It’s hard to believe the number of Canadians donating to charity – as a percentage of all tax filers – is at its lowest point in the past 18 years. At least that’s the finding of a new study by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.
“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,” noted Jake Fuss, senior policy analyst with the Fraser Institute and co-author of Generosity in Canada and the United States: The 2020 Generosity Index.
Of course, COVID-19 has played a major part in the ability of Canadians to give this year. But in the Chemainus and Crofton regions, it certainly seems the inclination to provide as much support as possible to charities is alive and well.
This edition of the Courier features stories on the Chemainus Harvest House Food Bank and the Cowichan Neighbourhood House Association that have both received an abundance of generous donations in order to assist those who are struggling to make ends meet.
The shelves, refrigerator and freezer have been packed at the food bank from contributions in the critical time leading up to Christmas. The same can be said at Neighbourhood House where cash donations have enabled enough food to be purchased to fill hamper requirements.
Some came out of the blue at the last minute and that’s an added bonus when attempts are being made in the hectic final week before Christmas to ensure no one goes without.
The study found less than one-in-five Canadian tax-filers (19.4 per cent) claimed charitable donations on their tax return in 2018, the most recent year of available data, and the total amount donated to registered charities by Canadians – just 0.54 per cent of income – is the second lowest amount since at least 2000.
B.C. ranked sixth among Canadian provinces and territories for the percentage of tax filers who claimed charitable donations at 18.4 per cent, but had the second highest average dollar value of all charitable donations at $2,575.
Yes, 2020 has been a tough year, but it’s safe to say Chemainus and Crofton folks are bucking the national trends.