Fewer Canadians are donating to charity than in the past – but those who are donating are giving more than ever before.

That’s according to a new study released Friday by BMO Harris Private Banking.

According to the study, 77 per cent of Canadians have donated to a charitable cause in the past 12 months, down from 79 per cent the previous year.

Despite that downturn, the average donation clocked in at $580 – up from $557 in 2012.

Ryan Erb, executive director of the United Way of Perth-Huron, says he’s not surprised by those findings and sees them reflected locally.

“We have people with more, and they are choosing to give more of that money to charity,” he tells CTV News.

The United Way of Perth-Huron set a goal of raising slightly more than $1.1 million during the current year, which ends in February.

“It was a challenge to see ourselves meeting that, but here we are getting close to the end of the campaign and at 80 per cent of that goal,” Erb says.

Elsewhere in Stratford, the local branch of the Salvation Army stands a good chance of meeting its $95,000 goal by the end of the weekend.

“All we have to do is get the word out there, and people just come,” says Capt. Jason Sabourin.

Other findings in the BMO study include:

  • 86 per cent of Canadians give to charity in some way, either through donating or volunteering
  • Ontario and Alberta residents are more likely to donate over the holiday season than other Canadians
  • Residents of Atlantic Canada and the Prairies are more likely to volunteer during the holiday season than other Canadians