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Canada Helps



  • Official comment

    Hello Steve,

    This is a fantastic question! I thought I might jump in to add my thoughts on this as I've seen a lot of folks who have a similar setup over my years at Keela. I'd be very interested to hear the thoughts of others, too!

    You make some really great points here about why it's important for your organization to continue to keep your CanadaHelps (CH) account running.

    In the past, I've seen organizations keep their CH account open but have ensured that their website, email communications and social media are all connected to their Keela Donation Form. This ensures that most of your donations are logged automatically and will reduce as much of the manual work as you possible (this is low hanging fruit and you may have already put this into practice!)

    Another tip that I've seen is creating your own CHs/Keela spreadsheet template. This would be a template that is formatted for Keela, with the origin source being CH. This way, every month etc. when it's time to align your donation records, you can simply copy data from your CH export and paste it into your Keela template to reduce as much of the formatting as possible.

    Of course, you can also always reach out to the Customer Care team at for a free data review! Once you've got your first CH import ready to go, this can be the template that you use for all future imports.

    Another best practice to consider is doing a Benefit x Cost Analysis. Consider the time that you spend each month managing two systems and whether that can be spent on something with a higher impact. Run through the numbers of CH's higher payment processing fees (compared to Stripe or PayPal) and see how much you could save there. Then, consider the potential donor churn if you were to streamline with Keela. Weigh up the pros and cons and decide which is best for you!

    You might decide that it's totally worth it - in which case creating a template will be a great next step.

    However, if you find that the benefit does not outweigh the potential donor churn you might find our Moving Your Existing Recurring Donations into Keela article.

    Every organization is different and you know yours best! And of course no matter what, we'll be here to help.



    Director of Customer Care

  • Steve Duncan

    Thanks for your comments Elsie,

    You are correct that it's in our best interests to move as many communications and transactions to Keela however the drop-off rate of monthly donors would be too high to risk moving them.

    The spreadsheet is the way to go to import and ideally there should be an excel macro that could automatically reformat the CH data into Keela-friendly formats.  I was hoping there would be someone that has done that heavy lifting, otherwise we'll have to manually reformat every month which is a lot of work.



  • Wade Thorhaug

    Hi Steve,

    I agree, it's definitely a good idea to keep your CH profile around since it's a great source for new donors who otherwise would never learn about your org. To sync our donation records, we usually do the following:

    • Export a list of donors (names, emails, and mailing addresses) from CH
    • Export a list of donation records (transaction number, date, amount, name, email) from CH
    • Import the list of donors into Keela, manually match the columns, and combine duplicates
    • Import the donation records into Keela, and manually match the columns
    • Bulk change the source of all those newly-added donation records to 'CanadaHelps' (to avoid double-receipting at the end of the year)

    It's a somewhat tedious progress but in our case it's well worth it given the amounts involved

  • Steve Duncan

    Wade, that sounds like an enormous amount of work.  How often do you do it?  How long does it take?   Have you done anything to sreamline that process?  Excel macros for instance?

  • Wade Thorhaug

    Hi Steve, I did it again recently and clocked myself. It took about ten minutes of work, and I saved myself some time by using the same csv from CanadaHelps for both the contact and donation record imports. I should note that I don't do anything to tailor the csv for import - I find it's much easier to manually assign columns to fields within Keela's import process, rather than rename columns beforehand so they are automatically recognized.

    I didn't have a ton of donation records to process - maybe about 50-100 - so while it would likely take a bit longer to clean up bigger records I find it's a manageable amount of work.

  • melodie mallinder

    We have donations coming in from CH's and other organizations, having a similar challenge at you do. The donations that come through CH is well worth continuing.

    Although I am sincerely impressed that this tedious work takes Wade 10 minutes, it would take me and my colleagues much longer so this process wouldn't be an option at this time.

    What we have been discussing is creating a Company called Canada Helps in Keela.  Each month we will record the amount of funds that we receive from them and attached the form from their portal for reference.  With those individual donors that we have emails and names for, we will create an associated contact in that company and make a note of how much is donated. 

    I am still very new to Keela but hoping that one day there will be an option where we can include a soft credit that will show the amount donated from the individual donor who gave from CH or a similar Org.   It is certainly not perfect but atleast we can include the donors in our communications and have a reference of their giving.  Thoughts?


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