As Charities Face Increased Demand for Services, 18% of Canadians Reduced Their Donations to Charities

New Ipsos poll shows younger Canadians more likely than older generations to have increased donations amid the pandemic

TORONTO--()--A new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of CanadaHelps, the country's largest platform for donating and fundraising online, confirms that 32% of Canadians have more discretionary income amid the pandemic. Data from RBC suggests that Canadians saved a record amount in 2020, amassing an extra $280 billion.* Of those with extra cash in hand, only 17% have donated some of the excess funds to charity. The poll also looked at overall giving and revealed that only 12% of Canadians increased their donations amid the pandemic, while nearly 2 in 10 (18%) reduced how much they gave to charities. The remainder of respondents fall into two groups: 25% that don’t give any money to charity and 45% that have not changed how much they give to charity. These are concerning trends at a time when 42% of charities** are not able to meet the increased need for their services.

On a regional basis, those living in Saskatchewan and Manitoba (25%) are most likely to have reduced their charitable giving, followed by residents of British Columbia and Ontario (21%), Alberta and Atlantic Canada (16%), and Quebec (10%). 21% of women and 14% of men scaled back their charitable giving.

“At a time when charities are facing an unprecedented demand for services, we would like to see more Canadians donating to charity,” said Marina Glogovac, President and CEO of CanadaHelps. “For nearly two years, many Canadian charities have had the challenging task of trying to meet increased demand for their services while facing significant drops in income and reduced capacity. As the holiday season is a critical time for charities, our ask of Canadians is to donate what they can to a charity or a cause they care about.”

Earlier this year, CanadaHelps published its annual Giving Report and projected that overall charitable giving in 2020 declined by 10%, falling to 2016 levels.

According to the poll, 17% of those aged 18 - 34 increased their giving while only 9% of those aged 35 - 54 and 12% of those 55 years and older increased their giving. Ontario residents (15%) were more likely to give more, followed by those living in British Columbia and Alberta (13%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (10%), Quebec (9%), and Atlantic Canada (6%).

“In our past Giving Reports we identified a concerning giving gap, with younger generations not giving as much to charity as older generations,” said Glogovac. “Insights from this new poll offer an encouraging sign that gives us much hope for the future.”

Of the 32% of Canadians with extra money in their pockets during this health crisis, 56% have either invested or saved any surplus funds, while 26% have used the money to renovate or repair their homes. A quarter (25%) have purchased material goods and experiences, and 31% have taken the opportunity to pay off debt with the extra cash.

Poll Methodology

The Ipsos poll was conducted between November 11 to 15, 2021 on behalf of A sample of 1,000 Canadians over the age of 18 were interviewed. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

About CanadaHelps

CanadaHelps is a charitable foundation working to increase giving in Canada through technology., provides a safe and trusted one-stop destination for making donations, fundraising, or learning about any charity in Canada. The organization also develops affordable fundraising technology and provides free training and education for charities so that, regardless of size, all charities have the capacity to increase their impact and succeed in the digital age. More than 3.2 million Canadians have donated over $1.9 billion to charities using CanadaHelps since its founding in 2000. For additional information, visit or connect with CanadaHelps on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

* RBC, The Great Canadian Savings Puzzle, October 2021
** Imagine Canada’s Sector Monitor: The uneven impact of the pandemic on Canadian charities, August, 2021


Jodi Echakowitz
Boulevard Public Relations

Release Summary

Ipsos Poll: As charities face increased demand for services, 18% of Canadians reduced their donations to charities


Jodi Echakowitz
Boulevard Public Relations