The Canadian fund for charities’ overhead costs is here. Here’s how it works — and a major trend it signals.

A new appreciation for the essential role charities play in Canadian life

Why It Matters

Before COVID-19, Canadian donors were generally opposed to funding charities’ operating capacity or overhead — they preferred to support programming for their beneficiaries only. But the pandemic is changing this mindset. It’s also breaking the long-held taboo in the sector when it comes to talking about funding for operating capacity.

This year, fundraising platform CanadaHelps tried something new — the organization began creating funds that allowed Canadians to donate to hundreds of charities working on the same issue at once. One such fund benefitted charities working with Black Canadian communities, for example. And in early March, CanadaHelps created a fund for charities that were responding to needs created by COVID-19. 

They received many applications from organizations to join the fund that were doing just that, but something unexpected happened, too. 

“When we launched the COVID fund, it was supposed to be about charities responding to COVID-19 specifically, but we literally got hundreds of applications from charities that were more about sustaining or adapting or transforming the operation,” says Marina Glogovac, CEO of CanadaHelps. 

While these applications weren’t eligib

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