Donations from Canadians steady despite economy
Published Wednesday, March 21, 2012 11:56AM EDT
The rate at which Canadians donated their time or their money to charity remained steady in 2010 compared to 2007, despite the economic crisis and unsteady recovery.
In its 2010 Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating, Statistics Canada reports that nearly 24 million people, or 84 per cent of the population aged 15 and older, made a financial donation to a charity or non-profit organization. The donations for 2010 totalled a whopping $10.6 billion.
According to the report, the percentage of the population that donated to charity and the total amount given "were relatively unchanged from 2007."
On average, Canadians each donated $446, which was also unchanged from 2007.
"Those who gave the most were more likely to be older, to have a higher household income and a formal education, or to attend weekly religious services or meetings," the agency said in a summary of its report.
Moreover, 13.3 million people, or 47 per cent of the population, volunteered their time with a group or organization in 2010, for a total of nearly 2.1 billion hours. That figure is also relatively unchanged from 2007.
Canadians volunteered for an average 156 hours in 2010, which also reflected little change from three years ago.
The agency noted that those who volunteered the most hours tended to be older, widowed or no longer in the workforce, and were more likely to not have children living at home and to attend weekly religious services or meetings.
Across the provinces, the agency found that the proportion of the population that donated money to charity was highest in the Atlantic provinces.
According to the report, the percentage of the population that made financial donations to charity was highest in:
- Newfoundland and Labrador at 92 per cent
- Prince Edward Island at 91 per cent
These figures are above the national average of 84 per cent, the report noted.
The average donation was higher, however, in Western provinces. Donors in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia gave on average $550.
As for the percentage of the population that donated their time to a charitable organization, this figure was highest in Saskatchewan at 58 per cent and Prince Edward Island at 56 per cent, both considerably higher than the national average of 47 per cent.
Nova Scotians were most generous of their time, volunteering for an average 207 hours in 2010.
The findings are found in the 2010 Canadian Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating, which asked 15,000 Canadians aged 15 and older questions about how they donated their time and money. Wednesday's report is the first of four to be issued based on the survey.