Growing 'giving gap' a concern to Canada's charitable sector

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CanadaHelps has released the 2nd annual edition of The Giving Report, providing a renewed, in-depth look at the state of Canada's charitable sector. This year's report would not have been possible without the support of Imagine Canada. Exploring Statistics Canada research and tax data from the Canadian Revenue Agency along with proprietary CanadaHelps data, The Giving Report reveals new trends and insights around charitable giving in Canada, including:

  • Giving down across all age groups - One-quarter (24.6%) of all Canadians donated to charity in 2006. By 2015, that number has eroded to just 20.4%, or one-fifth of the country. Over the same time period, the average annual donation per Canadian also decreased from $368 to $346.
  • Canada's disappearing donors - Canadians aged 55+ collectively donated $6.4 billion to charity in 2015, almost double the $3.5 billion given by Canadians aged 25-54. This giving model is unsustainable for the sector, as donors aged 55+ will need to be replaced. Between 2006 and 2015, Canadians aged 45-54 experienced the largest decline in giving of all age groups at -6.4%. As these Canadians move into the age 55+ bracket, the gap will grow significantly. This demographic shift creates a widening 'giving gap'.
  • Charitable sector is a job creator - Canada's charitable sector now accounts for 10% of the full-time Canadian work force, having grown at twice the rate of all other sectors between 2010 and 2016. Further demonstrating how critical the charitable sector is to our economy, Canadian charities reported $262 billion in revenue in 2015 - more than 8% of our national GDP. This is driven by growing needs for charitable services such as food banks, homeless shelters, animal rescues, and more.
  • Smaller charities miss out on funding – One in four (24.9%) charities are in the 'Social Services,' and 'Environment' categories. They receive only 9.5% of government funding. 'Health' and 'Education' each make up 7.4% respectively, of the 86,000 Canadian charities, but receive the lion's share (87.1%) of all available government funding.

For added context into the data and to learn more about the state of charitable giving in Canada, you can read The Giving Report in its entirety at:

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