Charitable donation rates down locally, provincially and nationally
A man is seen writing a cheque in this 2011 file photo. (Ryan Remiorz/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Ryan Flanagan, CTV Kitchener
Published Monday, February 19, 2018 3:19PM EST
Fewer Canadians are donating to charity than in the past, and that decrease is being seen in every province, according to Statistics Canada.
New data from the agency shows that nearly 5.4 million Canadians reported making charitable donations in 2016, with the total value of those donations coming in at approximately $8.9 billion.
Those figures represent decreases of 1.8 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively over the year before.
While the donation total was the second-highest on record (behind only 2015), the slide in donors appears to be part of a longer-term trend. 2016 was the sixth straight year in which fewer Canadians reported making charitable donations.
Statistics Canada says the number of donors fell in all provinces and every territory except Yukon.
Ontario accounted for nearly $3.9 billion in donations. That number represented a two per cent decrease from 2015, with the 2,135,570 donors being a 1.7 per cent decrease.
Decreases were also seen in the Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo census metropolitan area (which includes all of Waterloo Region except for Wellesley Township). Locally, 89,800 donors contributed more than $165 million – decreases of 1.1 per cent and 3.2 per cent respectively.
Local donor levels peaked in 2005, at 95,250, while the local donation record of about $167.5 million was set in 2011.
The median donation level across Canada was $300. In Ontario, it was $370. There is a clear geographic divide, as every province west of Ontario and all three territories saw higher median donations, while all provinces east of Ontario except Prince Edward Island reported lower median donation levels.
The median donation in Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge was $400 – more than anywhere else in Ontario except Toronto.
Statistics Canada cautions that the data in its report only looks at charitable donations which were claimed on tax returns.