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Have questions? Here’s a handy list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers. You’ll find information on everything from registering your own fundraiser to hosting a successful event.

Fundraising FAQs   Website FAQs   Promotion & Logistics FAQs   Tax Receipts FAQs   General Questions  


1. How much money do I need to raise?
There is no fundraising minimum amount to create your own fundraiser. You get to set your fundraising goal. We appreciate all supporters, all fundraising ideas and all donations, big or small.
2. Is it better to create a website for fundraising or should I just ask people in person?
We recommend online!
  • It’s quick for you - Once you register online, you get an online Participant Centre. From there, you can send out emails asking for support and people can donate directly to your personal event page. You can also share your personal event page link on social media to get more donations.
  • It’s easy for your donors - They can donate securely online and they‘ll immediately receive a tax receipt for their contribution.
  • It’s cost-effective for us - When you raise money online, we use fewer resources to process donations. That means that more of the money can be applied directly to programs that create survivors!
3. How do I enter cash or cheque donations that are given to me “offline” to my personal event page?
  • Log in to your online Participant Centre
  • Hit “enter a new gift” on the right hand side
  • Enter the contact information for the donor and gift information
  • Choose the payment type
  • Click add
  • Once you do that, the gift will show up as part of your total.
4. I’m new to fundraising. Can you give me some tips?
First of all, we’re so glad you joined us! With your help, we’ll create more survivors! Here are our top 3 fundraising tips:
  • Send emails to everyone you know asking for support. The number one way people raise lots of money is by asking lots of people! In your online Participant Centre, there’s a pre-written email that you can use. Send it to everyone in your email address book. People will be thrilled to help you!
  • Ask for a specific donation amount. Sometimes people don’t know how much money to give, so they don’t give anything. Remove that roadblock by suggesting an amount like $50.
  • Make a self-donation. This shows people that you’re serious about reaching your goal, and it helps them choose their own donation amount. Plus, it gets you that much closer to your goal!
5. What is a Corporate Matching Donation Program?
Corporate Matching Donation Programs are offered by many Canadian companies. Companies offering this program will match its employee’s charitable donation dollar for dollar.
6. How do I know if the company I work for offers a “Corporate Matching Donation Program”?
  • Many Canadian companies do offer a Corporate Matching Donation Program. The best way to find out if yours does is to ask someone in the corporate donations office or the human resources department.
  • If your employer does participate, ask for a matching gift application form. Fill out the form, return it to the appropriate department and forward the matching gift to your Heart & Stroke representative. Find your local Heart & Stroke office.
7. I want to help, but don’t want to run my own fundraiser. What can I do?
There are a few ways you can support Heart & Stroke and create more survivors
  • Donate to Heart & Stroke. - By making a general donation, you help ensure we continue the life-saving work that creates more survivors and brings more Canadians home.
  • Support another existing event - You’ll make someone smile while contributing to our critical work.
  • Volunteer - Heart & Stroke has wonderful volunteer opportunities.


