Why aren’t you using GoFundMe or something similar?

GoFundMe is a fantastic fundraising method, however they charge a lot of fees, 5% processing fee for their site, then they also charge 2.9%+$0.30 per transaction that is charged by their online payment processing vendor. We wanted to create a method of fundraising that charges our donors the minimum, so that’s why we’re going with PayPal and using a donation system that doesn’t charge any fees to it’s users. Essentially we’re now able to have an additional 5% available.

We’re using a GoFundMe-esque platform called Give, which is a plugin for WordPress, which our website is built on.


What is the Give WordPress Plugin?

The Give WordPress plugin is an online fundraising platform that is similar to GoFundMe, however it has the advantage of not charging 5% on top of the transaction fees that are charged by PayPal & Stripe.


Why do you use PayPal & Stripe?

PayPal is a very user friendly easy to use payment system, and easily linked into the WooCommerce online store. With PayPal you can pay with your PayPal account if you have one, or just simply pay with your credit card. Having PayPal be one of our vendors for the PIN Fund or other donation campaigns made sense as we’re already using it.

Stripe is also very user friendly, we’re currently only using it for direct donation to the PIN Fund & associated campaigns, it does come with a yearly charge for it to be added to the Give donation plugin, however we believe the small charge for it is worth how much easier it makes donating to the PIN Fund over using PayPal. PayPal is still being used, but our default is Stripe. Based on previous online fundraising, we believe that the slightly confusing way to use PayPal without a PayPal account likely resulted in a loss of donors; the hope is that Strip will mitigate that problem.


Doesn’t PayPal & Stripe charge fees?

Yes unfortunately. Despite being a registered non-profit, we still get charged 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction.


Do you keep my personal credit card or banking information?

No. Since we’re using PayPal & Stripe for online payments, all of your personal information is managed by them via their secure servers, we do not have any of your banking information at any time.


What Does the Alberta EMS Challenge Coin Cost?

$25. At present $20 is to cover cost of the coin and to fundraise for future EMSAA projects (Retirement Gifts, Years of Service Pins, etc). The other $5 is being put towards the PIN Fund (Paramedic In Need Fund).


How Do I Know The Money Is Going Where You Say It’s Going?

EMSAA is a registered non-profit in the province of Alberta under the Society’s Act (Non-Profit #5019853380), and we have to abide by legislation in regards to how the funds are managed. Yearly we have to submit our financial books to the Alberta Government for auditing, and our books have to be internally audited by board members other than the Treasurer.

We also plan on publishing our finances on the website at least yearly to allow anyone with a vested interest in what we are doing to see where the money is and email us with questions if they have any.


Is EMSAA a registered charity?

No, not at present. However if revenues from challenge coin sales, other products, or the PIN Fund exceed $30,000 we will be looking at obtaining charity status. However we are a registered non-profit in the province of Alberta under the society’s act (Non-Profit #5019853380).


Who can I contact if I have questions?

Please contact Sean Vesak, he is the President of EMSAA and currently managing the PIN Fund.