Charitable donors

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Canadian taxfilers reported making charitable donations of just under $8.3 billion in 2010, up 6.5% from 2009. At the same time, the number of donors increased 2.2% to just over 5.7 million. Data are based on income tax returns filed for 2010.

Nationally, 23.4% of all taxfilers claimed charitable donations on their tax return, in line with previous years. Manitoba (26.3%) had the highest percentage declaring a donation, followed by Prince Edward Island (25.3%) and Saskatchewan (25.3%).

The median donation was $260 in 2010, meaning that half of those claiming a donation gave more, and half less. This was up slightly from $250 in 2009.

The median donation remained stable in Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador. It increased slightly in all other provinces and territories, except Nunavut, where it declined.

Donors in Nunavut reported a median charitable donation of $470, the highest among the provinces and territories for the 11th consecutive year. Donors in Prince Edward Island and Alberta had the second-highest median donation, both $390.

Among census metropolitan areas, donors in Abbotsford–Mission, British Columbia, had by far the highest median charitable donation at $620. This was the ninth year in a row in which they were highest. Donors in Calgary and Victoria followed, both with a median of $390.

Note: Canadians contribute in many ways to charitable organizations. These data include only amounts given to charities and approved organizations for which official tax receipts were provided and claimed on tax returns. It is possible to carry donations forward for up to five years after the year in which they were made. Therefore, donations reported for the 2010 taxation year could include donations that were made in any of the five previous years. According to tax laws, taxfilers are permitted to claim both their donations and those made by their spouses to receive better tax benefits. Consequently, the number of people who made charitable donations may be higher than the number who claimed tax credits.

Available on CANSIM: tables 111-0001 to 111-0003.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 4106.

The databank Charitable Donors (13C0014, various prices) is now available for Canada, the provinces and territories, cities, towns, census metropolitan areas, census divisions, federal electoral districts and other small areas.

For more information, contact Statistics Canada's National Contact Centre (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 613-951-8116;, Communications Division.

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Client Services (toll-free 1-888-297-7355; 613-951-7355;, Income Statistics Division.