Many Canadians unable to donate as much to charity this year due to pandemic: survey


Published December 15, 2020 at 1:40 am


With many businesses having to permanently close, and many Canadians losing their jobs, it’s been a difficult year when it comes to finances.

The financial hardship many are facing is likely to be compounded for those most in need, as a pair of new surveys found fewer Canadians will be giving to charity this year.

The first study—Imagine Canada’s Sector Monitor Survey—was conducted in November and December to examine the impact of COVID-19 on charities nine months into the pandemic.

The second survey, conducted in conjunction with CanadaHelps, was designed to explore the pandemic’s influence on the giving intentions of Canadians this holiday season.

Unfortunately, the findings from these studies paint a bleak picture of declining revenues and rising demand for charitable services due to the on-going health crisis.

According to the results of these surveys, 68 per cent of charities have seen a decline in donations, while 46 per cent of are reporting an increase in demand for services since the onset of the pandemic.

Further, 70 per cent of charities are reporting a decline in the number of volunteers working with them, while 74 per cent have seen a decline in the number of volunteer hours they receive since the onset of the pandemic.

Moreover, 36 per cent of respondents said they will be donating less to charity this year, despite the fact 81 per cent felt the need for charities has increased due to the pandemic.

Of those who will be donating less this year, 71 per cent attributed it to their own financial struggles brought about by the pandemic.

The average amount respondents said they plan on donating this year—including their holiday donations—was $317, which is a 40 per cent decrease of previous giving levels, as indicated by Statistics Canada surveys.

“The big question facing charities this holiday season is whether they will have capacity to meet spiking demand caused by the pandemic,” Bruce MacDonald, president and CEO of Imagine Canada, said in a news release.

“This will largely depend on support from individual Canadians over the holidays and in the coming months. Much also depends on continuing government support. It is vital to the well-being of Canadians that social good organizations have the ability to continue to provide these essential services,” he continued.

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