Western Canadians are heavily involved in helping charities

Slide1A new Insights West syndicated study—Charitable Giving Insights—shows that residents of Alberta and British Columbia are especially active when it comes to charitable causes.

Charitable Giving Insights is a syndicated study designed to help charitable and non-profit organizations address their unique marketing challenges in today’s highly competitive climate.

The study, based on a survey of representative samples in the two Western Canadian provinces, found that Albertans donated, on average, $852 to charities in 2014. British Columbians donated slightly less—$812—but more than the average of $732 in 2011 first reported by Insights West.

Two-in-five British Columbians (41%) and one third of Albertans (34%) make a donation of goods to a charitable cause at least “every few months”. The proportion of financial donations to charity is the same in both provinces, with 34% of residents of both British Columbia and Alberta saying they donate cash at least “every few months”.

Slide2British Columbians are slightly more likely than Albertans to purchase goods or services for which part or all of the profits are donated (27% to 24%), participate or attend a charitable event (20% to 13%), volunteer on behalf of an organization (26% to 22%) and fundraise on behalf of an organization (13% to 9%).

“Our research continues to show that many Western Canadians are active participants in helping causes that are dear to their hearts,” says Steve Mossop, President of Insights West. “At a time when would-be donors are exposed to so many messages and requests, it is of the utmost importance for charities to know how to connect with the giving public.”

The two provinces are fairly similar when it comes to the causes that are likely to receive their support, with organizations that deal with social issues topping the list of preferred recipients (74% in BC, 75% in AB), along with those that provide disaster or humanitarian relief (73% in BC, 70% in AB), deal with disease or disorder treatment (73% in BC, 72% in AB), medical services or treatment (72% in both BC and AB) and medical research (72% in BC and 68% in AB).

It is important to note that a majority of residents in both provinces (56%) would consider donating to an organization that deals with pet and animal welfare, but less than one-in-five would donate to political causes (17% in BC, 15% in AB).

While Canadians can take full advantage of fiscal benefits for their monetary donations to charity, the survey found that 30% of British Columbians and Albertans who donated to charity in the past year will be unable to claim any of their donations in their tax return—either because they did not ask for a receipt or because the individual cash donations were small.