BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group

January 05, 2016 06:03 ET

BMO Wealth Management New Year's Study: More Than Half of Canadians Plan to Make Charitable Giving a Priority in 2016

- Other resolutions include: become healthier, spend more time with friends or family and improve their financial situation

- Fifty-four per cent will donate to health/medical causes this year and 48 per cent to anti-poverty charities

- Fifty-eight per cent do not have a strategy in place for donating to charity

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jan. 5, 2016) - BMO Wealth Management today released a study examining Canadians' New Year's resolutions for 2016 with a focus on their plans for charitable giving in the year ahead.

According to the study, almost 60 per cent of Canadians plan to make it a priority to donate to charitable causes in 2016. Other priorities identified include becoming healthier, spending more time with family and friends, and improving their overall financial situation by spending less, saving more and paying off debt.

"Around this time of year, people tend to re-evaluate their priorities and where they spend their energy, time and money. It's gratifying to note that, with all the different directions Canadians are pulled in, the majority intend to put a premium on charitable giving in 2016," said Marvi Ricker, Vice-President and Managing Director of Philanthropic Services, BMO Wealth Management.

When thinking about which charities they will support in the year ahead, one-third (32 per cent) of Canadians say they will donate to the same charities they did in 2015, while 56 per cent say they are considering making some changes. The top causes or sectors to which Canadians plan to donate in 2016 are:

  • Health/medical (54 per cent)
  • Anti-poverty and helping the disadvantaged (48 per cent)
  • Animal welfare (27 per cent)
  • Foundations (20 per cent)

From Charitable Giving to Philanthropy

Although Canadians have an idea of where they will donate, the study found that more than half (58 per cent) do not have a strategy in place for donating and give only as they feel the need or have the money. The top reasons why Canadians say they do not have a philanthropic strategy for donating are:

  • They prefer to give on a case-by-case basis (33 per cent)
  • They do not think it is necessary (31 per cent)
  • They do not have enough money to give regularly (31 per cent)

According to the study, only 42 per cent of Canadians would describe themselves as knowledgeable about developing a strategy for charitable giving and just half (51 per cent) say they are knowledgeable on how to incorporate their donations into an overall financial plan.

"Having a strategy for donating will help ensure that you'll make the greatest impact possible on the causes most important to you and also make the act of giving that much more rewarding for you and your family," noted Ms. Ricker. "A financial professional can help you develop a philanthropic program and ensure you're being tax smart when donating. Anyone on any budget can be a philanthropist, it's the mindset that counts, not the amount of the donation."

Regional Breakdown:

Region % who consider donating
to charities to be
priority for 2016
Top cause or sector
they plan to support
this year
% who do not have
a charitable giving
strategy in place
National 59 Health/Medical 58
Atlantic 57 Anti-poverty 58
Quebec 55 Health/Medical and Anti-poverty 65
Ontario 60 Health/Medical 54
Prairies 66 Health/Medical 53
Alberta 61 Health/Medical 60
B.C. 62 Anti-poverty 59

The survey results cited from the 2015 BMO Charitable Giving Report conducted by Pollara were compiled from a random sample of 1,000 Canadians 18 years of age and over between December 4th and December 7th, 2015. A probability sample of this size would yield results accurate to ± 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services provider based in North America. With total assets of approximately $642 billion as of October 31, 2015, and close to 47,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

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