Statistics Canada has reported that "Total donations reported by Canadian tax filers fell to $8.9 billion in 2016, down 2.7% from 2015." The Statscan numbers only claims by individuals tax filers and not what was actually donated to charity by individuals, corporations, etc. which in 2016 was $16.5 Billion.
The Statistics Canada report provides:
Total donations reported by Canadian tax filers fell to $8.9 billion in 2016, down 2.7% from 2015.
The largest decreases were in Alberta (-10.7%), Prince Edward Island (-5.3%), Nunavut (-4.4%) and Saskatchewan (-4.1%). Yukon (+4.5%) had the largest increase in donations in 2015.
The decrease in total donations (-10.7%) in Alberta for 2016 may be associated with economic factors in that province such as the decline in resource prices. For the previous three years, Alberta had an annual increase in the dollar amounts of donations, which was close to or above the national average. Even with this decrease in 2016, Alberta still had a higher proportion of tax filers making donations (21.1%) than the national average (20.5%). It also still had the second highest median donations at $470, compared with the national median donation of $300.
The general decrease in the amount of charitable donations in dollars reported by Canadian tax filers was accompanied by a decrease in the actual number of donating tax filers, down 98,840 (-1.8%) to 5,397,060. The number of donors fell in every province and territory except Yukon, where it was unchanged. There has been a small yearly decline in the number of donating tax filers since 2011, but since 2013 this had typically been offset by higher overall donation amounts. In 2016, both the number of donating tax filers and the total dollar amount of donations declined.
Nationally, the median donation was $300 in 2016, meaning that half of those claiming a donation tax credit made donations of more than $300, while the other half donated less than $300.
Although Nunavut had proportionately fewer donors than other provinces and territories, it had the highest median donation ($520) among tax filers claiming charitable donations. Alberta had the next highest median donation at $470, followed by British Columbia ($440). The lowest median donation amount was in Quebec ($130).
Among census metropolitan areas (CMAs), donors in Abbotsford–Mission, British Columbia, had the highest median charitable donation at $760. This was the 15th consecutive year that Abbotsford–Mission had the highest median donation in the country. Donors in Lethbridge, Alberta ($620) had the second highest median charitable donation among CMAs, followed by Saskatoon ($470), Vancouver ($460) and Calgary ($450).
For more information see the Statistics Canada website.
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Mark Blumberg is a partner at the law firm of Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto and works almost exclusively in the areas of non-profit and charity law.