- Just over half of all Canadians made a financial donation to charity in the past year.
- The regions with the highest proportions of residents making donations include Atlantic Canada and Ontario.
- Just under a third of Canadians have donated their time to charitable causes in the past year.
September 6, 2023
This month, we wanted to get an understanding of how Canadians are giving back across the country. Results show about half of Canadian residents (57%) made a financial contribution to a local charity or non-profit in the past year.
Financial donations in the past year are significantly more likely among residents of Atlantic Canada (63%) and Ontario (62%) compared to the Prairies (52%) and Quebec (51%). In British Columbia, 58% of residents made a financial donation to a charity in the past year. Boomers are most likely to have made financial donations (65%), followed by Gen X (54%), Gen Z (54%), and Millennials (48%).
The amount of money Canadians are donating this year compared to five years ago appears relatively stable, with 27% saying they donated more this year and 23% donating less (net +4). Half (47%) donated about the same amount as in the past. At the regional level, a higher percentage of Quebec residents say they are donating more than those who say they are donating less (+10 points), with a similar upward trend in Ontario (+8 points) and BC/North (+7 points). Meanwhile, financial donations are trending down in the Prairies (-16 points).
In Atlantic Canada, long-term trends suggest a growing hesitation around charitable giving. Our research shows that back in 2011, 83% of Atlantic Canadians had donated to charity, marking a notable 20-point decrease to today. Many factors that could have contributed to these notable declines (such as our changing demographics, urbanization, economic challenges, and so forth).
When it comes to volunteering, three in ten Canadians (29%) say they have donated their time to a charitable cause this year. Volunteer hours appear to be increasing slightly, with 33% of Canadians saying they’ve donated more time to charitable causes this year than five years ago, compared to 22% who have donated less time and 43% who donated the about the same. However, like financial contributions, volunteer hours in Atlantic Canada also appear to be declining. A third (32%) of Atlantic Canadians donated their time in the past year, compared to 54% who said yes when the same question was asked in 2011.
Other ways Canadians are giving back include donating used clothing and household articles (70%), serving on volunteer boards (17%), and donating blood (10%).
Results are from an online survey conducted in partnership between Narrative Research and the Logit Group. The survey was conducted between Aug 9th and Aug 12th with 1,235 Canadians, 18 years of age or older from the Logit Group’s Canadian Omnibus. Data were weighted based on the 2016 Census by gender, age, and region to reflect actual population distribution. As a non-probability sample a margin of error is not applied.
The questions asked were:
Thinking about volunteer activities and charitable donations, in the past year have you…?
(Made a financial contribution to a local charity or non-profit organization, Donated used clothing or other household articles to a local charity or non-profit organization, Given a blood donation, Donated your time to a charitable cause, Served on a volunteer board) (Yes, No, Don’tknow)
[If donated to charity in the past year] Is the total financial amount you’ve donated in the past year to local charities or non-profit organizations more, less, or about the same, as it was five years ago? (n=709)
[If donated time to a charitable cause] Is the total amount of time you’ve donated to charitable causes in the past year more, less, or about the same, as it was five years go? (n=364)
 I would now like to ask you about volunteer activities and charitable donations. In the past year, have you… (n=1,500)
(Made a financial contribution to a local charity or non-profit organization, Given a blood donation, Donated your time to a charitable cause) (Yes, No, Don’t know)
For more information, please contact:
Margaret Chapman, COO & Partner, Narrative Research – 902.493-3834, email@example.com
Sam Pisani, Managing Partner, Logit Group – 416.629.4116, firstname.lastname@example.org
Narrative Research (www.narrativeresearch.ca), is a leading public opinion and market research company headquartered in Canada. The company is certified as a WBE (Women Business Enterprise). As a non-partisan, 100% Canadian-owned research company, Narrative Research is dedicated to providing clients with state-of-the-art research and strategic consulting services.
The Logit Group (https://logitgroup.com/) is a leading North American data collection and market research execution company headquartered in Toronto, conducting large-scale projects for a variety of well-known research agencies and brands. Logit employs industry-best technologies across an array of methodologies, and is independent, experienced and quality-oriented.