Charitable Giving in Canada Hits Record Low, Reveals CanadaHelps 2024 Report


Thunder Bay Feels the Pinch as National Charitable Donations Wane

THUNDER BAY — One of the impacts of inflation is that families and individuals are feeling the financial pinch. That is being extended to charitable giving as well. Families with less disposable income do not have extra funds to donate to charity.

In its latest release, CanadaHelps, the nation’s leading platform for digital donations and fundraising, highlights a troubling trend in its 2024 Giving Report.

Across Canada, charitable contributions have plummeted to their lowest in years, with only 17.7% of Canadians donating in 2021, a stark decline from previous rates.

This trend spells concern for local charities in Thunder Bay, which rely heavily on the generosity of its community members. Calls for help from the local food bank have been frequent.

We are also seeing in the city growing numbers of people panhandling on the streets, looking for money. The misery index while not official is very present across the city.

Disconnection Leading to Decreased Donations

The report titled “From Disconnection to Collective Action” reveals that a diminishing sense of community and shrinking social networks are significant factors behind the declining donation rates. In Thunder Bay, where community bonds are vital, the impact is felt deeply. The shift could affect local programs that depend on robust community support, from food banks to shelters.

Local Charities Facing Heightened Demand

As noted by Duke Chang, President and CEO of CanadaHelps, while fewer Canadians are donating, those who do contribute are giving more. This is a precarious position for many charities, particularly in Thunder Bay, where economic fluctuations can swiftly impact donors’ capacity to give. This trend underscores the need for innovative local fundraising strategies to engage the community effectively.

The Importance of Local Action

With a significant portion of Thunder Bay residents relying on charitable services to meet essential needs, the implications of these national trends are immediate and profound. The report finds that more than half of Canadian charities cannot meet current demand, a situation mirrored in local initiatives.

This gap highlights the urgent need for residents to bolster local charities, ensuring they can continue their critical work.

Bright Spots and Future Prospects

Despite the challenges, the report also points to positive trends such as the rise in monthly and securities donations, which have seen substantial growth. For Thunder Bay, this could mean exploring new donation avenues and encouraging sustained giving through more flexible donation options.

Engaging the Next Generation

The report stresses the importance of engaging younger Canadians in philanthropy to sustain future charitable efforts. This aspect is particularly relevant for Thunder Bay, where energizing a new generation of donors could be key to long-term sustainability for local charities.

About CanadaHelps CanadaHelps has been at the forefront of promoting philanthropy through technology since its inception in 2000. As Canada’s largest online donation platform, it not only facilitates donations to a myriad of charities but also supports charities with technology and education to thrive in the digital age.

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