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Charitable donations of Albertans down during recession

Charitable donations of Albertans down during recession

Posted on: 2/27/2018 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

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The latest data on the charitable donations reported by tax filers were released by Statistics Canada in mid-February. The numbers show that a drop in charitable donations accompanied the economic downturn in Alberta.

Alberta tax filers donated $1.61 billion in 2015 compared to $1.44 billion in 2016 for a decline of 10.8 per cent. Total donations fell by only 1.0 per cent in the rest of Canada. The average amount given per donor in Alberta fell from $2,558 to $2,346, and the number of donors fell from 628,440 to 612,220 (-2.6 per cent). The most likely explanation for the drop is that the provincial economic downturn was in its second year in 2016.

At 16.2 per cent, Alberta’s share of total charitable donations in Canada in 2016 was still higher than its share of the national population 11.7 per cent). The average donation per Alberta donor was still the highest among the provinces and $788 more than the average for the rest of Canada.

While our strong economic base and generosity have kept charitable donations higher in Alberta than in other parts of the country, the recession led to some pullback in giving. This highlights the need to make sure that our charitable organizations and other nonprofits have the resources they need to keep doing the many good things they do.

Charitable donations by Alberta taxfilers, graph​ ​ ​

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