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Canada Giving Grew as Donor Numbers Again Decreased

(Nov. 10, 2008) Canadian giving increased just slightly in 2007 while the total number of donors continued its downward trend.

Canadian giving grew to $8.6 billion in 2007, up 1.4 percent from 2006. The number of donors decreased again in 2007, falling 0.9 percent to just under 5.7 million, according to information gathered on Canadian tax filers by Statistics Canada.

Among donors in 2007, the median donation was $250, meaning that half of the donors gave more than $250 and half less. This was unchanged from 2006, unlike in prior years when the median donation had consistently increased.

The median increased in all provinces and territories, except Quebec and Ontario, where it remained stable.

Donors in Nunavut reported a median donation of $470, the highest among the provinces and territories for the eighth consecutive year. Donors in Prince Edward Island had the second highest median at $360, followed by those in Alberta with $350.

Among census metropolitan areas, donors in Abbotsford, British Columbia, had by far the highest median donation at $620, the fifth year in a row that they have led the way. Donors in Kelowna followed with a median of $370, slightly ahead of those in Vancouver with $360.

Nationally, 24 percent of all tax filers claimed charitable donations, slightly lower than in previous years. Manitoba had the highest percentage who declared a donation, at 27 percent, followed by Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan, all at 26 percent. Manitoba and Ontario have had the highest and second highest proportions, respectively, for more than a decade.

Note: Canadians contribute in many ways to charitable organizations. These particular data include only amounts given to charities and approved organizations for which official tax receipts were provided and claimed on tax returns. It is possible to carry donations forward for up to five years after the year in which they were made. Therefore, donations reported for the 2007 taxation year could include donations that were made in any of the five previous years. According to tax laws, taxfilers are permitted to claim both their donations and those made by their spouses to get better tax benefits. Consequently, the number of persons who made charitable donations may be higher than the number who claimed tax credits.

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