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Canadian Giving Reaches Record High

(Nov. 8, 2004) Charitable giving by individuals in Canada reached $6.5 billion in 2003, the highest level ever reported.

The record level of giving - an increase of 11.4 percent from 2002 - was accompanied by an increase in donors as well. Just under 5.6 million Canadians made a gift, an increase of 1.2 percent, according to research conducted by Statistics Canada.

Also increasing was the median donation, up to $220 from the 2002 level of $210 (that is, half of donors gave more than $220, and half gave less).

All provinces and territories saw increase in giving except for Newfoundland and Labrador, which experienced a 5.1 percent decrease, and Yukon, where giving fell by 3.6 percent. However, Yukon had the largest change in median donation, increasing from $200 in 2002 to $230 in 2003, while Newfoundland and Labrador had the third highest median donation by province at $310. Nunavut had the highest median donation ($410), with Prince Edward Island placing second with a media donation level of $330.

Manitoba had the highest proportion of taxfilers declaring donations at 28 percent. Ontario and Saskatchewan each reported 27 percent of taxfilers as donors, while Prince Edward Island followed close behind with 26 percent.

'This is fantastic news for Canada's charities,' said Andrea McManus, CFRE, vice chair of AFP's external relations division. 'The education and pubic awareness efforts of organizations such as AFP are paying off. This research is just the latest in a string of positive announcements and surveys about the importance of the sector and how it is viewed.'

McManus noted the recent National Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating and the Muttart Foundation's Talking about Charities 2004 survey, both of which showed strong growth and public support for charities. 'Lots of signs are pointing to a golden future for Canada's charities.'

One of the few negative findings was that the proportion of taxfilers who claimed charitable donations continued to decrease slightly. Just under 25 percent of all Canadian taxfilers claimed charitable donations in 2003.

Tables containing data on giving by province and the demographics of donors are available at the Statistics Canada website.

The data on charitable giving are based on information provided by taxfilers who actually claimed a tax credit for charitable contributions on their 2003 income tax return. Because donors can carry donations forward for up to five years after the year in which they were made, the data above may include contributions made before 2003.

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