1. When I try to create my own fundraiser and register online, I receive error messages and my screen is freezing. What’s wrong?
a. Sorry about that! From time to time, there are so many people accessing the online registration system at the same time that this happens. You didn’t do anything wrong. We appreciate your patience and suggest that you try again later.
b. If you don’t want to wait, please call 1-888-HSF-INFO (1-888-473-4636) for assistance. Alternatively, you can take note (copy and paste, or a screen shot works well) of the exact error message and send it to customer service at for further investigation along with your email and phone number.
2. How do I correct my personal information if I have entered it incorrectly?
  • Log in to your online Participant Centre
  • Click on “Profile” at the very top of your screen
  • Click on “Edit Your Profile”
  • Change the information as necessary
  • Click “Done” to save the changes
3. I forgot my password or I’m having trouble logging in even though I’m entering the correct password.
Technology! The easiest fix is to request a new password. Simply click the link ‘Forgot Username and/or Password’ at the login page. Then follow the steps to request a password reset.
4. How do I change my event name?
It’s quick and easy.
  • Log in to your online Participant Centre
  • Click on “Team Page” tab
  • Click on “edit” on the right hand side
  • Hit “Save”
5. What is an online Participant Centre?
It’s home to all of your online fundraising and recruitment tools. From your online Participant Centre, you can:
  • Customize your personal event page with a story and photo
  • Send fundraising and recruitment emails (there are pre-written templates that you can use)
  • Monitor your progress
  • Share your page on social media using the share tools
  • Edit your username, password, and fundraising goal
6. How do I change the photo in my personal event page?
  • Log in to your Participant Centre
  • Click on the “Personal Page” tab
  • Click on “Photos/Video” (it’s on the right side of the page)
  • Click the “Choose File” button
  • Add a picture from your computer then click “Open”
  • Write a caption if you want
  • Click the “Save/Upload” button
7. How do I add my story to my personal event page?
  • Log in to your online Participant Centre
  • Click on the “Personal Page” tab
  • Edit your page title and body copy as you’d like
  • Click the “Save” button
8. How do I import my email contacts into my online Participant Centre?
a. This is very easy to do if you use Gmail or Yahoo! If you use a different email provider, then you can upload a .csv file.

b. For Gmail and Yahoo!:
  • Log in to your Participant Centre
  • Click on the “Email” tab
  • Click on “Contacts” on the right side of the page
  • Click on “Import contacts”
  • Choose your email provider
  • Click the “Next” button
  • Choose “allow access”
  • Click “Next”
  • Choose import all or just some of your contacts
  • Click “Next”
  • Click “Finished”
9. How do I send a fundraising email from my online Participant Centre?
a. If you want to use a pre-written template:
  • Log in to your Participant Centre
  • Click on the “Email” tab
  • Enter your future supporters’ names and email addresses in the “To:” field
  • Click on “choose from your contacts list” if you’ve imported your contacts already
  • Click on “Use a template” and choose “Solicitation”
  • Then hit “Send” at the top of the page
b. If you want to write your own email:
  • Log in to your Participant Centre
  • Click on the “Email” tab
  • Enter your future supporters’ names and email addresses in the “To:” field
  • Click on “choose from your contacts list” if you’ve imported your contacts already
  • Enter your subject line in the “Subject” field
  • Write your email
  • Then hit “Send” at the top of the page
10. I sent emails to my friends and family from my event page but they haven’t received them. What can I do?
Rest assured this is not your fault. This may be due to spam filter blocks. The best thing to do is to send them another email from your personal email account.

Log in to your Participant Centre and send yourself the pre-written fundraising email. Then copy and paste that into a new email and send it to everyone!
11. I forgot who I sent emails to. Can I see a list of their names?
Yes, as long as you sent the email from your online Participant Centre! Follow the steps below.

12. Can I send a Thank You email to my donors from my online Participant Centre? How do I do it?
Yes you can! It’s very similar to sending a fundraising email.

  • Log in to your online Participant Centre
  • Click on the “Email” tab
  • Enter your future supporters’ names and email addresses in the “To:” field
  • Click on “choose from your contacts list” if you’ve imported your contacts already
  • Click on “Use a template” and choose “Thank You”
  • Then hit “Send” at the top of the page
13. How do I collect offline donations/pledges and track progress online?
a. Your supporters can donate using cash, cheques or credit card. Simply download the Pledge Form and use it to record your sponsors’ information. Once you’re finished fundraising, you can submit the offline donations/pledges a couple of ways.

i. By mail (please indicate that funds are for My Own Fundraiser, and include the name of your fundraiser)
ii. In person:
Click here to find the Heart & Stroke Office in your area.
You can drop your donations off Monday to Friday, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m

b. Record these offline donations in your Participant Centre to show the impact to your fundraising goal!

