Charitable donors, 2011

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Charitable donations reported by taxfilers increased 2.6% from 2010 to just under $8.5 billion in 2011. At the same time, the number of people reporting charitable donations on their 2011 income tax return decreased by 0.6% to 5.7 million.

In 2011, 23.0% of all taxfilers claimed charitable donations. The highest percentage of taxfilers declaring a donation occurred in Manitoba (25.9%), followed by Saskatchewan (25.0%) and Prince Edward Island (24.9%).

Nationally, the median donation was $260 in 2011, meaning that half of those claiming a donation gave more than $260, and half less. This was unchanged from 2010.

The median donation was down slightly in all of the Atlantic provinces and up slightly in the Prairie provinces and Northwest Territories. It remained stable in all of the other provinces and territories.

Donors in Nunavut reported a median charitable donation of $470, the highest among the provinces and territories for the 12th consecutive year. Donors in Alberta had the second-highest median donation at $400.

Among census metropolitan areas, donors in Abbotsford–Mission, British Columbia, had by far the highest median charitable donation at $630. This was the 10th year in a row in which they had the highest median charitable donation. They were followed by donors in Calgary with a median of $400, Vancouver and Victoria at $390, and Kelowna and Saskatoon at $380.

Note to readers

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 2011 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.

All data in this release have been tabulated according to the 2006 Standard Geographical Classification used for the 2006 Census.

A census metropolitan area (CMA) is formed by one or more adjacent municipalities centred on a population centre (also known as the core). A CMA must have a total population of at least 100,000, of which 50,000 or more must live in the core.

Available in CANSIM: tables CANSIM table111-0001 to 111-0003.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number survey number4106.

The databank Charitable Donors (Catalogue number13C0014, various prices) is now available for Canada, provinces and territories, federal electoral districts, economic regions, census divisions, census metropolitan areas, census agglomerations, census tracts and other small areas.

CANSIM tables for this release are available for Canada, province and territories, census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations.

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;