Seniors and higher-income Canadians are the biggest donors to charity, according to new data from Statistics Canada.
Using tax return data, StatsCan reported that total charitable donations in 2018 came in at almost $10 billion, up 3.9% from the previous year. However, the number of donors declined by 0.4% to 5.3 million, continuing a decline in the donor population that began in 2011.
The agency reported that higher-income earners and seniors are the most generous donors to charity. Taxpayers with incomes of at least $80,000 accounted for 35% of all donors in 2018, up from 27% back in 2011.
Additionally, seniors accounted for 31% of all donors, up from 24% in 2010. StatsCan noted that the population of senior taxpayers rose by four percentage points over that period, and the proportion of senior charitable donors grew by seven points.
StatsCan noted that this data doesn’t capture all charitable activity — only donations that were claimed on tax returns. The data excluded donations made through crowdfunding platforms that may not qualify for tax receipts and small donations made via text message.
“These donation methods may be more commonly used by younger tax filers,” StatsCan noted.