A recent report from the Fraser Institute reveals a concerning trend emerging regarding charitable giving in Canada. 

The study, titled “Generosity in Canada: The 2023 Generosity Index,” found a significant decline in the proportion of Canadians contributing to charitable causes, marking the lowest level in two decades.

According to the findings, a mere 17.7% of Canadian tax filers claimed charitable donations in the 2021 fiscal year, representing a stark decrease from the 25.4% reported in 2004. 

The study further underscores a reduction in the percentage of income Canadians dedicated to charitable contributions, dropping from 0.58% in 2001 to 0.55% in 2021.

Jake Fuss, the director of fiscal studies at the Fraser Institute and co-author of the report, expressed concern over the implications of the decline in charitable giving for Canadian society. 

“The holiday season is a time to reflect on charitable giving, and the data shows Canadians are consistently less charitable every year, which means charities face greater challenges to secure resources to help those in need,” said Fuss.

The provinces were also ranked based on their generosity, considering both the percentage of tax filers making donations and the share of income contributed. 

Manitoba secured the top spot, with 19.7% of tax filers donating and a corresponding 0.74% of income dedicated to charitable causes. 

In contrast, Quebec found itself at the bottom of the generosity scale, with only 15.4% of tax filers donating and a mere 0.26% of income allocated to charity.

“A smaller proportion of Canadians are donating to registered charities than what we saw in previous decades, and those who are donating are donating less,” said Fuss.

“This decline in generosity in Canada undoubtedly limits the ability of Canadian charities to improve the quality of life in their communities and beyond.”