Charitable giving in Niagara

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“We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give”. Sir Winston ChurchillIn 2007, almost 23 million Canadians – 84% of the population aged 15 and over made a financial donation to charitable or other not-for-profit organizations in the previous 12 month period (2004 – 85%).  Donors increased by 2.9% in part due to increase in population 15 and older. Canadians donated $10 billion – representing an increase of 12% in donations from 2004 ($8.9 billion). Religious organizations were the biggest beneficiaries receiving 46%; health organizations 15%; and social service organizations 10%.  The average annual donation increased by 9% ($437 in 2007 and $400 in 2004). Although the average value increased, the average number of donations decreased from 4.3 in 2004 to 3.8 in 2007. The top 25% (people giving above $364 annually) accounted for 82% of the total. The top 10% (giving over $1,002 annually) accounted for 62% of the total value.
“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country”. John F. Kennedy

  • Most who give, are older, have a higher household income, have more formal education, are religiously active and are married or widowed. Note: those with lower income give more when their donation is expressed as a percentage of their total income.
  • Most respond to giving through the mail, when asked in a public place or through door-to-door canvassing. 42% of total value of donations was collected in a place of worship and 16% by mail.
  • Motivations for giving included: feeling compassion for those in need, wanting to help a cause the donor personally believes in, and wanting to make a contribution to the community.
  • The reported reasons for not giving were: they could not afford to give more; happy to have already given; gave money directly to those in need without going through an organization; not liking the way money was requested; not think money would be used efficiently; or not asked.
  • Niagararesidents increased the amount they give to charity each year from 2001 to 2006. The median charitable donation per year reached $290 per person in 2006; lower than the $310 Ontario median, but higher than the $250 average for Canada.

Source: Update –Statistics Canada, 2007. Catalogue no. 71-542-XIE. GSGVP

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