Need good gifts? Put a charity under the tree

By Kate McCaffery | December 10, 2007 | Last updated on December 10, 2007
2 min read

(December 2007) Forget trinkets this season — your employees and clients don’t need another pen set. They don’t need sweaters or socks from family members. In fact, the majority of those surveyed say they don’t really need anything at all this year.

In an Ipsos Reid survey of 1,429 adults, asking each about the things they would like for Christmas, 36% say they do in fact want or need something particular for Christmas, but eight in ten say there isn’t anything in particular they need under the tree this year. What’s more, the majority say they would actually prefer to get a meaningful gift that would help someone else.

Older Canadians, those over age 55, were most likely to say they don’t need anything specific (86%). Of those individuals surveyed between the ages of 35 and 54 and those between 18 and 34, 74% and 72%, respectively, said they don’t need anything for Christmas. Regionally, 84% of survey respondents in Alberta fall into this category. Quebec residents are least likely to agree with the statement, but even so, 71% say they don’t need anything specific for the holidays.

In the report entitled Canadians Embrace the Spirit of Giving This Holiday Season, Ipsos Reid researchers discuss the survey, conducted on behalf of World Vision Canada, which finds 37% say they’ve already given a charitable gift in someone else’s name while 15% said they’ve been on the receiving end of such a gift. Around 84% said they would strongly (37%) or somewhat agree (47%) that they would prefer to receive a meaningful gift, while 16% disagreed, saying they would not prefer to receive a gift of this nature.

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Overall, women are more likely than men to agree that they would prefer someone donate in their name — 88% and 80% respectively agreed with the statement; 91% of those over 55 agreed with the statement, compared to 79% of those between 18 and 34. Regionally, residents of Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan (each at 86%) are more likely to agree with the sentiment than residents of British Columbia (81%).

At work, appreciation for gifts of this type is even stronger — of those who typically receive gifts from suppliers and vendors, 68% said they would prefer to receive a charitable gift in the name of their company, rather than the typical holiday office gifts of greeting cards, coffee mugs, pens or calendars. In this respect, though, the regional and gender disparities are more apparent — more women, around 81%, said they would prefer to receive charitable gifts from a vendor in place of the typical holiday gift, compared to only 57% of men. Residents of Quebec scored highest for preferring the charitable gift from vendors idea, compared to the slim majority of respondents in British Columbia. There, only 54% agreed that they would appreciate this type of gift.

Filed by Kate McCaffery,


Kate McCaffery