In the past 12 months, Canadians across the country are experiencing significant changes in our communities. As we are collectively recovering from the repercussions of the pandemic, we are now faced with a dramatic rise in the cost of living and other pressures. Demands on food, shelter, and healthcare are only the tip of the iceberg of the burgeoning needs that many communities face. Nonprofits and charities are working hard to meet the increased demands. We, as corporate leaders, have a responsibility to support them, not only financially but by finding innovative ways to be strategic partners. And yes, Canadians are expecting businesses to step up.
This is one of the key findings we learned in our second annual Grow Together report, in partnership with Leger. Last year, we had dialogues with decision makers of nonprofits and gained a lot of insights into how they used the pandemic to truly transform their strategy and operation to take on new challenges. This year, we expanded our scope by starting with a survey of more than 1,000 Canadian donors and volunteers in March 2023. We wanted to bring insights to nonprofits on how their supporters are re-evaluating their commitment in face of an uncertain financial outlook. We explored how they may behave differently moving forward and what will entice them to engage more deeply and generously with the organizations they support.
Amidst an uncertain economic outlook, Canadians are re-evaluating how they support charities.
- Two-thirds (63%) of Canadian donors and volunteers are concerned about their person or family’s financial health in the next 12 months.
- More than a third (39%) will stop or reduce their charitable donations in the next 12 months.
- More than a quarter (26%) will either stop volunteering, reduce their volunteer hours, or keep volunteering but support fewer charities in the next 12 months.
We are encouraged by Canadians’ enthusiasm to continue their support for different charitable causes. However, many are seeking different ways to support charities.
- 69% of respondents, across all age groups, said they are likely to support charitable causes through shopping at a business or brand that donates a portion of the sales to charities.
- 60% of respondents said they are likely to support charitable causes by signing a petition to advocate for a charitable cause, with the younger generation sharing more enthusiasm – 68% age 18 – 34 and 63% age 35 – 54.
Canadians are becoming more strategic and expecting more transparency with the nonprofits they choose to support. The survey found that supporters are paying close attention to charities’ efficiencies and how they are being engaged digitally as a criterion to earn their support:
- 86% of respondents said they are more likely to donate to a charity if they know the charity is operating efficiently.
- 83% think charities with up-to-date web sites, digital processes and communications can make it easier for donors and volunteers to give back.
- 73% of respondents believe charities that are taking advantage of available technologies are operating more efficiently.
- 66% support the use of automation technologies to reduce overhead costs.
For our Canadian communities to continue to thrive in a safe, healthy, and inclusive environment, we, as corporate leaders, have a shared responsibility to support our nonprofits to enable them to excel in their mission. Our Grow Together report initiative is the emblem of this belief. And we are doing more. We are actively working with Canadian nonprofits through our tech software and local grassroots initiatives to empower them with ideas and smart use of technologies to gain efficiencies.
As we navigate the potential economic tailwind ahead, Sage is committed to bringing data-led industry insights, our expertise and technologies, and our passion to serve our nonprofit communities. We invite you to share our journey to grow together to build a stronger future for Canada.
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