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The Crowdfunding Alberta platform supports non-profit and charitable organizations making a positive contribution to their communities and Albertans.
Non-profit and charitable organizations are able to run as many campaigns, and as often, as they would like. Before you create a fundraising campaign on the Crowdfunding Alberta platform, you need to ensure you are eligible and how to qualify for match funding. There may also be fees associated with using the platform that you need to know about.
Caveat: Comments and views expressed by the organizations using the platform are their own. The Government of Alberta does not endorse any organization or campaign hosted on the Crowdfunding Alberta platform.
In order to use the Crowdfunding Alberta platform, organizations must be registered and in good standing under one of these acts:
- Provincial legislation:
- Part 21 of the Business Corporations Act – Extra-Provincial Corporations
- Companies Act, Part 9 (Nonprofit Companies)
- Societies Act of Alberta
- Agriculture Societies Act
- Special act of the Alberta Legislature
- Federal legislation:
- Special act of the Parliament of Canada
- Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act, and must be registered in Alberta under the Business Corporations Act
- Income Tax Act of Canada and operating in the Province of Alberta (Charities)
Organizations must have up-to-date and complete accounting or reporting relating to any grant previously awarded by the Alberta government or Alberta Foundation for the Arts.
Organizations or campaigns found to be in support of, or for the legal defense of alleged crimes associated with hate, violence, harassment, bullying, discrimination, terrorism, or intolerance of any kind relating to race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender or gender identity, or serious disabilities or diseases will be denied access to the platform.
This information is also in the Crowdfunding Alberta fact sheet
The following entities are not eligible to use the Crowdfunding Alberta platform:
- politically affiliated organizations
- municipalities, First Nations and Metis Settlements
- commercial and for-profit organizations
- schools or school boards
- post-secondary institutions
Match funding eligibility criteria
The Government of Alberta is supporting Alberta's non-profits by matching 30% of funds raised by organizations, up to $1,000,000 by March 31, 2023.
In addition to the eligibility requirements noted in the fact sheet, to qualify for Government of Alberta match funding organizations must:
- have not already received match funding through the program in the current fiscal
- operate at arms-length from one of the above stated ineligible organizations
- be registered and in good standing for a period of one year with any of the acts stated above
- complete the match funding disbursement agreement
Note, completion of disbursement agreement does not guarantee funding
Organization or peer-to-peer led campaigns that demonstrate the following will be eligible for Government of Alberta match funding:
- raise a minimum of $5,000
- raise funds through cash contributions received, exclusively, on the platform (assets and in-kind donations are not accepted).
- up to $1,000 from any donor will be matched
- only funds raised within 8 weeks of the campaign start date will be matched. Campaigns may continue beyond 8 weeks at the organizations’ discretion.
- is raising funds in support of the following organizational needs:
- capital and equipment
- staff training
- wages and benefits
- research and development
- supports initiatives to provide programs or services to community members
- campaigns in the name of, or for the benefit of, a specific individual will not be eligible for match funding
Note: organizations may run unlimited campaigns, but only one campaign per organization per fiscal may receive Government of Alberta match funding .
Receipt of match funding does not impact organizations’ ability to apply for other grants offered by the Alberta government or the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.
Ineligible campaigns for match funding
While permissible on the platform, campaigns that reflect of any of the following are not permitted to receive match funding:
- offer perks or rewards to contributors
- raise funds for any of the following purposes:
- discretionary severance packages
- staff bonuses or other discretionary income paid to staff
- flow-through funds to another organization
- international development projects
There are both payment processing fees and platform fees for hosting your campaign.
Payment processing fees
The Government of Alberta is not involved in donation transactions. All donations are processed through third party payment processors, Stripe or Paypal, and issued directly from the donor to the organization.
Fees depend on the charitable status of the non-profit. Non-profits who are not registered with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) usually pay a fee of 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction. Non-profits who are registered with CRA and have provided supporting documentation to Stripe and PayPal usually qualify for a discounted charity rate.
- Stripe – the charity rate is 2.2% plus $0.30 per transaction for most major credit cards and 3.5% plus $0.30 per transaction for American Express cards.
