Local charities benefit from the launch of #UsedHelps as buyers and sellers connect online and donate proceeds

UsedVictoria.com has launched #UsedHelps – created in partnership with fellow tech company Socoloco – where sellers can donate the proceeds from the sale of items and services directly to charities on southern Vancouver Island using a secure credit card transaction. United Way is named one of the charities.

Charitable giving and volunteerism play a large part in the lives of Victoria residents. According to the Victoria Foundation’s “Vital Signs 2014 Annual Check-up,” 25.5% of all Victorians who file taxes make charitable donations, higher than both British Columbia (21 per cent) and Canada (22.4%). The median charitable donation in Greater Victoria sits at $390, compared to $270 in Canada. When it comes to volunteering for non-profit and charitable organizations, 55 per cent of Victorians volunteered at least once in the last year.

Designed as a way to make it easier for locals to support charities throughout southern Vancouver Island, #UsedHelps connects buyers with sellers online through seamless credit card transactions, where the amount paid for the item is provided directly to the seller’s charity of choice through Stripe’s secure servers.

In order to donate proceeds from the sale of an item, users simply select the #UsedHelps button when listing their item for sale, which allows them to choose a recipient from the list of participating charities. 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.

The participating #UsedHelps charities include:

  • Arthritis Society
  • Bipolar Babes
  • Bridges for Women
  • Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island
  • Creatively United for the Planet
  • David Foster Foundation
  • Fairfield Gonzales Community Association
  • Disaster Aid Canada
  • Help Fill a Dream
  • Nichiren Buddha Hokkeko Society
  • Our Place Society
  • United Way of Greater Victoria
  • Vancouver Island South Film & Media Commission
  • Victoria Conservatory of Music
  • Victoria Hospice
  • Victoria READ Society

“We expect a learning curve as users become accustomed to paying via credit card,” says Elizabeth Dutton, president of parent company UsedEverywhere.com. “The same safety tips apply; meet in person, in a public place and with a friend. However, for #UsedHelps transactions, you hit the “Accept” button on your mobile device instead of passing cash to the seller.”

UsedEverywhere.com operates the popular UsedVictoria.com (more than 600K unique visits per month) and have rolled out this industry-leading feature in Victoria first, with plans to expand to their network across Canada. Socoloco has created BeGiving.ca, a website focused on community based charitable giving and fundraising.

Charities that are interested in participating in #UsedHelps may contact Socoloco’s Managing Director Lesley Brown via lesley@begiving.ca or their Marketing Liason Connie McConnell via connie@begiving.ca.