Canadians still in a giving mood despite economic woes

by in Tax Advice Information and Updates
End-of-year donations account for approximately one-quarter of national not-for-profit contributions annually and this seems to still be true this year even with the economic downturn we have all been experiencing.

A recent study by BMO Harris Private Banking has found that despite economic worries, Canadians are still in a giving mood and still plan to support their charities. According to the study, about 71% of Canadians plan to donate the same amount or more this year.

Results of the study showed that in the past 12 months, Canadians gave an average of $487 to charitable organizations.  However, over half of Canadians do not have a strategy when donating and instead give unplanned donations.

In light of the results of this study, BMO Harris Private Banking vice-president Marvi Ricker cannot stress enough the importance of having a strategy in place when donating to charitable organizations.  She said, “I do encourage those that donate to sit down with a financial professional and develop a giving strategy that can become part of a financial plan, including a disciplined and strategic examination of goals, objectives, interests and options.”

The economic turbulence we have been experiencing has definitely made people a bit more careful in making huge donations to charity.  But according to some industry experts, “charitable giving is alive and well.”

According to Julia Gorman, vice-president for resource development at United Way, donations from Canadians have declined in recent years because of the economic crisis.  However, she mentioned that the average gift has gone up from about $448 in 2008 to $505 in 2010.

Canada’s culture of generosity has definitely survived that past years’ economic uncertainties.  However, gone are the days of the “chequebook philanthropy.”  Canadian donors today are more active and involved in screening charities they will support.

Reference:  “Charitable giving survives economic woes,” by Vikram Barhat, November 15, 2011,
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Guest Wednesday, 23 January 2019

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