UsedHelps is a new charity crowdfunding initiative from Black Press's Used.com.

#UsedHelps: Connecting Business with Canadian Charities

It's a first for Canadian buy and sell websites, where sellers can donate the proceeds of their sales directly to national, local charities.

UsedEverywhere.com has launched #UsedHelps – a new initiative created in partnership with fellow tech company Socoloco.

It’s a first for Canadian buy and sell websites, where sellers can donate the proceeds from the sale of items and services directly to national and local charitable organizations using a secure credit card transaction.

Charitable giving and volunteerism play a large part in the lives of Canadians. According to Imagine Canada, more than 84 per cent of Canadians aged 15 and over donated to charitable organizations in 2010. The average individual donation was about $446 per year.

Designed as a way to make it easier for locals to support charities across Canada, #UsedHelps connects buyers with sellers online through seamless credit card transactions, where the proceeds of sales are provided directly to the seller’s charity of choice through Stripe’s secure servers.

“As a national charity that works to support the non-medical expenses of Canadian families with children undergoing life-saving organ transplants, the David Foster Foundation is excited to be a partner with this new, unique and non-traditional funding source that will help to support our Foundation families,” says David Foster, chairman of the David Foster Foundation.

“As an organization that believes in paying it forward, we’re proud of the work that has gone into this new initiative.”

To take part in #UsedHelps, users simply click “YES” to donating the proceeds to charity when listing their items for sale. They then select a participating charity from the dropdown list. When the item is sold, the buyer’s credit card is charged and the donation is sent directly to the charity, with a tax receipt, when applicable, being provided to the seller via email. Imagine Canada reports that 23 per cent of Canadians give because of the income tax they will receive.

“Our earlier local launch in Victoria, B.C. confirmed charitable organizations are excited about this new way to fundraise,” says Elizabeth Dutton, president of UsedEverywhere.com. “Now that we’ve launched nationally, we look forward to seeing an increase in the number of donated items from our two million monthly users.”

Originally launched in Victoria, B.C. — home of UsedEverywhere.com and Socoloco — the #UsedHelps program grew from 16 local organizations to more than 28 in less than one month.

(A full list of participating charities is available at www.UsedEverywhere.com/Community/UsedHelps.)

As additional national and local charitable organizations come on board, each will be profiled through the more than 80 local sites across Canada on http://r.UsedEverywhere.com/UsedHelps and through www.BeGiving.ca.

Interested charities are invited to email UsedHelps@UsedEverywhere.com for information on participating.