Charitable giving efforts among Canadians are on the rise for a third consecutive year, according to a BMO Charitable Giving Poll released today.

The majority of Canadians say they have made a charitable donation in the past 12 months, giving an average of $624, up 8 percent from 2013.

The poll, conducted by Pollara, was released to mark National Philanthropy Day in Canada on November 15th. It revealed:

  • More than four-fifths (84 percent) have made a charitable donation in the past 12 months, up from 77 percent in 2013
  • The amount of giving has also increased, with the average donation totaling $624—up from $580 last year, and $557 in 2012
  • Canadians also have good intentions for next year; 90 percent expect to make a donation, averaging $720
  • Health, anti-poverty and animal welfare causes continue to be the most popular for Canadians (66 percent, 39 percent and 22 percent, respectively)
  • Education (16 percent) and environmental causes (11 percent) saw the largest increase in donations in 2014, up 4 percentage points and 3 percentage points, respectively

“Year after year, Canadians have shown that supporting charities and causes across the country is a priority for them, and their generosity is showing no signs of slowing down,” said Nick Mastromarco, Managing Director, Loyalty and Partnerships, BMO Bank of Montreal.

“We know Canadians are extremely generous,” said Dr. Jacline Nyman, President & CEO of United Way Centraide Canada. “In fact, last year, Canadians invested over half a billion dollars through United Ways Centraides to make real and lasting change in their communities.

“These monies were invested in fighting poverty, supporting kids and building up healthy communities across this country. All Canadians want to invest their monies wisely and we are thrilled to see charitable investments growing in Canada.”

The poll also ranked the most popular methods for donating among Canadians:

 

  • Donations of cash at specific locations (46 percent)
  • Purchasing of products to be donated (40 percent)
  • Donations added to point of sale transactions (29 percent)
  • Online donations via credit cards (24 percent)

The survey results cited from the 2014 BMO Charitable Giving Report conducted by Pollara were compiled from a random sample of 1,003 Canadians 18 years of age and over between October 20 and October 22, 2014. 

Regional breakdown

  Overall Atlantic Quebec Ontario Prairies Alberta BC
Made donation this year (%) 84 82 82 85 88 86 84
Average donation in 2014 $624 $738 $199 $718 $951 $1,028 $552
Expected overall donation in 2015 $720 $837 $239 $862 $1,109 $1,089 $593