While two-thirds of Canadians say they’re comfortable with their charitable contributions, 30% say they should be doing more, finds a poll by the Angus Reid Institute and CHIMP: Charitable Impact Foundation.

What’s driving this gap between intention and action? A lack of financial means is a major factor for some.

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But legitimacy of the charity (54%) and doubt about whether dollars are effectively spent (58%) also loom large in the decision to give or not.

Further, younger, wealthier and more-educated Canadians say they would give more if they felt confident in the charitable sector, connected enough to the causes they care most about, and were being approached in a different way.

Here are some more findings.

  • Three-quarters of Canadians have donated to at least one charitable cause over the past two years.
  • 57% have given in response to a prompt from an organization, not on their own initiative.
  • 43% give on an ongoing basis to at least one charity.
  • 64% of those categorized as those who give often say they were exposed to concepts of charity and altruism by their parents; 64% of those who don’t give say they were not.
  • 56% have donated or volunteered with at least one charity involved in health and disease prevention in the past two years; 51% have done the same with respect to poverty relief organizations.
  • 68% would be able to find the necessary resources to decide which charitable cause to support, but a similar amount also express interest in more tools from organizations themselves.
  • 61% who support religious or faith-based causes give on an ongoing basis; other sectors are more reliant on one-time donations.
  • 48% would be more generous if they could find the right cause for them.

About the survey: An online survey was conducted from Nov. 3 to Nov. 10, 2017. A sample of 2,072 Canadian adults were surveyed. A probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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