Most Canadians donate time or money

June 10, 2009
Written by The Canadian Press
Most Canadians provided either time or money to charitable and non-profit organizations in 2007.

Statistics Canada reports almost 23 million Canadians, or 84 per cent of the population aged 15 and over, made a financial donation to a charitable or non-profit organization during the 12-month period covered by the survey.

During the same period, 12.5 million Canadians, or 46 per cent of the population, volunteered time through a group or organization.

Canadians donated a total of $10 billion in 2007, up from $8.9 billion during the last survey period in 2004.

In 2007, the average donation was $437, compared with $400 in 2004.

The total amount of time volunteered through groups and organizations amounted to about 2.1 billion hours, equivalent to almost 1.1 million full-time jobs.

On average, volunteers contributed 166 hours each.

StatsCan says the top 25 per cent of donors provided 82 per cent of donations, and the top 25 per cent of volunteers contributed 78 per cent of unpaid work.

The agency says the top 25 per cent of donors those who gave $364 or more tended to be older, to have higher household incomes and to possess higher levels of formal education.

Those who are employed, widowed, or attend religious services on a weekly basis also tended to be in the top group of donors.

The top 25 per cent of volunteers those who volunteered 171 hours or more were widely distributed throughout the population.

However, those who attend religious services on a weekly basis, those who have university degrees, and those with school-aged children in the household were much more likely than others to be top volunteers.

Religious organizations were the biggest beneficiaries of charitable giving. They received more than three times the donations than did the second-most popular recipient, health organizations.

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