- Is UNA-Canada part of the UN?
- Is UNA-Canada a registered charity?When do I receive my charitable tax receipt?
- I’ve lost my tax receipt. How can I obtain a duplicate?
- What are the benefits of donating to a charity?
- What is your policy on donor data privacy? Does UNA-Canada trade, share or sell personal information?
Membership & Donations
Why did I receive a “Time to Renew Membership” mailing less than 12 months after I made my membership gift?
ANSWERS TO GENERAL QUESTIONS…
Is UNA-Canada part of the UN?
No, UNA-Canada is not an office of the United Nations. We are a citizen’s movement which supports and promotes the values and goals of the UN in Canada. We are also one of the founding members of the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA), established in August 1946 as the peoples movement for the United Nations. Now, with UNA’s in over 90 countries, WFUNA is the only international, non-governmental organization devoted entirely to the support of the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter. Each UNA engages their respective national public in the work of the United Nations and the critical international issues which affect us all.
When do I receive my charitable tax receipt?
Wherever possible, UNA-Canada turns around a charitable tax receipt within 1 week of receiving a gift. We have found, however, that the donor’s perception of the time it takes to receive their receipt may at times be longer. While Canada Post does deliver most of our pre-paid return envelopes in an expedient manner (usually within a week or so), there are times when third class mail can take 3-4 weeks to be delivered. All of our pre-paid return envelopes are third-class delivery. While we cannot control how quickly Canada Post delivers your gift to us, we do control how quickly we turn around the tax receipt and we ensure that all of our charitable receipts are mailed first-class.
There are 2 exceptions to the 1 week turn-around: 1) monthly givers receive a single charitable receipt for the total amount donated through the “Ambassador’s Circle” monthly giving programme rather than individual receipts for each monthly gift; and 2) ticket sales to events for which only a portion of the ticket price is eligible for a charitable receipt must wait until all the invoices for event-related costs are received. Only then can we determine what the actual eligible amount will be, as according to Revenue Canada’s rules.
How can I obtain a duplicate charitable tax receipt?
If you never received or have misplaced your charitable tax receipt, we would be happy to send you a duplicate. Simply contact our Development Team at (613) 232-5751 x 258 or at [email protected]. Be sure to provide your complete name and mailing address. It is also helpful if you are able to provide the amount and approximate date of the gift.
What are the benefits of donating to a charity?
In addition to the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping UNA-Canada to do important work, there are tax benefits to making charitable gifts. A portion of the total amount of charitable gifts that you make can be deducted from your taxable income, thereby reducing the total amount of tax you pay to the government.
What is your policy on donor data privacy? Does UNA-Canada trade, share or sell personal information?
Link for answer.
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT MEMBERSHIP & DONATIONS…
Is there a set membership fee?
UNA-Canada has no set annual membership fee. We believe that all Canadians should have the opportunity to become members, regardless of their financial situation. Some members contribute $15.00, others $1,000.00 or more. An annual contribution of some amount must be made to become a member.
What do I have to do as a member of UNA-Canada?
Membership provides a variety of benefits and opportunities for participation and involvement, if that is your wish. Some members simply like to belong, and send an annual membership gift to help support our programmes. Others become active volunteers who are engaged in their communities, working with other committed citizens at their Branch to effect change at the local level. How involved you become is entirely up to you. For UNA-Canada, what is vitally important is both a) the growing numbers of members which make us ever stronger when we meet with key officials to effect positive global change, and b) the generous gifts we receive from our members which support and strengthen ongoing programmes.
At the national level, resolutions affecting our work are voted on at a National Annual General Meeting (AGM), usually held each Spring. While all members-in-good-standing (those who have made a membership gift within the past twelve months) are welcome to attend and participate at a national AGM, the voting delegates are defined by our By-Laws as being members of the National Board of Directors plus a specified number of Branch delegates.
Our community-based Branches also have local AGMs, at which one of the agenda items is to decide who the Branch voting member(s) at the National AGM will be. Members living in the vicinity of a Branch AND who are members-in-good-standing do have voting rights at the Branch AGMs.
What is the difference between a member and a donor?
Link for answer.
How long does a membership gift keep me in good standing as a member?
You are a “member-in-good-standing” with all the commiserate benefits and rights for 12 months from the date of your membership gift.
Is there a difference between Branch membership and national membership?
No. If you are a member of UNA-Canada, you are registered on the national database and are a member of the Association at large. If you happen to live in the vicinity of a local Branch, you are also automatically a member of that Branch. Even if you have indicated that you prefer not to have your name shared with a Branch, you are counted as a member living near a Branch even while your privacy is ensured. Vice versa, even if you are primarily interested in Branch involvement and support, all memberships go through the central database at the national office and you are considered a member of the Association at large.
Do all members belong to a Branch?
