Fraser Institute Report Points to Canadians Being Scrooges to Charities 121317

Fraser Institute News Release: Amount Canadians donate to charity at a 10-year low


VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Dec. 13, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The amount Canadians donate to charities—as a share of their income—has hit a 10-year low and lags far behind the amount Americans give, finds a new study by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.


“The holiday season is a time to reflect on giving, and with Canadians becoming less generous every year, charities face greater challenges to secure resources to help those in need,” said Charles Lammam, director of fiscal studies at the Fraser Institute and co-author of Generosity in Canada and the United States: The 2017 Generosity Index.

The study finds that approximately one-in-five Canadian tax-filers (20.9 per cent) claimed charitable donations on their tax return in 2015, the most recent year of available data, compared to 24.5 per cent—almost one-in-four—Americans.

Crucially, the total amount donated by Canadians—just 0.56 per cent of income—is the lowest amount in a decade and down from a 10-year peak of 0.78 per cent in 2006.

By comparison, American tax-filers donated 1.76 per cent of their income to registered charities in 2015—more than three times the percentage Canadians claimed.

Moreover, the average dollar amount claimed in Canada was $1,699 compared to $6,058 in the U.S. (in local currencies). And tellingly, the lowest average claim of any state—$3,231 USD in Rhode Island—was still higher than the highest average claim of any province—$2,581 CAD in Alberta.

Overall, according to the index of charitable giving for American states and Canadian provinces/territories, Utah remains the most generous. Manitoba, which ranks 37thoverall, is again the most generous Canadian province, followed by Prince Edward Island (48), Saskatchewan, Alberta and Ontario (all tied at 49th), British Columbia (54), Nova Scotia (55), New Brunswick (57), Newfoundland & Labrador (58), Quebec (59), Yukon (61), the Northwest Territories (63) and Nunavut at 64th out of 64.

“Canadians might be surprised to learn that Americans are far more generous when it comes to claimed donations to registered charities, and that’s been the case for many years,” Lammam said.


  1. Now factor into the equation tax treatment and disposable income for starters. Like the statistician asked “what do you want the numbers to show”. Besides, if a charity passes on less than 51 percent of what it takes in is it a charity or a business? I prefer to go direct to the need with my giving gift. Matter of choice.

  2. I feel the exact same way as Mr. Oldham. When I know that a charity is really real and not one that goes to the rich or to those who don’t deserve it or to the CAOs then I give. I would prefer to donate a few goods and not money to know what it is really for. When I worked in the federal government I got ripped off my little cheque for some society that I don’t believe in. Never again!

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