Are you planning to give money to charity this year? And will it be more than you gave last year? Statscan says last year, the downturn had Canadians pinching their pennies, and donations dropped more than 5% to just over 8 billion dollars. The United Way fell short of its goal for the first time in 20 years. Meanwhile the charities say there’s much more demand for the help they offer – an increase of 25% or even more.
The news isn’t all bad, however. The figures show that while the amounts may be down, the number of people whose tax returns reported charitable to almost 5.8 million. Since tax filers can combine their donations with their spouses to maximize the tax break, the actual number of people who gave to charity is really higher.
And here at home, people give more than average. The median donation last year was $250 across the country. In Ontario it was $300 and Toronto, $340.