Fraser Institute says Manitobans most generous, with P.E.I. second in country
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – Fewer Canadians are donating to registered charities - and those who give are giving less in every province, finds a new study by the Fraser Institute.
The study measures donations to registered charities claimed on personal income tax returns in Canada's ten provinces and three territories, plus the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C.
On the overall Generosity Index, Utah tops the list of 64 North American jurisdictions. Manitoba (38th place) remains the highest ranked Canadian jurisdiction followed by Prince Edward Island (45th), Saskatchewan, Alberta and Ontario (tied for 48th), British Columbia (53rd), Nova Scotia (55th), New Brunswick (56th), Newfoundland & Labrador (58th), Quebec (59th), Yukon (60th), the Northwest Territories (63rd) and Nunavut (64th).
The study compares charitable giving in Canada to the United States. As in previous years, Canadians lag far behind their American counterparts.
In 2013, 25.0 per cent of American tax filers donated to charity compared to 21.8 per cent of Canadians. Similarly, Americans gave a much higher percentage (1.39 per cent) of their income to charity than Canadians (0.56 per cent).
“When it comes to donations to registered charities, Canadians may be surprised to learn that they are much less generous than Americans,” said Ben Eisen, associate director of provincial prosperity studies at the Fraser Institute.
In 2013 (the latest year of available data), 21.8 per cent of Canadian tax filers donated to charity, down from the recent peak of 25.1 per cent in 2004.
“With charitable giving on the wane, Canada's private charities face greater challenges in terms of securing the resources to help those in need,” said Charles Lammam, study co-author and Fraser Institute director of fiscal studies.
Canadians are also donating a smaller percentage of their income to registered charities. In 2013, Canadians gave 0.56 per cent of their total income to registered charities, compared to 0.61 per cent the previous year and the recent peak of 0.78 per cent in 2006.
Had Canadians donated in 2013 at the same rate as in 2006, Canada's charities would have received an additional $3.4 billion in 2013, for a potential total of $12.2 billion.
In 2013, Manitoba had the highest percentage of tax filers (25.3 per cent) that donated to registered charities while New Brunswick had the lowest among the provinces (20.0 per cent).
Manitobans also gave more than their provincial counterparts, with 0.81 per cent of their combined income going to charity compared to Quebec (0.28 per cent, lowest among provinces) and the 0.56 per cent national average.
In terms of the average dollar value of donations, Alberta ($2,372) tops all provinces while Quebec, once again, ranks last at $735 - less than half the national average of $1,574.