the GCWCC targets.
Can I continue to support the charitable campaign when I retire?

Pay-Related Questions

Could this year’s campaign be affected by the 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 enable 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 team for information.
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 team for information.
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