In this issue: A focus on volunteers and donors in Canada, including two Statistics Canada articles on volunteers and donors in all types of not-for-profit organizations, a Hill Strategies Research report on volunteers and donors in the arts and culture, and an Imagine Canada report on long-term trends in individual donations.
Charitable giving by Canadians
Statistics Canada, Canadian Social Trends, April 16, 2012
Author: Martin Turcotte
Based on the Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating, a survey of 15,482 Canadians 15 and over, this article highlights the donations made by individuals in 2010 to not-for-profit organizations.
The report notes that 94% of Canadians made a donation of some kind, including 84% who donated money, 79% who gave clothing, toys, or household items, and 62% who donated food. A small percentage of Canadians (3%) have established financial donations as part of their will.
Financial donations totalled $10.6 billion in 2010, which represented a very small (and not statistically significant) increase from 2007. (All of the figures in this article are adjusted for inflation.)
The average amount donated per donor was $446 in 2010, a slight (and not statistically significant) decrease from $457 in 2007. The median, or typical, amount was $123 per donor in 2010, essentially unchanged from 2007 ($125).
Over 91 million separate donations were made in 2010, an average of almost four per donor. Each donation amounted to $114 on average.
Women donate more commonly than men (86% donor rate for women vs. 82% for men), but both sexes give similar average amounts. As was the case in previous surveys, individuals with a university degree and higher household incomes are more likely to make donations and tend to donate larger amounts. People who volunteer are also more likely to donate, and they tend to give larger amounts. Canadians 55 years of age or older, as well as those without children at home, also tend to make larger-than-average donations (but do not have higher donation rates).
The article indicates that the top 25% of donors – Canadians who donate a minimum of $358 each – represent 83% of all donations. The top 10% of donors (minimum $995) represent nearly two-thirds of all donations (63%). Groups that tend to be top donors include those 75 or over, widows and widowers, university graduates, and those with high household incomes.
Among the provinces and territories, the average donation is highest for residents of Alberta ($562), Saskatchewan ($544), and British Columbia ($543) but lowest in Quebec ($208) and Newfoundland and Labrador ($331). Other jurisdictions with above-average donation levels are Ontario ($526), Manitoba ($519), Yukon ($514), and Prince Edward Island ($479). The donor rate is highest in Newfoundland and Labrador (92%), Prince Edward Island (91%), New Brunswick (88%), and Nova Scotia (88%).
Among different types of not-for-profit organizations, religious organizations receive the highest amounts (40% of the total value of donations, albeit a significant decrease from 46% in 2007), followed by health organizations (15%), and social service organizations (11%). Donations to arts and culture organizations represent 1% of donations to all types of not-for-profit organizations.
Volunteering in Canada
Statistics Canada, Canadian Social Trends, April 16, 2012
Authors: Mireille Vézina and Susan Crompton
This article examines the volunteer time given to not-for-profit organizations in 2010, based on a Statistics Canada survey of 15,482 Canadians 15 and over (the Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating).
The volunteer rate (i.e., the percentage of Canadians 15 or older doing volunteer work) was 47% in 2010, which is a small but statistically significant increase from 2004 (45%). Total volunteer hours were 2.1 billion in 2010, which is a very small (and not statistically significant) increase from 2004. The 2.1 billion volunteer hours are the equivalent of about 1.1 million full-time, full-year jobs. The average hours per volunteer decreased by 7%, from 168 hours in 2004 to 156 in 2010. The median volunteer time was 55 hours per volunteer in 2010.
The top 25% of volunteers – Canadians who volunteered at least 161 hours in 2010 – represent over three-quarters of all volunteer hours (77%). The top 10% of volunteers (minimum 390 hours, the equivalent of about 10 full-time weeks) represent 53% of all volunteer hours.
Among different types of not-for-profit organizations, sports and recreation organizations receive the most hours (19% of total hours), followed by social service organizations (18%), and religious organizations (15%). Volunteer hours to arts and culture organizations represent 5% of hours volunteered in all types of not-for-profit organizations.
The article notes that “most volunteers devoted their energies to only one or two non-profit or charitable associations”: 50% worked for just one organization, 28% for two organizations, and the remaining 22% for three or more organizations.
The most common activities done by volunteers include fundraising (45% of all volunteers participated in this activity), organizing events (44%), sitting on a committee or board (33%), and teaching or mentoring (30%).
While younger Canadians are more likely to volunteer than older Canadians, younger people tend to give fewer hours. Single individuals, those with a university education, and higher-income Canadians are more likely to volunteer than other Canadians. Men and women tend to volunteer at fairly similar rates (48% for women and 46% for men).
The article indicates that “volunteers who were motivated enough to approach their main organization on their own initiative gave more hours, on average, than other volunteers – 142 versus 97 hours.” In addition, “people who were involved in community activities in their childhood or adolescence have a greater tendency” to become involved in volunteering, service clubs, and other organizations.
Among the provinces and territories, the volunteer rate is highest in Saskatchewan (58%), followed by Prince Edward Island (56%), Alberta (55%), Nova Scotia (54%), Manitoba (53%), and Newfoundland and Labrador (52%). The volunteer rate is lowest among residents of Quebec and the Northwest Territories (both 37%). The average hours volunteered are highest in Nova Scotia (207 hours per volunteer), followed by British Columbia (178), Northwest Territories (173), and Ontario (164).