Unfortunately, no. Branches only operate on a local basis, typically with a radius of up to 30 kilometres from a city limit. Members who live in an area where we do not currently have a local Branch do not have ongoing community-based opportunities at this time. However, we do try to inform members if a national UNA-Canada project or programme is visiting their community.
Can individuals living outside of Canada become a member of UNA-Canada?
While we do not have any rules restricting international membership, and we most certainly welcome Canadians living abroad as members, there is no advantage for international citizens to become a member of UNA-Canada. Our mandate is to educate Canadians about global issues, to engage and empower Canadians to think globally, and to build understanding of and support for the UN within Canada. If you are looking for opportunities to become part of the global citizens movement in support of the UN, we recommend that you contact the UN Association in your country. A directory of all UNA’s is available on WFUNA’s site.
International citizens do not gain any special privileges by becoming a member of UNA-Canada. We are not an office of the UN, nor are we a government agency. We do not provide assistance to acquire or prolong entry visas or refugee status in Canada. Such requests should go through Immigration Canada. There are no services we can offer aside from access to information on our website – and that is not restricted to members. And there is no way in which we can facilitate the participation in any of our programmes by those coming from abroad.
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT UNA-CANADA MAILINGS…
Why do I receive mail from more than one UNA-Canada office?
Supporters may receive mail from both the national office and from their local Branch. Why? UNA-Canada’s member/donor database is centralized at the national office in Ottawa. The names and contact information for the Association’s members are shared with our volunteer-run community Branches so that they can inform members in their community of locally-organized activities and events. Information on donors is not shared with Branches.
Why do I receive mail from more than one UN agency (e.g. UNICEF, UNHCR)?
There are several UN agencies and associated organizations operating in Canada. Each has a unique focus and mandate; each has their own office and database; and each has their own independent fundraising and outreach programmes which may or may not include mailings to interested Canadians. Being a supporter of one does not automatically make you a supporter of them all.
Why do I receive more than one appeal in a year from UNA-Canada?
Most of our supporters (>90%) like to hear from UNA-Canada several times a year. Some respond to every mailing. Others simply like the diversity of opportunity and information, and selectively choose which mailing they wish to respond to, either by making a gift and/or by taking any pro-active action we may provide. There are two main types of mailings sent to our supporters:1. MEMBERSHIP mailings a) provide an overview of the current programmes and activities of UNA-Canada, and b) encourage you to renew your membership. Revenue raised supports both ongoing national programmes and local Branch initiatives. Approximately 25-35% of the total gross membership revenue goes to the Branches.
Purpose: A larger membership base a) means that UNA-Canada is even stronger when it meets and works with our Government, with UN Ambassadors, with other non-profit organizations, and with sister UN Associations around the world and b) provides enhanced opportunities for our local Branches who rely on the energy and interest of members in their community. Effecting positive global change takes commitment, passion, experience and expertise. It takes action at all levels – local, regional, national and international. And for a citizen’s organization such as UNA-Canada, it takes a strong membership base.
Frequency: A typical year has 2-3 membership renewal mailings. Those who renew in response to our first membership renewal mailing in January are not mailed a reminder notice later in the year. Monthly givers are automatically excluded from all membership mailings as their monthly gifts are considered continual renewals.
2. SPECIAL appeals a) provide information on issues that UNA-Canada and/or the UN is focusing on; b) provide an opportunity to make additional project-specific donations and c) may include pro-active actions, e.g. petitions to key officials, surveys etc. Donations made to Special appeals are NOT considered membership.
Purpose: By drawing on the collective force of our supporters, action-oriented appeals help us effect political and/or public change. Special appeals raise funds for specific issues and/or projects, and they provide donation options to Canadians who wish to support UNA-Canada but who are not interested in membership.
Frequency: A typical year has 2-4 special mailings.
You can always distinguish a Membership appeal from a Special appeal by the language used. Membership appeals always refer to “membership” several times throughout the package; Special appeals never do.
Some of our supporters prefer to receive a reduced number of, or only specific types of, mailings. If this is your preference, simply contact our Development Team at (613) 232-5751 ext 228 or at [email protected] and we will be pleased to limit your mail. Please specify which option you prefer:
- Once per year. This option generates one membership renewal mailing sent in January or February. Whether you respond immediately, or wait to respond until later in the year, your gift will make you a member. (Note: If you are a monthly donor, this one mailing, typically mailed in February, will include a general overview of UNA-Canada’s activities as well as your tax receipt for the total amount donated in the previous year.)
- Single year-end mailing only. This option generates a Special mailing sent sometime between late October and early December. Your gift will be a donation, and you will be considered a donor.
- Three times per year. This option generates one membership renewal (January) and two specials (Spring and Fall) each year. I.e. it reduces the number of mailings to three but provides a balanced sample of information.
- Specials only. You know that you will never be interested in membership. This option reduces your mail to 2-4 times per year.
