What Makes Canadians Tick and Give

When I lived in the US for nearly six years, it was usually subtle things—like the pronunciation of ‘about’ or saying ‘holiday’ instead of ‘vacation’—that made people realize I’m Canadian. (There was also the time that I mentioned thongs in the office when referring to flip-flops, but that’s a whole other blog post.) I spent much of that period involved in the nonprofit sector, personally and professionally. Every time I read research about nonprofits, it was usually focused on the US, leaving me with little choice but to hope that the data could be applied north of the border as well. So, imagine how jazzed I was to hear about a recent study that examines how four generations of Canadians give. Finally, a look into what makes Canadian donors tick and give.

So what surprised me about the findings? First of all that, on the whole, it’s about twice as common for Canadian donors than US donors to say they support friends or family who are raising money for a charity. What’s the driver behind this fact? Is it that Canadians have a hard time saying no to others? Or are we more open with our wallets? Well, possibly a bit of both.

The second finding that jumped out at me was that 25 percent of Canadian donors give as part of a monthly giving program versus 14 percent of US donors. This stat is intriguing. I would love to know if, over the course of a year, the total amount donated is similar.

The third nugget was that US donors are more likely to be giving through their mobile phones (8 percent for US donors vs. 3 percent for Canadian donors). I’m not sure why there’s a lag in the adoption of mobile giving in Canada, but there is. The good news about this stat is that there’s plenty of upside potential for this channel in both countries.

There’s plenty more to sink your teeth into if you’re interested in the multichannel preferences and charitable habits of Generation X, Generation Y, Boomers, and Civics in Canada.