i. Log in to your online Participant Centre
ii. Click on ‘Enter Offline Donations’ icon
iii. Enter donor information (First Name, Last Name, Email, Amount, and Payment Type)
iv. Click ‘Add’ or ‘Save and Add Another’

Promotion & Logistics

1. Can I use Heart & Stroke logo to help promote my fundraiser?
Yes, provided you keep the following in mind:

a. Heart & Stroke of Canada name and logo are registered trademarks. Permission must be given in advance by Heart & Stroke for the use and context of the Foundation name and logo on any promotional materials and/or advertising associated with the fundraiser. Written permission must first be granted before “Heart & Stroke” or “HSF” is used for any purpose.
b. Heart & Stroke reserves the right to withdraw consent to use its name or logo at any time if such use could damage the Foundation’s reputation in the community.
c. Authorized use of Heart & Stroke logo does not constitute an endorsement of any specific business, product or service. The My Own Fundraiser will be promoted and carried out in a manner to avoid statement or appearance of endorsement.
d. The relationship between the Fundraiser and Heart & Stroke should be made clear the Fundraiser is held in support of, and not hosted by, Heart & Stroke. You may use one of the following phrases, or something similar, in order to communicate the relationship:

  • Proceeds from this fundraiser will go to the Heart & Stroke. (use the term partial or net proceeds if appropriate).
  • The (name of the fundraiser) will benefit the Heart & Stroke.
  • Your ticket purchase helps us support the Heart & Stroke.
Note:All information released to the media must be reviewed and approved by the Foundation prior to distribution. The Foundation cannot promote or generate publicity for your Fundraiser outside of a newsletter and/or website posting. Heart & Stroke cannot mail promotional material out to existing donors or provide donor contact information.
2. Does Heart & Stroke cover the insurance for my fundraiser?
  • No, the Heart & Stroke does not insure My Own Fundraisers. It is the responsibility of the organizer to procure the necessary insurance coverage, licenses, and permits, and that they are compliant with all relevant legal requirements. Such documents must be in the name of the My Own Fundraiser event organizer and not the Heart & Stroke.
  • The Heart & Stroke assumes no financial or legal liability associated with My Own Fundraisers and is not responsible for any resulting damage, loss or injury.
3. Does the Heart & Stroke cover any of my costs for running my fundraiser?
  • No, the Heart & Stroke will not provide financial assistance and will not be responsible for any expenses incurred by the My Own Fundraiser.
  • The Heart & Stroke shall be entitled to 100 per cent of the charitable portion raised by the My Own Fundraiser. This amount is equal to the total proceeds less any direct expenses generated by the My Own Fundraiser. In the event that multiple charities are being supported, please ensure it is clear on all promotional materials.
  • All net funds should be submitted to the Heart & Stroke within 30 days after the conclusion of the My Own Fundraiser. In the event that you cannot meet the deadline, please contact your local Heart & Stroke office.

Note: It is recommended that you keep a detailed, accurate, and up-to-date accounting record of all event proceeds and disbursements. To assist you with planning your expenses, please review our Budget Template.
4. Can the Heart & Stroke help me set up ticket sales for my event?
  • The Heart & Stroke is unable to support online ticket sales for My Own Fundraiser events. The Event Organizer is solely responsible for the event promotion, registration fees, and sale of tickets. Net proceeds from registration fees and ticket sales can be donated to the Foundation by making an online donation to the event (go to to login), mailing a cheque, or bringing the funds in-person to the local office.

