It’s official – we’re generous. Statistics Canada has just released the charitable donations data from our most recent tax returns. In 2010, Canadians reported over eight billion dollars in donations to charity, an increase of 6.5% in just a year.
Nunavut citizens are especially big-hearted. For 11 years in a row, they’ve given more cash to good causes than folks in any other province or territory. And the most generous urban areas in Canada? They’re Abbotsford-Mission (B.C.), Calgary and Victoria. Recognize any of your neighbours?
Statistics Canada notes that the numbers on our income-tax statements don’t necessarily reflect all the giving that goes on in Canada. That’s partly because some non-profits don’t issue official tax receipts, and even some registered charities will only send you one if your donation is above a specified figure. And how about all those loonies in the send-a-kid-to-camp pots at the cash register, and the toonies we give to the fellow ringing the bell at Christmas time? There are a lot of extra coins changing hands for charity, even if they aren’t recorded on our tax returns.
Of course, there are other ways to do good besides with dough. Generosity of spirit doesn’t have to involve legal tender. Sometimes it just involves tender. But it’s nice to know that even during challenging economic times, our hearts never get stingy.