- Membership only. You want to ensure you are reminded to renew your membership because being a member is what you most want. You do not want to receive Special mailings. This option will generate a renewal reminder in Spring and/or Fall if you do not respond to the first membership renewal mailing in January.
- No Surveys. You know that you are not interested in participating in surveys.
- No Premium Gifts. You know that you want your gift to go to programmes and activites rather than pay, at least in part, for a premium gift, i.e. an item with significant production cost such as address labels, notepads, cards etc. Note: UNA-Canada does not usually use “up front” premiums in it’s mailings (meaning to put an item of significant value in the mailing itself). In the past decade, we have only included an “up front” premium once – address labels. Some supporters truly welcomed the labels as a way for them to publicly show their support of UNA-Canada; others did not appreciate what to them was an unsolicited gift. At this time, we do not have immediate plans to use premiums again, however we continue to maintain this code in case we choose to use a premium again in the future.
From a local Branch: Not all of our volunteer Branches function as bilingual. If you receive information on community activities from your local Branch, it may only be offered in one language. Or a newsletter might be bilingual but not translated, i.e. each article is written in the preferred language of the author.
There are several options as to why you received a mailing from UNA-Canada…
- You have donated to UNA-Canada in the past, either by mail or on-line.
- You filled out a membership application form distributed by a Branch or at an event.
- You have received a “prospect” appeal – a mailing sent to Canadians who have not contributed to UNA-Canada before. Every year, in order to obtain names and addresses of Canadians who might like the chance to learn about Canada and the United Nations, UNA-Canada occasionally trades names of our supporters with other like-minded charitable organizations. Such trades are always handled through an independent broker. Names acquired through a trade are not actually seen by UNA-Canada and are not on our database. Not until the person responds to our mailing. If you received such a mailing and wish to know which charity provided UNA-Canada with your name, simply contact us. It is essential that you provide the appeal coupon as it has the code which will tell us the charity’s name. If you received such a mailing and are not interested in ever supporting UNA-Canada, you can either ignore the mailing as you are not actually on our database, or you can ask us to add you to our “kill list” which should ensure you are not contacted again in future. See next question…
How can I get off your mailing list?
To stop UNA-Canada mailings, please write “Take me off your mailing list” on the reply form of any one of our mailings and send it back in the postage-paid envelope we provided. The reply form has all the codes and information we’ll need to process your request. Please note that while your request will be processed within a day or two of receiving your request, it can take up to 6 weeks for the change to be fully incorporated into the programme. If your request was received after names were pulled for an upcoming campaign, you may receive one final appeal.
- Your membership gift and our membership renewal mailing “crossed in the mail”. A typical mailing schedule is: UNA-Canada pulls a file of all names to include in a mailing; it takes approximately two weeks for the mailinghouse to test, merge and print the data onto printed materials, to sort the mail into postal-code-specific bundles according to Canada Post stipulations, and to deliver them to Canada Post; and it takes 1-4 weeks for Canada Post to deliver third class mail. So, while we do everything we can to tighten the timelines, the concept of “crossed in the mail” can be up to 6 weeks. In comparison, our receipting process is much faster. This means if we received your gift a day or even a week after the file was pulled for a mailing, you will most likely receive your charitable receipt first and then a renewal reminder thereafter.
- Our mailing schedule is not 100% in line with your preferred giving schedule. UNA-Canada is committed to ensuring that as much of your gift as possible goes to programming, and not to administrative costs. One of the best ways to do this is to mail all membership renewal notices at the same time, rather than staggering smaller mailings based on anniversary dates of past gifts. Mass mailings provide us with tremendous cost-savings, in the thousands of dollars. However, from your perspective, it means that even if you have made a membership gift in October or November, you will be included in the main Membership Renewal appeal mailed in January of the following year. Many of our supporters switch to making their membership gift early in the year, when they receive the first reminder of the year. Others choose to send their gift at a later time, whenever it best suits them. All gifts are appreciated, whenever they are received. And it is our sincere hope that our supporters understand our dedication to cost-effective fundraising.
- You have confused a Special appeal with a Membership Renewal appeal. As explained above, UNA-Canada has two types of mailings – Membership and Specials. There are two possible scenarios that could lead to such confusion. In Scenario 1: if you made a membership gift say in February in response to our Membership Renewal mailing, you are a member for the year and will be excluded from any Membership Renewal Reminder appeals for the remainder of the year. But you may be mailed an issue-oriented Special(s) asking for a special donation to, and/or inviting you to undertake a small pro-active action in support of, a specific programme or initiative. In Scenario 2: if you responded to our second mailing of the year, to a Special mailing, this is not considered a renewal of your membership. As such, you may be mailed a Membership Renewal Reminder later in the year because we still want you to consider being a member. We understand that you may be inclined to assume that any gift you send will make you a member. However, because our national By-Laws give members specific rights, including voting at the Branch level, an individual must legally specify that they want their gift to be a membership gift.