Last week, CanadaHelps, the country's largest platform for donating and fundraising online, has published the findings from a new Ipsos poll that reveals 24% percent of Canadians (up from 22% last year) say they expect to need support from charitable services within the next six months to meet essential needs such as food, shelter, or health services – 42% of which are under the age of 35.
“Sadly, we all likely know or are connected to someone relying on the services of a food bank, shelter or other essential charitable service for basic day-to-day needs. Given the immense need, it is clear that more support is urgently needed,” said Duke Chang, President and CEO of CanadaHelps. “As a country known for its generosity, it is incumbent upon each of us to do what we can to help Canadian charities that are on the front lines providing essential services to our fellow Canadians who are struggling.”
“Food bank use rose to the highest levels in Canadian history in 2023, with almost two million visits in one month alone,” says Kirstin Beardsley, Chief Executive Officer of Food Banks Canada. “Relentless inflation and a broken social safety net have caused many people who never thought they would need a food bank to walk through the doors for the first time. As so many people in communities across Canada face unprecedented challenges, we all need to work together towards a Canada where no one goes hungry.”
Rising cost of living is fueling demand for charitable services
Among the 20% of Canadians currently using charitable services to meet essential needs—
• seven in 10 (69%) say this is the first time they have needed access to charitable services for necessities such as food and shelter,
• more than half (54%) say this is because of the rising cost of living, followed by a mental health issue (23%), or physical health issue (23%),
• other reasons include lost employment (19%), providing caregiver support (17%), domestic violence (10%), fighting addiction (9%), or some other reason (4%).
More Canadians planning to give less to charity
The poll also reveals that compared to last year, Canadians are more likely to say they do not give financially to charities and less likely to say they will give the same amount this year as last year.
• 19% of Canadians say they will give less to charity this year, while 15% say they will give more.
• Giving increases among younger age groups, with 31% of those aged 18-34 saying they will give more to charities this year, compared to 13% of those aged 35-54 and only 6% of those aged 55+.
CanadaHelps is a public foundation advancing philanthropy through technology. For Canadians, it powers CanadaHelps.org, a safe and trusted destination for discovering and supporting any charity in Canada, and UniteforChange.com, where Canadians can learn about causes and easily support the collective work of charities addressing a cause they care about. Connect with CanadaHelps on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.