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Positive Signs for Canadian Giving

December 22, 2009

Although a recent report from Statistics Canada reveals charitable giving in Canada dropped from 2007 to 2008, there is still room for optimism--a poll by MasterCard Canada indicates a majority of Canadians gave the same amount or more to charity over the past 12 months.

More than half of Canadians (55 percent) report that over the last 12 months, the amount of money donated to charity has remained the same. The MasterCard Canada Charitable Giving Poll also reveals that another 13 percent report increasing their contributions in the last year. Furthermore, one in five (18 percent) Canadians said they increased non-monetary donations in the past year, including volunteer and non-paid charitable work.

These findings come on the heels of a recent report from Statistics Canada indicating that Canadians donated approximately five per cent less in 2008 than the year prior.

"Whether financial or non-monetary donations, Canadians have proven that charitable giving is a priority to them," said Julie Wilson, MasterCard Canada. "Despite tough economic times, the gift of giving continues to shape our Canadian culture. We remain committed to our community, charities and those that need a little assistance--especially as we head into the holiday season."

Challenging Times Remain

The economy has taken its toll, though, as one-fifth of Canadians (20 percent) report that they will not be making financial charitable donations this year.

 The poll shows that those between the ages of 25-34 (28 percent) are least likely to give to charity, versus just 12 per cent of those over the age of 65.

However, 18 percent of Canadians report that they increased their non-monetary charitable donations in the past year. And, women (20 percent) were slightly more likely to increase non-monetary donations than men (14 percent).

According to the poll, the majority of donors (60 percent) are planning to contribute up to $500 this holiday season. Only five percent are expecting to contribute over $1,000.

About the Survey

The survey was completed by Harris/Decima teleVox on behalf of MasterCard Canada. Interviews were conducted via CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing) and surveyed 1,000 Canadians 18 years of age and over between October 22 and October 26, 2009. Results to a survey of this size can be considered accurate to within plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

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