A new survey by Ipsos Reid says continued uncertainty over Canada’s economic future “does not bode well” for the country’s charitable organizations.
The recent online survey of 804 Canadians found that 69% of respondents have made a financial donation to a charitable organization in the past year, up from 65% in 2009. However, the study also says that future generosity hinges on the country’s economic prospects.
The national increase is largely attributable to Ontario and Quebec, where the percentage of the provincial population making financial donations increased from 64% to 72% and from 50% to 59%, respectively. In the same period, financial donations from Western Canadians remained flat at 74%, and dropped from 78% to 70% in Atlantic Canada.
According to Ipsos Reid president Steve Levy, Canadians are donating less than they have in the past and to a broader range of charities, meaning that not-for-profit organizations must seek out “creative and engaging” methods to achieve their fundraising goals.
The study found that “in person” contact remains the most effective method of soliciting donations – with 73% of respondents indicating they have made a financial donation in that fashion – but also predicted that social media and internet strategies would be “central” to not-for-profit organizations seeking to engage potential donors and achieve targets.
The study also revealed that the efficacy of traditional mail is slipping (down six percentage points from 2009), while online accounted for 31% of donations, and is expected to grow.
“What is very clear is that creating an engaging charity brand that has a human face is important,” said Levy in a release. “But having an online presence and building secure and trustworthy online systems for donating is also crucial.”
The study found that Canadians contribute to charitable organizations through financial donations, volunteering and helping with fundraising, though there are regional differences. For instance, while Western Canadians tend to be more generous with their money, Atlantic Canadians are more generous with their time.
The results are based on an online survey of 1,055 Canadian adults in 2009 and 840 adults in August, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9% to 3.3%.