For many large-scale emergencies the Government of Canada will match public donations for a specified period.
When matching funds are announced, the government typically sets these criteria:
- The gift must be made by an individual Canadian (no group donations, corporations, or businesses).
- The gift must be monetary, up to a maximum of $100,000.
- The gift must be designated for the specific emergency (for example, "Cyclone Idai Appeal").
- The gift must be received during a designated time period.
- The total matching funds available are a maximum predetermined by the government.
Gifts matching these criteria will be matched dollar for dollar by the Government of Canada. See more details below: How Matching Works.
Donations Made through Faith Communities
When faith communities collect funds for a United Church emergency appeal, there are two approaches to submitting them to meet government matching criteria:
- Individual cheques with cover letter:
Send cheques from individuals payable to The United Church of Canada, General Council Office, by courier to the address below. Each cheque should note on its face “Emergency Response—[Name of Emergency],” and they must arrive at the General Council Office no later than one week after the matching deadline.
The cheques should be accompanied by a cover letter that confirms that they were received by your faith community during the designated matching period.
In this case, the General Council Office will issue income tax receipts directly to the individual donors.
- Single cheque with donor list:
Create a detailed list of individual donors, addresses, amounts of designated gifts, and an affirmation that the gifts were received by your faith community during the designated matching period for the specified emergency.
Mail this list, along with one cheque for the total amount payable to The United Church of Canada, General Council Office. The cheque should note on its face “Emergency Response—[Name of Emergency],” and it must arrive at the General Council Office no later than one week after the matching deadline.
In this case, your faith community should issue income tax receipts to the individual donors.
Send cheques and cover letters to:
The United Church of Canada
Philanthropy Unit—Emergency Response
3250 Bloor Street West, Suite 200
Toronto, ON M8X 2Y4
The Canadian government typically matches donations for emergency relief made to members of the Humanitarian Coalition (HC); the United Church is connected to the HC through its membership in the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Global Affairs Canada transfers the matching funds to the HC, which, in turn, allocates the funds among its members based on criteria such as their capacity and presence in the affected region.
The United Church declares 85 percent of the value of eligible gifts it receives to the government for matching purposes. That is the amount that will be spent on the ground in the affected area. Within its Emergency Response Fund, the church sets aside 15 percent of emergency donations for rapid response to other emergencies that are smaller in scale and may not receive much media coverage. No administration fees are deducted from emergency donations.
There is no guarantee that any specific project or charity will receive contributions from the government’s matching funds.