Back in March, the Montreal Gazette ran “Let’s face it, we should give and volunteer more” and included a few stats on Canadian giving.

  • The median gift in Canada is $100.
  • Most charity comes from only 10 per cent of Canadians. They give 60 per cent of all dollars, and 52 per cent of all volunteered hours.
  • Only one in four Revenue Canada tax returns claimed a charitable deduction.
  • Only one in four Canadians volunteer more than one hour a week.
  • Lower income groups give a higher proportion of their income (1.7 per cent) than the higher income groups (0.5 per cent).

Highlighted in the article, Giv3 is asking Canadians to “Dare to Care” by encouraging us to give 3% of our income and volunteering three hours a month to charitable causes.

We’re hearing a lot about the benefit of volunteering – particularly during hard economic times.  Deloitte’s Pro Bono as Currency talks about the benefits – and the challenges to bringing pro-bono volunteers to the non-profit sector.  Ultimately, “skilled volunteerism must be managed on both ends in order to maximize its effectiveness for the nonprofits as well as the donor”. 

From this side, if we’re asking folks to give more time and money – we’d better have a system for managing both.  There are huge benefits for both non-profits and volunteers, if there is a system in place to both bring in volunteers, train them on the sector and their role, and increase a non-profit’s volunteer management capabilities. 

While many may cite the recession as an excellent time to return to volunteering – it is not always as easy as a good intention.  Good systems and communication are key.  It’s a tricky balance, but SVP is happy to be working on our part of the solution.

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