Charitable giving in BC takes a dip as charitable organizations seek ways to connect with and influence donors

Health-related charities get the most support (23%) among causes is BC while online crowd funding makes a mark with younger donors.

Vancouver, BC – British Columbians have become somewhat less generous over the past two years when it comes to giving to charitable organizations, but they remain heavily influenced to support charities and causes that are close to their personal lives, particularly those in the area of health and wellbeing. These are two key findings of the newly released 2019 Charitable Giving Insights report released by Insights West.

Since 2012, Insights West has been tracking the charitable giving habits and behaviours of British Columbians, as well as their perceptions on charitable organizations across the province. The 2019 report is the fourth iteration of the study and shows that while British Columbians on the whole are generous to charitable organizations with their time and money, they’ve become somewhat less so in the past few years. Nearly all adults in the province (84%) have made a charitable donation in the past year, however that figure does represent a continuing downward trend from 2012 when 95% said they had made such a donation.

Comparing the 2019 results with those from 2017, there have been notable declines across the board in the generosity of BCers towards charitable organizations. In 2019, 89% said they made a donation of goods compared to 93% in 2017. Another 86% in 2019 said had given financial support, down from 92% two years ago. And 63% in 2019 said they volunteered their time compared to 74% in 2017. That also includes 53% who have fundraised on behalf of a charity in 2019 versus 60% who said they did so in 2017.

Following that trend, the proportion of large donations (those of $1000 or more) has also seen a decline. The figures for 2019 show 18% of BCers have donated more than that amount, down from 23% who said so in 2017. And the percentage of those who have not made any donations has increased from 10% in 2017 to 16% in 2019.

Crowd Sourcing and Crowdfunding Campaigns

Tracked for the first time in the 2019 report, Insights West asked BCers about the growing trend for crowd sourcing of funds (“crowdfunding”) whereby money is typically raised online for a variety of causes, ventures, or projects. In total, three-in-ten (29%) British Columbians have said they have participated in a crowd sourcing campaign in the past year, a number that jumps to 44% among younger British Columbians aged 18 to 34.

Connection to Charitable Giving

Of the many charitable causes out there, BCers in 2019 have been most likely to fork out dollars for a health-related issue such as hospitals, medical research, or other healthcare causes – 23% of recent donations were made to such a cause, over two times more than social issues (9%) or foreign aid (8%) and four to five times over causes related to religious organizations (5%), animal wellbeing (4%), or environmental causes (4%).

Having a personal connection to a cause or issue are among the most influential factors for supporting or donating to charity, with an event in their personal life influencing 50% of BC donors and a personal request from someone they know influencing 45% of BC donors.

Of the many charities in BC, the Canadian Red Cross, Salvation Army, and Canadian Cancer Society are the three most familiar brands among BCers with the work of the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation and Ronald McDonald House achieving the highest ratings among residents of the BC. The BC Children’s Hospital is also the highest rated brand in Insights West’s Brand Reputation Insights, a study that measures how brands stack up against over 450 other Canadian brands.

“While we’ve seen a slight reduction in the percentage of BCers who have given to charities, that doesn’t mean we’ve become a stingy province,” says Daile MacDonald, Research Director at Insights West and author of the study. “The challenge – and also the opportunity – for charities is to connect with and build meaningful relationships with donors across the province. That begins with understanding the personalities and motivators behind each donation.”

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from May 28 to 31, 2019 among a representative sample of 1418 adult residents of British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 2.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies between totals are due to rounding. Click HERE to view the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Daile MacDonald
Research Director
Insights West
403.926.3192

dailemacdonald@insightswest.com