- PayPal – the charity rate is 1.6% plus $0.30 per transaction for most major credit cards.
In addition to payment processing fees, there may also be fees for using the crowdfunding platform. The platform fees range from 0% to 5% payable to our platform provider, ConnectionPoint Systems Inc. ConnectionPoint Systems Inc. offers 3 payment models for your organization to choose from Free, Standard and Pro.
With the Free model, non-profits do not pay a platform transaction fee to ConnectionPoint. Instead, during the checkout process, donors are asked if they will leave ConnectionPoint a completely optional small tip to help operate the platform and keep fundraising free for the non-profit organization. Historically, about 70% of donors are willing to do this.
With the Standard model, non-profits pay a platform transaction fee of 5% to ConnectionPoint. This model is most often used when the non-profit has a government partner, corporate sponsor, major donor, or endowment who is willing to pay the fees on behalf of the non-profit organization and allow them to say, ‘100% of each donation goes to our work’.
With the Pro model, non-profits pay a platform transaction fee of 5% to ConnectionPoint. During the checkout process, donors are asked if they are willing to pay all the payment processing and platform fees on behalf of the non-profit organization. Historically, between 82% and 93% of donors are willing to do this, depending on the project. This results in an effective combined per-transaction fee of less than 2%, that is, less expensive than even the Free model.
The models can be individually applied to different campaigns and changed at any time. Organizations are free to use the models best suited to the evolving needs of their projects and community of supporters.
With each of the pricing models, the organizations pay the payment processing fees as previously described. The models are not an upgrade structure – each offers full access to all the functionality of the platform with one small exception; the Free model does not support recurring (monthly) donations as the model of asking for a tip repeatedly is not workable from a donor experience point-of-view.
The 5% platform fee will not apply to any match funding provided by the Government of Alberta as they do not flow through the platform
Create a profile and campaign
Now that you understand the eligibility criteria and fees, you can proceed with creating a profile and starting a campaign.
Step 1. Create your organization's profile
If your non-profit organization is new to Crowdfunding Alberta, you need to create a profile on the platform.
You will need to provide your organization's:
- incorporation information
- contact information
- mission statement
- charitable tax number (if a registered charity)
- Paypal or Stripe account information – links to add account information or create an account is provided during registration
You must also:
- upload a pre-printed personalized void cheque with the full legal name of the organization clearly displayed
- agree to the Government of Alberta's top-up funding disbursement agreement
Your profile must be submitted along with your organization's first crowdfunding campaign for approval. You can save your profile at any time before your final submission.
Once your organization has been approved for use of the platform, you may create and submit as many additional campaigns and as often as you would like.
Step 2. Create a campaign
Before you can submit your organization's profile for approval to use the Crowdfunding Alberta platform, you must also create your organization's first crowdfunding campaign.
To create a crowdfunding campaign, you will need to provide the following details:
- what you are raising money for
- review the crowdfunding resources to learn how to build a compelling campaign story
- how much you hope to raise
- images that capture the impact of your campaign's focus
- links to your organization's social media sites, if available:
- website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
You will also have the option of offering perks or incentives to donors who give to your campaign. A campaign that offers donors perks or incentives will be ineligible to receive match funding.
There are a variety of Crowdfunding resources and videos to help non-profit organizations learn how to create and promote campaigns.
Learn from the campaigns that achieved their goals and received top-up funding.
Each campaign is reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis. Government of Alberta staff aim to review organization campaign submissions within 10 business days of being submitted, but depending on volume, this process may take longer. Campaign submissions that are incomplete, or include incorrect information take longer to review. Your organization will be notified by email once a decision has been reached.
Once approved, your campaign will be live on the Crowdfunding Alberta platform and ready to share with your networks.
- what you are raising money for
Organizations signed up on Crowdfunding Alberta may be eligible for a $1,000 referral bonus from the Government of Alberta if the organization they refer reaches its first campaign’s goal.
There is no limit to the number of organizations you can refer or the number of referral bonuses your organization can receive.
The referred organization must indicate your organization when asked 'How did you hear about Crowdfunding Alberta?' when completing their organizational profile. This information must be completed before the referred organization reaches its first campaign’s goal.
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