Almost 60% of Canadians plan to make it a priority to donate to charitable causes in 2016, finds a BMO Wealth Management report. Other priorities include becoming healthier, spending more time with family and friends, and improving their overall financial situation by spending less, saving more and paying off debt.

When thinking about which charities they will support in the year ahead, one-third (32%) say they’ll donate to the same charities they did in 2015, while 56% are considering making some changes. The top causes or sectors to which Canadians plan to donate in 2016 are:

  • health/medical (54%);
  • anti-poverty and helping the disadvantaged (48%);
  • animal welfare (27%); or
  • foundations (20%).

Although Canadians have an idea of where they will donate, the study finds that more than half (58%) do not have a strategy, and give only as they feel the need or have the money. The top reasons for this are:

  • they prefer to give on a case-by-case basis (33%);
  • they do not think it is necessary (31%); or
  • they do not have enough money to give regularly (31%).

Further, only 42% of Canadians would describe themselves as knowledgeable about developing a strategy for charitable giving, and just half (51%) say they are knowledgeable on how to incorporate their donations into an overall financial plan.

“Having a strategy for donating will help ensure that you’ll make the greatest impact possible on the causes most important to you and also make the act of giving that much more rewarding for you and your family,” says Marvi Ricker, vice-president and managing director of Philanthropic Services, BMO Wealth Management.

Here are some articles to help philanthropic clients.

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