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Charitable giving

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It’s been a tough few years for Canadians – with challenges like unemployment, inflation, and economic recession leaving many Albertans struggling to make ends meet, it’s no wonder non-profits are having a harder time bringing in fundraising dollars. In fact, according to figures provided by the Canada Revenue Agency and Statistics Canada and compiled by the Fraser Institute, the amount Canadians donate to charity has hit a 20-year low.

The report examines charitable donations claimed on tax returns filed across the country, and suggests not only that a smaller proportion of Canadians are giving to charity, but the amount donated “makes up an increasingly smaller proportion of aggregate income.”

“This generosity gap undoubtedly limits the ability of Canadian charities to improve the quality of life in their communities and beyond,” the report stated.

Where Albertans do shine, however, is in the amount donated. While just 19.8 per cent of Albertan tax-filers claimed charitable donations in 2017 (placing us in the middle of the pack, compared to other parts of Canada), the average annual amount donated was more than $2,700 – more than any other province or territory.

But we can always do more. Many local organizations requested community support this year, including the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation, the Airdrie and District Victims Assistance Society and local food banks. We’re hoping to see the giving spirit of the season continue into 2020, to turn this trend around and show our appreciation to those who need it most.