Forest fires are a seasonal hazard across Canada, with the Canadian National Fire Database recording upwards of 8,000 each year between the high-risk months of May to September. But few fires have been more devastating than those that swept through Alberta in 2016 and resulted in the largest evacuation in the province’s history.
Almost a year on, Alberta is counting the cost and rebuilding lives and properties. The fires began on 1 May and raged through the communities of Fort McMurray, prompting a huge relief effort from the Canadian military, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, fire-fighting forces from throughout Canada, and not least the Canadian Red Cross (CRC).
The CRC is a not-for-profit organisation and one of Paysafe’s major clients. We have been processing payments for the charity since 2013 and are far more than just a business partner. When the wildfires began last year, our payments processing platform managed the flow of funds as donations rolled in, creating an administrative and operational challenge that required expert behind-the-scenes assistance. This included accepting and settling donations as well as limiting fraud through our proprietary payment tools.
Not-for-profit organisations such as the CRC experience high volumes of donations at certain times due to both planned events and disasters such as the Alberta fires. To help the helpers at times of greatest need, payment-processing platforms must be responsive, scalable, and resilient. Paysafe gives the CRC this level of confidence thanks to an end-to-end platform that processes high volumes of online donations smoothly and efficiently while combating fraud and allowing the charity to concentrate on raising funds.
The strengths of Paysafe’s CRC solution include the following:
For a detailed overview of Paysafe’s Canadian Red Cross solution, see the fact sheet.
The appeal following the Alberta fires was one of the most successful in the charity’s history, with Paysafe helping to process more than 100,000 transactions in a single day. Ten days after the start of the relief campaign, CRC distributed $50m in immediate financial aid.
The wildfires led the CRC to launching a disaster management system, with the aim of helping affected people through educational and financial programmes. The project was shortlisted by the Google.org Impact Challenge, which promotes Canadian non-profit innovators who use technology to tackle the world's biggest social challenges, and has received a grant of $250,000.
Paysafe is proud of its association with the Canadian Red Cross and whole-heartedly supports and applauds its funding raising efforts.