How to help victims of a disaster

Following news of a disaster or other emergency, many individuals and businesses want to provide immediate assistance and relief to those affected. The following questions and answers are intended to help Canadians donate wisely.

1. Which charities can I give to?

Canadians wishing to benefit from a charitable donation tax credit or deduction can give to any registered charity or qualified donee. Consult the CRA Charities Listings and Other qualified donees listings to find eligible organizations.

For more details see, “Which organizations can issue official donation receipts?

2. How do I know which charities are involved in disaster relief?

The CRA Charities Listings has many advance search features to assist you.  For example:

  • You can refine your search by selecting a charity type.  Most relief organizations are listed under welfare or health.
  • You can refine your search by selecting a category.  Many relief organizations are listed under:  welfare organizations (not else classified); Service other than hospitals; and disaster funds.

For a complete list of countries in which the organization operates view schedule 2 - Activities outside Canada section of the Registered Charity Information Return (T3010).

3. Are there qualified donees that may be involved in disaster relief?

Yes, several United Nation organizations and charitable organizations outside Canada that have received a gift from Her Majesty in right of Canada may also be involved in relief efforts.

4. How do I know if the government will match my gift? 

In some situations the government supports disaster relief efforts by offering to match donations made to charities by Canadians.  These announcements are usually made by Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.  

5. How can Canadians help those affected by natural disasters and other emergencies abroad?

Visit the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada website for information on How Canadians Can Help?

6. How can I get more information about donating to disaster relief?

You can call the Charities Directorate's Client Service section at 1-800-267-2384.

Related topics