Charitable donations in Canada up by $1.1 billion
Published Monday, June 8, 2009 10:08AM EDT
Canadians gave $1.1 billion more to charitable and non-profit organizations in 2007 than they did in 2004, Statistics Canada reported Monday.
According to the agency's Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating, Canadians donated a total of $10 billion in 2007, up from $8.9 billion in 2004.
In 2007, the average donation was $437, while it was $400 in 2004, the agency said.
The figures suggest that Canadians are giving more because the number of people that made a financial donation to a charity remained unchanged from 2004.
The agency reported that 23 million Canadians aged 15 and over -- 84 per cent of the population -- donated money. About 12.5 million Canadians, or 46 per cent of the population, volunteered their time.
"The total amount of time volunteered through groups and organizations amounted to about 2.1 billion hours, which was equivalent to almost 1.1 million full-time jobs," Statistics Canada said. "On average, volunteers contributed 166 hours each."
According to the survey, the top 25 per cent of donors were responsible for 82 per cent of total donations, while the top 25 per cent of volunteers were responsible for 78 per cent of total unpaid work.
The top 25 per cent donors, those who gave $364 or more, were more likely to be older, have a higher household income and to have more formal education. They were also more likely to be employed, widowed or attend a religious service on a weekly basis.
The top 25 per cent of volunteers, those who volunteered for 171 hours or more, were more likely to attend a weekly religious service, possess a university degree or have school-aged children living at home.
The survey also found that people were more likely to volunteer or donate money later in life if they engaged in community or youth activities during their school years, such as student government, a religious or youth group, or organized sports.
In keeping with these findings, the survey also determined that religious organizations received three times the funds compared to the second most popular group, health-care charities:
- Canadians gave $4.6 billion to religious charities in 2007, which represented 46 per cent of the total amount of money donated nationally.
- Health organizations received $1.5 billion, or 15 per cent of total donations.
Religious charities also benefited from the highest percentage of volunteer hours (18 per cent), followed by sports and recreation (17 per cent), social services (16 per cent) and education and research groups (11 per cent).