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BMO Harris Private Banking

December 20, 2013 06:00 ET

BMO Harris Private Banking Study: Eighty-Six Per Cent of Canadians Will Give to Charities This Holiday Season

- Fifty-two per cent plan on giving money this holiday season; 49 per cent will donate food/other items; 23 per cent will volunteer

- Seventy-seven per cent of Canadians donated in 2013

- Average donation amount in 2013 was $580, up from $557 in 2012

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 20, 2013) - According to a study issued today by BMO Harris Private Banking, the spirit and generosity of Canadians will be on full display this year with the vast majority (86 per cent) reporting that they will engage in some sort of charitable activity during the holiday season.

The study also revealed how Canadians intend to support various charitable causes during the months of November and December:

  • Fifty-two per cent have or will be donating money.
  • Forty-nine per cent have or will be donating canned goods or a food basket.
  • Forty-seven per cent have or will be donating clothing.
  • Twenty-three per cent have or will be volunteering.

"It's heartwarming to see that so many Canadians appreciate the importance of supporting charities, especially during the holiday season," said Marvi Ricker, Vice President and Managing Director, Philanthropic Services, BMO Harris Private Banking. "The holidays can be a tough time for some, so it's great to see that Canadians are responding so generously."

"Everyone has a role to play in supporting those in need in our society, and this includes Corporate Canada," noted Patrick Cronin, Managing Director, BMO Capital Markets and BMO Employee Giving Campaign Co-Chair. "It's critical that companies of all sizes foster an atmosphere that encourages employees to give back to the communities where they live and work. It's everyone's responsibility."

The 2013 BMO Employee Giving Campaign is underway across North America and is off to a solid start. Last year more than 35,000 BMO employees made a donation to the campaign and raised over $13 million. The bank partners with United Way/Centraide, whose mission aligns with many of the principles BMO supports: fairness, equity and evening the odds.

Canadians and Giving in 2013

The study also explored what percentage of Canadians donated to various charitable causes in 2013, the average amount they gave and the sectors they supported. The study found:

  • Seventy-seven per cent donated to a charitable cause in the past 12 months (down slightly from 79 per cent in 2012).
  • The average amount donated was $580 (up from $557 in 2012).

The most popular causes Canadians supported in 2013 included:

  • Health and medical (63 per cent)
  • Anti-poverty (41 per cent)
  • Religious (23 per cent)
  • Animal welfare (21 per cent)
  • Foreign aid (13 per cent)

"Many Canadians have competing financial priorities and often find that they're not in a position to donate as much as they'd like to their preferred charitable causes," noted Ms. Ricker. "However, it's important to remember that there are other ways to give, whether it is donating unused household items such as gently used clothes, toys and furniture or donating your time by volunteering at a soup kitchen or the local animal shelter."

For more information, please visit: http://www.bmo.com/harrisprivatebanking.

To learn more about United Way Toronto, please visit http://www.unitedwaytoronto.com/.

Regional Breakdown:

Region % who are doing some sort of charitable giving this holiday season % who are donating cash this holiday season % who are donating canned goods/food basket this holiday season % who are donating clothing this holiday season % who are volunteering this holiday season % who donated money to a charity in the past 12 months
National 86 52 49 47 23 77
Atlantic 79 55 46 42 27 73
Quebec 85 47 45 40 20 71
Ontario 89 54 51 50 23 79
Prairies 85 62 52 45 34 88
Alberta 89 60 48 49 18 79
B.C. 84 46 46 52 25 76

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The online survey was conducted by Pollara from November 29th to December 4th, 2013 among a randomly-selected, representative sample of 1,023 Canadians aged 18 years and over. A probability sample of this size would be accurate to +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

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