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Charitable donors, 2013

Released: 2015-02-17

The amount of charitable donations reported by taxfilers increased in 2013 over the previous year, while the actual number of donors fell 1.0%.

Total donations rose 3.5% to $8.6 billion, with gains in every province and territory except the Northwest Territories, where donations were 2.7% lower. The largest increases were in Prince Edward Island (+7.5%), Manitoba (+6.0%) and Alberta (+5.9%).

Although the total number of donors decreased, there were modest increases in donor numbers in Alberta (+0.8%), Manitoba (+0.7%), Nunavut (+0.6%) and British Columbia (+0.2%). The largest decrease in donors was in the Northwest Territories (-3.9%).

In 2013, 21.9% of all taxfilers claimed charitable donations, compared with 22.4% in 2012. Manitoba (25.3%), Prince Edward Island (24.1%) and Saskatchewan (23.4%) had the highest percentage of taxfilers declaring a donation—the same three highest ranking provinces as in 2012 (in the same order).

Nationally, the median donation was $280 in 2013, meaning that half of those claiming a donation gave more than $280, while the other half gave less than $280.

Although Nunavut had proportionately fewer donors than other provinces and territories, it had the highest median charitable donation ($500) among taxfilers claiming charitable donations. Alberta had the next highest median donation amount of $420, followed by British Columbia and Prince Edward Island, both with $400. The lowest median donation amount was in Quebec ($130).

Among census metropolitan areas, donors in Abbotsford–Mission had by far the highest median charitable donation at $740. This was the 12th consecutive year that Abbotsford–Mission led the country with the highest median donation. Calgary and Vancouver were second, each with median donations of $420, followed by Saskatoon with $410.

  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 2013 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 is higher than the number who claimed tax credits.

Another source of donation data at Statistics Canada is the General Social Survey – Giving, Volunteering and Participating. This survey collects information on all monetary donations reported by individuals, regardless of whether or not the donation resulted in a tax credit.

All data in this release have been tabulated according to the 2011 Standard Geographical Classification used for the 2011 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.

The following table is also available: CANSIM table CANSIM table111-0041: Summary characteristics of Canadian taxfilers.

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

Data on Charitable Donors (Catalogue number13C0014, various prices) and Canadian Taxfilers (Catalogue number17C0010, various prices) are now available for Canada, the provinces and territories, federal electoral districts, economic regions, census divisions, census metropolitan areas, census agglomerations, census tracts, and postal-based geographies. These custom services are available upon request.

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

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 (613-951-4636;

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