Research on Charitable Giving in Canada

As a professional advisor, you may question the value of adding charitable giving to your practice. We hope the resources on this site, coupled with the personal stories of advisors whose practice has been expanded and enriched by raising the issue of giving, will help make the case.

The research on charitable giving in Canada also provides compelling reason to start engaging your clients in a discussion about philanthropy. In the past 10 years alone, charitable donations to Canadian charities have more than doubled from $4.3 billion in 1997 to more than $8.6 billion in 2007 and $12 billion in 2013*. Canadians want to give back to their communities.

The 2013 Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating showed 82% of the country’s population (aged 15 and over) made a financial donation to a charitable or other non-profit organization in the 12-month period covered by the study.

Other useful facts about charitable giving in Canada

  1. The median value of charitable donations increased from $250 in 2007 to $531 in 2013. However, the proportion of tax filers declaring charitable donations decreased to 23%.
  2. Religious organizations receive 41% of donated dollars followed by health organizations (13%) and social services organizations (12%).
  3. The top 25% of donors (who contributed $364 or more annually) account for 84% of the total value of donations. The top 10% (who contributed $1,002 or more annually) account for 62% of the total value.
  4. Donors who give the most are likely to be older, have higher household incomes, more formal education, to be married or widowed, and to be religiously active.
  5. Donors who plan their donations and support the same organizations repeatedly over time give significantly more than others.

More facts and information available through Statistics Canada.

Motivators for Charitable Giving

The following have been identified as the key reasons people give to charity:

  • Has a relationship with a particular charity because of personal experience
  • Has a wish to create immortality through a lasting legacy or wish to obtain recognition for themselves or a friend or relative or colleague
  • Desires to be a good person, feel compassion towards people and feel good about themselves
  • Has a sense of social responsibility, a need to help others less fortunate
  • Wants to give something back to the community
  • Appreciates the tax advantages

*Source:  Spotlight on Canadians : results from the General Social Survey volunteering and charitable giving in Canada (2013)

Other interesting sources: