CanadaHelps, the country’s largest platform for donating and fundraising online, released the third edition of The Giving Report today, providing an in-depth look at the state of Canada’s charitable sector. As the world grapples with COVID-19 and an anticipated economic downturn crisis, Canadians are stepping up to give through CanadaHelps’ online portal. 

Since the World Health Organization declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020, CanadaHelps has seen a 54% increase in new monthly gifts, and a 65% increase in the number of donors supporting Canadian charities over the same period last year. This current spike in giving will be critical as charities respond to the immediate crisis, providing critical healthcare, and access to food, hygiene and support services – especially for vulnerable populations. This increase in giving during times of crisis is just one of the trends found in The Giving Report 2020, but the data shows this level of giving is often not sustained.

With their volume of exclusive and aggregated data, CanadaHelps has a unique vantage point of the charitable sector at large. In their new Online Giving Index, which measures 36 months of data, they’ve found many trends and insights regarding online giving across Canada, including:

  • Online giving is growing at nearly three times the rate of overall giving.
  • International issues, especially disaster relief, are growing faster than online donations to other charitable categories.
  • Donations made online to charities that work with Indigenous peoples are also increasing, although these donations still only make up 1% of total donations through CanadaHelps.
  • After three years of slower growth in online donations to the environmental sector, this trend finally reversed in 2019—though only 5% of online donations go towards environmental initiatives.
  • GivingTuesday, co-founded by CanadaHelps, resulted in Canadians making over 36,000 donations to support charities, raising $5 million. An increase of 50% from last year.