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Charitable donors, 2021

Released: 2023-03-14

In 2021, tax filers reported giving to charitable organizations more than $11.8 billion (+11.5%) and their median annual charitable donations increased to $360 (+5.9%). Meanwhile, the number of tax filers claiming a tax credit for charitable donations continued to decrease, as there were fewer than 5 million (4,967,050; -3.2%) tax filers that made donations. This decrease might be related to the increased use of crowdsourcing platforms and other methods of funding that do not provide donation receipts for tax purposes.

  Note to readers

Donation data in this release are based on a preliminary version of the T1 Family File (tax filer data).

Statistics on changes in amounts between years do not take inflation into account, which was 3.4% in 2021.

Canadians contribute in many ways to charitable organizations. This release reports only on donations to charities and approved organizations for which official tax receipts were provided and claimed on tax returns. To verify whether a charity is registered under the Income Tax Act, tax filers can consult the charity listings available on the Canada Revenue Agency website. It is possible to carry donations forward for up to five years after the year in which they were made. Donations reported for the 2021 taxation year could include donations that were made in any of the five previous years. According to tax laws, tax filers are permitted to claim both their donations and those made by their spouse to receive better tax benefits. Consequently, the number of people who made charitable donations may be higher than the number who claimed tax credits.

The median is the value in the middle of a group of values (e.g., half of people make donations above this value and half of people make donations below this value).


The document "Technical Reference Guide for the Preliminary Estimates from the T1 Family File" (Catalogue number11260001) presents information about the methodology, concepts and quality for the data available in this release.

Data on charitable donors (Catalogue number13C0014, various prices) are now available for Canada, the provinces and territories, economic regions, census divisions, census subdivisions, census metropolitan areas, census agglomerations, census tracts, and postal-based geographies. These custom services are available upon request. Tables 11-10-0047-01, 11-10-0130-01, 11-10-0002-01 and 11-10-0003-01 for this release are available for free on the Statistics Canada website for Canada, the provinces and territories, census metropolitan areas, and census agglomerations.

The Income, pensions, spending and wealth statistics portal, which is accessible from the Subjects module of the Statistics Canada website, provides users with a single point of access to a wide variety of information related to income, pensions, spending and wealth.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (

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