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Alberta donors most generous despite recession

Alberta donors most generous despite recession

Posted on: 8/29/2017 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

We won’t have the numbers for 2016 for another six months, but the first year of the recession did not coincide with a reduction in the amount of charitable giving* taking place in Alberta.

Albertans led the country in 2015 in terms of how much we donated to charities with the median donation coming in at $450 compared to a national median of $300. The median donation in Alberta went up by $10 in 2015 compared to 2014 despite the economic downturn the province was experiencing.

Alberta taxfilers gave a total of $1.6 billion to charities in 2015. This represents 17.6 per cent of the national total of $9.1 billion and is almost six percentage points higher than Alberta’s share of the national population (11.7 per cent).

The higher level of charitable donations in Alberta is explained in part by the higher level of income in the province. The median income of donors in Alberta in 2015 was $70,550 compared to $58,600 nationally. Higher income levels or not, donating to charity is a voluntary act and involves a conscious decision to give something back.

These numbers don’t tell us how Alberta’s charitable sector is faring in the face of the recession as donations from taxfilers are only one comparatively modest source of revenue for the sector and there is also the economic contraction that continued into 2016 to consider. Nonetheless, it’s good to know that the generosity of Albertans was not curtailed by the first year of the recession.

*Note that a charitable donor is defined as a taxfiler reporting a charitable donation amount on line 340 of the personal income tax form. Unreported donations and donations to organizations that are not registered charities are not included.

Canadian donation to charity, graph

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