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November 05, 2014 06:00 ET

BMO Philanthropy Report: 91 Per Cent of Affluent Canadians Have Donated to a Charity in the Last 12 Months

- Three quarters of those who have done charitable giving have donated up to $10,000; the average donation amount in 2013 was $5,217

- More than half donate to "impact their community" while just 21 per cent donate to reduce taxes

- Among concerns around donating cited, 43 per cent of affluent Canadians mentioned a fear that their gift will not be used wisely

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 5, 2014) - With National Philanthropy Day fast approaching, BMO Harris Private Banking today released a research report in partnership with GIV3 Foundation, Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP) and Philanthropic Foundations Canada (PFC), which examines the charitable giving behaviour, motivations and hesitations of high-net worth Canadians (those with investible assets of at least $1 million).

According to the report, the vast majority (91 per cent) of affluent Canadians have given to charitable causes in the past 12 months, with 74 per cent reporting that they have donated up to $10,000. In 2013, high net worth Canadians gave an average of $5,217 to charitable causes.

When asked what motivates them to donate, more than half (55 per cent) of high net worth Canadians said that they are driven to donate to have an impact on their community. Other motivations included:

  • A desire to give back to their community (50 per cent)
  • Feeling passionate about a cause (32 per cent)
  • Feeling that they should share their wealth with others (23 per cent)
  • To reduce taxes/as a tax reduction strategy (21 per cent)

"For most of Canada's affluent, donating isn't about the tax incentives and bottom line, it's about doing the right thing for the right reasons and supporting their communities," said Marvi Ricker, Vice President and Managing Director, Philanthropic Services, BMO Harris Private Banking. "Philanthropy for them is really about sharing a portion of their good fortune with those who are in need."

Hesitations Around Charitable Giving

Along with motivations, the report found that affluent Canadians also have hesitations around charitable giving. Among the concerns cited around giving, 43 per cent of affluent Canadians mentioned a fear that their gift might not be used wisely by the receiving organization, followed by the fear of receiving an increase in donation requests in the future (26 per cent).

"It's only natural that there could be some concerns associated with charitable giving," noted Ms. Ricker. "Working with a financial professional to create a philanthropic plan that aligns with your values, and identifies legitimate organizations that are making a difference can provide peace of mind and help ensure your dollars are being used effectively."

The results in this report were garnered through two quantitative online surveys, conducted through Ipsos Canada in September 2014 among financial advisors and high net worth individuals. A random sample of 258 financial advisors were recruited from across the country and were screened to include only those who work with high net worth clients with investable assets greater than $1MM. A random sample of 178 high net worth individuals were recruited from across the country and were screened to include only those with investable assets greater than $1MM.

The online survey was conducted by Pollara between March 28th and April 11th, 2013 with a sample of 305 Canadians with at least $1 million in investable assets. The margin of error for a probability sample of this size is ± 5.6%, 19 times out of 20 for Canadian results.

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About BMO Harris Private Banking

Backed by the stability and resources of BMO Financial Group, professionals at BMO Harris Private Banking are responsible for the successful management of wealth by providing expert advice and highly personalized services in banking, investment management, wealth planning, estate, trust, succession planning, business transition and philanthropic services - all in a coordinated approach. For more information, please visit http://www.bmo.com/harrisprivatebanking.

About Canadian Associate of Gift Planners (CAGP)

CAGP is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to champion the growth and development of strategic charitable gift planning in Canada. They are the only professional association that enables fundraisers and professional advisors to collaborate and network. Their 1,200 members are engaged through 23 chapters and include lawyers, estate and financial planners, accountants, tax specialists, fundraisers and senior charitable leaders.

About GIV3

The GIV3 Foundation operates a public awareness campaign with a mission to encourage more Canadians to give more through philanthropy, volunteering and inspiring others.

About Philanthropic Foundations Canada (PFC)

PFC is a national member association of grant making foundations, charitable organizations and corporate giving programs. PFC promotes the growth and development of effective and responsible foundations and organized philanthropy in Canada through provision of membership services, resources and advocacy.

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