Tax Receipts

1. What is an electronic tax receipt (e-receipt)?
a. When you make your online donation to the Heart & Stroke, an electronic tax receipt will be delivered instantly to your email inbox. The electronic receipt is in an unalterable PDF format, and is your official receipt for income tax purposes. Simply print out the receipt and include a copy with your income tax return.
b. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print your receipt. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, it can be downloaded free of charge at:
c. If you have difficulty viewing or printing your receipt, please contact us at and we will send you a paper copy of your receipt. Please include your full name and address in the email. You can also reach us by calling 1-888-HSF-INFO (4636).
2. Is there a minimum donation amount required for a tax receipt?
a. All donations made online through the My Own Fundraiser website will automatically receive a tax receipt for the full donation amount. For donations made offline, a minimum cash donation amount of $20 has been established by the Heart & Stroke due to the various costs associated with receipting.
b. If tax receipts are required, after the event, in a timely manner, please provide the Foundation with a list of supporters, full addresses including postal codes, with the donation amounts each individual would like to be receipted for. Please note: The total funds donated must equal or be in excess of the amount to be receipted. We cannot issue tax receipts for more than the donation amount.
3. Whose name goes on the tax receipt?
The tax receipt must be made out to the entity listed on the cheque. The entity can only receive the receipt if they are the actual donor. For example: a corporation often issues one cheque representing donations collected from its employees (perhaps through a ‘casual dress down day’ fundraiser). Although the corporation’s name appears on the cheque, the gift was, in fact, that of the corporation’s employees. In this case, the corporation should not be issued the charitable tax receipt.
4. Can HSF issue receipt booklets to me as the host of my own fundraiser?
No, the Heart & Stroke cannot supply receipt booklets for a My Own Fundraiser. There are Canadian Revenue Agency regulations that we must adhere to with regards to issuing charitable tax receipts. We have no way of ensuring that these regulations are followed if receipt books are distributed to third parties.
5. Can a receipt be issued for the price of a ticket to an event?
a. A charitable tax receipt may be issued for the purchase of a ticket to a charitable event, but NOT for the entire ticket price. The value of goods and services received (not including taxes), such as dinner or prizes will be deducted from the receipt amount. For example, if the price of a ticket to attend a dinner is $100 and the value of the dinner is $40, a receipt may be issued for the $60 difference.
b. Please note that according to Canada Revenue Agency guidelines, it is the value of the goods and services received and not the cost that will be deducted from the tax receipt amount. The value is the price that a customer would normally pay to receive that product or service.
c. In situations where the cost or a portion of the cost is covered by a sponsor or corporation, the same rule applies, the value that the product or goods would normally be sold for is still the advantage (the Canadian Revenue Agency defines the advantage as the goods and services received in exchange for a gift) amount. Only the price paid beyond the total value of the advantages received is eligible for a tax receipt.
6. What is the difference between Sponsorship and Gift in Kind? When would an income tax receipt be issued?
a. Sponsorship occurs when a company provides funding and receives a benefit in return, such as public profile for its corporate citizenship (i.e. as sponsor of a major Foundation event). In this case, an income tax receipt is not issued.
b. Gift in Kind occurs when a company donates either property or services and does not receive a benefit from the donation. In this case an income tax receipt would be issued.
7. What is your refund policy for online donations and pledges?
In the event of a discrepancy or error with your online transaction, please contact Please include your name, telephone number and the date and amount of your transaction. The Heart & Stroke is committed to ensuring all discrepancies are resolved within 10 business days.
8. Can I receive a tax receipt for the proceeds of the sale of a product or service?
Yes, funds sent in as proceeds from the sale of a product or service are tax deductible to the seller, but not to the buyer.
9. Can a receipt be issued for a donation of service?
Contributions of services are not property and therefore do not qualify as gifts for purposes of issuing official charitable receipts. However, a charity may issue an official donation receipt if an entity provides a service to the charity, the charity pays for the service, and the entity then returns the payment to the charity as a gift. The Canada Revenue Agency recommends that in this situation, the parties should proceed by way of an exchange of cheques to ensure the presence of an audit trail.
10. What is a gift-in-kind and are they eligible for a tax receipt?
“Gifts-in-kind” are gifts of physical property and according to the Canada Revenue Agency are eligible for tax receipts. A receipt may be issued for the value of an item before taxes. HSF requests that organizations donating a gift-in-kind provide an invoice stating the value (not cost) of the item, as of the date of the donation. A gift-in-kind does not include a gift of service.
11. Can sponsorship gifts receive a charitable tax receipt?
No, a payment from a business, for which the business receives a material benefit, such as promotion or advertising in return, cannot be issued a charitable tax receipt. However, for tax purposes, the business may claim the contribution as an advertising expense. In other words, a business may deduct gifts made to registered charities from taxable business income.
12. Can a receipt be issued where door or achievement prizes are issued to event participants?
Yes, but not for the full cost of the event. The retail value of all such prizes is to be aggregated and allocated evenly amongst all attendees. Furthermore, the allocated amount must not exceed 80 per cent of the ticket price. For example, 10 people purchase $20 tickets to attend a benefit dinner and in exchange receive a chance to win prizes valued at $50. The value of the prize advantage works out to be $5 per person ($50/10 people). Since the value of the achievement or door prizes is less than 80 per cent of the ticket price, then donors will receive tax receipts in the amount of $15 ($20 - $5).
13. Can a receipt be issued for the purchase of a prize draw?
No, you have purchased a chance to win a prize. No part of the cost of a raffle ticket is a gift which may be receipted for income tax purposes.
14. Can property donated for sale at an auction be considered a charitable donation?
Yes, how the charity uses donated property is generally not relevant in determining whether the donor has made a gift to the charity.
15. Can a receipt be issued for the purchase of an auction item?
Yes, but only if the bid amount exceeds the value of the item by 20 per cent. The amount of the receipt is equal to the difference between the bid amount and the value of the item.
16. Can a charity issue an official donation receipt when it receives a donation of a gift certificate?
No, the gift certificate is similar to a pledge and like a pledge, cannot be receipted. Rather, the retailer is entitled to claim the cost of the property transferred to the certificate holder as a business expense.