Volunteers and Donors in Arts and Culture Organizations in Canada in 2010
Hill Strategies Research Inc., March 2013
Author: Kelly Hill
This report is based on the Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating, the same dataset as Statistics Canada’s articles on all volunteers and donors in Canada. The report indicates that about 1.4 million Canadians (5.1% of all Canadians 15 or older) volunteered for or donated to arts and culture organizations in 2010. This includes the 87,000 people who did both, which represents only “about one in every 16 people who either volunteered or donated in arts and culture organizations in Canada”.
The 764,000 volunteers in arts and culture organizations represent 2.7% of all Canadians 15 or older. Arts and culture volunteers gave a total of 97 million hours in 2010, the equivalent of approximately 51,000 full-time, full-year jobs. The report estimates that this work effort would be worth about $1.6 billion.
On average, volunteers gave 127 hours to arts and culture organizations, more than the average hours volunteered in any other type of organization. The report indicates that “arts and culture volunteer activities are very events-driven, with substantial work on committees and boards but less fundraising work than in other types of organizations”. Arts and culture volunteers tend to be very loyal: 42% of them volunteered with the same organization for at least five years.
Between 2004 and 2010, there was a 5% increase in the number of arts and culture volunteers and an 11% increase in the number of hours given to arts and culture organizations.
The 760,000 donors to arts and culture organizations (2.7% of Canadians 15 or older) donated a total of $108 million in 2010, representing 1.0% of donations to all types of not-for-profit organizations. On average, donors gave $141 to arts and culture organizations, ranking sixth out of 13 types of not-for-profit organizations. Between 2007 and 2010, there was a 7% increase in the value of donations to arts and culture organizations (not adjusted for inflation).
The report provides estimates of the arts and culture volunteer and donor rates in each province. From west to east, the rates for each province are:
- British Columbia: arts and culture volunteer rate of 3.8% and donor rate of 3.5%.
- Alberta: volunteer rate of 2.5% and donor rate of 2.7%.
- Saskatchewan: volunteer rate of 3.2% and donor rate of 3.1%.
- Manitoba: volunteer rate of 2.9% and donor rate of 3.1%.
- Ontario: volunteer rate of 2.7% and donor rate of 2.8%.
- Quebec: volunteer rate of 2.0% and donor rate of 1.7%.
- New Brunswick: volunteer rate of 3.3% and donor rate of 4.0%.
- Nova Scotia: volunteer rate of 3.4% and donor rate of 3.3%.
- Prince Edward Island: volunteer rate of 3.0% and donor rate of 2.2%.
- Newfoundland & Labrador: volunteer rate of 2.7% and donor rate of 3.1%.
Trends in Individual Donations: 1984 to 2010
Imagine Canada, December 2011
Author: David Lasby
Based on data from Canadians’ tax returns, this report from Imagine Canada (a charitable organization that works to support and strengthen other charities and not-for-profit organizations) examines recent and longer-term trends in charitable giving by individuals. As noted in the report, “Canadian taxfilers claimed charitable donations totaling just under $8.3 billion in 2010”. This amount is 4.6% higher than in 2009. (All change figures have been adjusted for inflation).
Over the longer term, data in the report show that total donations more than doubled (135% increase) between 1984 and 2010. This level of increase exceeds the growth in the Gross Domestic Product and far exceeds the relative lack of growth in median incomes in Canada. As noted in the report, “there seems to be little connection between donations claimed and the income of typical Canadians”. The report expresses concern that the donor base “may be narrowing”.
The report highlights three distinct periods in individual donations. Between 1984 and 1990, there was “steady growth in total donations”, with average growth of 5.0% per year. From 1991 to 1994, there was “a period of stagnation in the growth of total donations”, with average growth of only 0.7% per year. Between 1995 and 2007, there was growth in donations averaging 6.7% per year. More recently, the report notes that the global economic downturn had an impact on donations: the increase in total donations in 2010 was the first such increase since 2007.
In 2010, 23.4% of taxfilers claimed a charitable donation. While this represents a small increase from 22.7% in 2009, the longer-term trend has been downward. The percentage of taxfilers claiming a charitable donation was 25.7% in 1984. This percentage initially increased, peaking at 29.5% in 1990, but has decreased quite consistently since then.
The average donation per person was $1,437 in 2010, which represents a 2.3% increase from 2009 and a 63% increase from 1984. The average donation level decreased between 1984 and 1991 but has increased consistently since that time.
In 2010, “Manitoba taxfilers were most likely to claim charitable donations (26.3% did so), while Nunavut taxfilers were least likely to claim donations (9.5%)”. Other provinces with above-average donation rates are Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. In terms of the average donation, Alberta residents were the most generous in 2010 ($2,251), while Quebeckers contributed the lowest average amount ($620). Other jurisdictions with above-average donation levels include British Columbia ($1,798), Manitoba ($1,658), Nunavut ($1,622), Ontario ($1,611), and Saskatchewan ($1,515).
The Arts Research Monitor is funded by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.