How did CanadaHelps get started?
In 1999, a student named Aaron Pereira was ready to make a donation. But, as he dug into his pockets, he realized that he didn’t have any cash on him. The dot-com boom was in full swing, and e-commerce was the way of the future: how come the charities he supported were not collecting donations online, too?
Joined by two friends – Ryan Little and Matthew Choi – and with that question in mind, the trio began to put together the concept that eventually became CanadaHelps. They envisioned a way for all charities and donors to benefit from the same technology that helped businesses reach huge markets over the internet. The students convinced major supporters to back their vision of an engaged donor base online. With Canadian corporations and financial institutions offering donated funds, space and technology, CanadaHelps launched in 2000.
In its first year, more than $150,000 was donated through CanadaHelps to charities across the country. We’ve increased that amount every year since, bringing the total to over $1 billion.