General Questions

1. Does the Heart & Stroke provide medical advice?
The Heart & Stroke provides information on heart disease and stroke in general, based on the best science available today. We welcome your inquiries and comments, but please contact your doctor with any questions you may have about your personal health.
2. What about financial assistance to heart and stroke patients?
The Heart & Stroke raises funds to support research and health promotion programs. We feel that we can help more Canadians by investing in research and education that lead toward the prevention of heart disease and stroke as well as better treatments for the disease. If you need financial assistance or other personal support to help you or someone you care for with their illness, your provincial Ministry of Health, along with local service clubs, social services, hospital foundations, and others can help you.
3. How can I make a donation to the Heart & Stroke?
You can donate in many ways. You can donate to our canvassers during Heart Month in February, through your participation in fundraising events, in memory of someone, or through planned giving. These and the many other means of contributing help us fight the disability and death caused by heart disease and stroke.
  • Contact your local Heart & Stroke office to find out about existing fundraising events, in memoriam donations, and planned giving, or
  • Donate online or by calling 1-888-HSF-INFO (1-888-473-4636). You can also complete and print a donation form, and mail, fax or deliver it in person with your donation to your local Heart & Stroke Office.
4. What is the Foundation’s cost of fundraising?
Every donation helps the Foundation move closer to its mission of healthy lives free of heart disease and stroke. Together we will make it happen. For details on how we invest donor dollars, click here.
5. How will you use the money that I raise?
In short, every dollar funds life-saving research to create more survivors. See how we put your dollars to work.
6. How do I apply for a research grant from the Heart & Stroke?
For information on what kind of grants are available and when to apply for them, please visit our research site.
7. I would like to learn more about volunteerism. Who do I contact?
To volunteer, please contact your local Heart & Stroke office for volunteer opportunities in your area.
8. Is there a Heart & Stroke diet?
No. Please visit our Healthy Living section or our website for more information on diet and exercise.


Have a question we haven’t answered? Simply contact us and we’ll help you out.

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