Raising Money for Amnesty Q&A’s

What is Amnesty International?

To learn more about the organization, click here. You will find additional information on our international website

What does Amnesty International do?

Amnesty International works to build a world in which each and every person enjoys all their rights as described in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards.

Nearly 2 million Amnesty members around the world take action to accomplish the following: free those who are imprisoned solely for their peaceful expression of their beliefs, or for their identity put an end to political killings stop torture abolish the death penalty protect refugees protect and stand in solidarity with courageous human rights defenders expose human rights abuses accurately and quickly, and effectively mobilize persistent public pressure on governments, armed political groups or companies to prevent and stop these violations strengthen public awareness and understanding of the full range of human rights, and work with a global community of organizations to ensure broad support and respect for all human rights.

How did Amnesty International get started?

In 1961, a British lawyer named Peter Benenson read a newspaper story about two Portuguese students who were imprisoned for raising their glasses in a toast to freedom. Enraged, he published a newspaper article calling on people to protest the imprisonment of men and women around the world for their political and religious beliefs. Thousands responded from around the world, and Amnesty International was born.

Why should I raise money for Amnesty International?

By raising money for Amnesty International, you are supporting the courageous work of human rights defenders everywhere, you are strengthening the voices of individuals suffering from human rights abuses wherever they occur, you are stopping the torturer’s hand – you are acting to make a difference.

Amnesty International is a registered charity that does not seek or accept government funding. It relies entirely on its membership and donors to make its work possible. By generating more financial support for Amnesty, you are helping to maintain the organisation’s independence.

How can Amnesty International support me in my fundraising efforts??

We can:

  • Provide you with the online tool to create your own fundraising page, invite others to donate and track your progress.
  • Offer some advice on the planning of your event
  • Advertise your event on our online event calendar
  • Provide a limited quantity of support materials that may be available at the time such as stickers, action postcards and posters, to help make your event visually appealing
  • Acknowledge your direct contribution to Amnesty International
  • Approve the use of the Amnesty International logo. (Please note you must complete and return the event proposal form and Terms and Conditions in order to use the Amnesty International logo.)
  • Provide advice and guidance for event sponsorship. (Please contact Amnesty if you are planning to solicit sponsors for your event.)
  • Provide answers to your questions on tax receipting guidelines.
  • In some cities, and based on availability and advance notice, provide a representative to attend your event.

What is Amnesty International unable to do for my event?

Due to our limited resources, we regret that we are unable to do the following:

  • Provide staff or volunteer support the day of your event
  • Promote your event any place else other than the online Amnesty International event calendar
  • Share access to donor or member contact information
  • Fund or reimburse any expenses incurred throughout the planning and execution of the event
  • Apply for liquor or gaming licenses for your event

What general tips do you have on holding a successful event? 

Feel free to view some general tips on what to keep in mind while planning a fundraising event.

How do I approach local media to promote my event?

Check out some ideas on how to approach local media.

What is a reasonable ratio of expenses to fundraised amounts? 

Ultimately, the success of your fundraising event relies on managing the expenditure and maximizing on every opportunity to save money, while raising the number and level of gifts you are receiving. If you are holding a larger scale event in a public venue, do not let your costs exceed 30% of the amount you are raising.

NOTE: if you are deducting costs from the money you are raising from selling tickets, you are obligated to make your event participants aware that only part of the proceeds from the event will go to Amnesty International.

How do I know when a payment is tax deductible and when it isn’t?

Tax receipts Amnesty International provides tax receipts for all monetary donations of $10, as long as the full name and address of donor are included with their financial contribution. Event participants who purchase auction items or tickets to a dinner will not be issued a tax receipt, as they are receiving a benefit for their payment.

The one exception to this rule is if the ticket price is much higher than the Fair Market Value of the event. E.g. if someone buys a ticket to an event for $100, and the Fair Market Value of the food, drinks and/or entertainment is $60, then they could be issued a tax receipt for $40.


Amnesty International can issue income tax receipts for merchandise donated to your event from registered businesses (such as restaurants, grocery stores, catering companies, etc.). To obtain an income tax receipt, the company needs to send us a letter describing the donated merchandise, the price of the donated items, the full name to whom the income tax receipt should be made out to, and the address that the receipt should be mailed to.

Where can I go to ask more questions? 

You can email us at specialevents@amnesty.ca or call 1800-AMNESTY (1-800-266-3789) and ask for help on raising money for Amnesty International.