Rethink Charity Forward - Operations

RC Forward is Canada's first cause-neutral donation routing fund for high-impact charities around the world. We provide options for Canadian donors to give unrestricted donations to four designated cause areas or directly to participating high-impact charities.

Rethink Charity presents RC Forward, Canada’s first cause-neutral donation routing fund for high-impact charities around the world.

More than most countries, the Canadian government makes it notoriously difficult for donors to receive tax benefits from gifts to non-Canadian charities. Thanks to our partnerships with the Chimp and Priority Foundations, RC Forward is solving that problem for select charities, including the Against Malaria Foundation, the Good Food Institute, MIRI, and others.

--RC Funds--

RC Forward provides options for Canadian donors to give unrestricted donations to four designated cause areas: Global Health, Human Empowerment, Animal Welfare, and Future Prosperity. These funds will be allocated quarterly according to the recommendations of charity evaluators and experts in the respective fields.

--Direct Donations--

In addition to the four funds, RC Forward allows donors to give directly to participating high-impact charities. At the time of launching, RC Forward has a list of nine high-impact charities, with more to come. (See our website for an up-to-date list of charities.)

--Peer-to-peer Online Fundraisers--

Rethink Charity’s peer-to-peer fundraising project (High-Impact Fundraisers) has been folded into RC Forward, thanks to Chimp’s intuitive platform. Individually managed fundraisers can be initiated from each fund or charity page. Using this function, fundraisers can be run for birthdays, Christmas, or any other event.


Before Rethink Charity’s founding, Charity Science (who are generously supporting RC in this transition) provided Canadian donors with the opportunity to give to effective global poverty charities, however this service will no longer be available in 2018. 2017 donations are estimated to exceed $500,000 USD. By expanding the causes and charities supported, RC Forward could raise upwards of $1,000,000 for effective charities in 2018.

--2018 Budget--

RC Forward can be run minimally by one full-time equivalent (FTE), and optimally by 1.5 FTE. Essential staff remit includes donor correspondence, website maintenance, campaign promotion, and charity regranting administrative work.
Additionally, RC Forward hopes to cover a 4% fee for cross-border donations out of the operating budget to encourage donors who are dissuaded by additional fees.

Staff time - $50,000 (1.5 FTE)
Accounting/Legal Costs - $6,000
Fee Coverage - $40,000* (4% of $1,000,000 in cross-border donations)
Contingency - $6,000

BUDGET TOTAL: CAD $102,000**

*Funding specifically earmarked for fee coverage will ‘roll over’ into covering 2019 platform fees if RC Forward raises less than $1,000,000 in cross-border donations.
**Numbers different from funding document because of USD to CAD conversion.

--The Importance of Fee Coverage--

Studies suggest that overhead aversion is a powerful donation deterrent. That is, donors are likely to be put off when not all of their gift will go to the charity they select. There is real value in assuring our donors that 100% of their donations will go to effective charities. Estimates suggest this could increase donations by between 4% and 55%, counterfactually bringing in between $40,000 to $550,000 (per $1,000,000 raised).

Covering RC Forward platform fees could be understood as having an effect similar to matching donations: providing money to effective charities, with the added benefit of potentially incentivizing donors by providing a fee-free donation avenue.

--Staff Time--

In addition to essential tasks mentioned above, optimal staffing for RC Forward would include the following:

-RC Forward promotion - We can run data-driven promotional campaigns, routing significantly more money to effective charities.

-Rethink Charity organizational infrastructure - RC will be better equipped to efficiently handle administrative needs, such as accounting, website maintenance, foundational operations, and other miscellaneous tasks.

-Online peer-to-peer campaigns - We can allocate more bandwidth towards running these historically successful fundraising campaigns, for coordinated efforts similar to Season’s Givings in 2016.

Interested in supporting RC Forward? Contact for more information.