Dissecting donor demographics

Who are the most generous donors to charities in B.C.? Empty-nested, married baby boomers with a university degree.

Who are the most generous donors to charities in B.C.? Empty-nested, married baby boomers with a university degree.

According to Statistics Canada’s Caring Canadians report, the bulk of the $1.7 billion in donations made to charities in 2010 came from baby boomers (45 to 64) who were married and had completed a post-secondary diploma or university degree.

Most of the donations came from donors with more than $100,000 in household income that either didn’t have children or had adult children that no longer lived at home.

The report noted that, on average, 80% of British Columbians donated to charities in 2010. The age group with the highest proportion of donors was in the 35 to 44 age bracket, although their average annual donation was under $500 compared with more than $850 for those between the ages of 55 and 64.

While men donated more money in 2010, a larger proportion of women were donors (82.4% versus 77.8% of men).

As generous as British Columbians were, however, they were a relatively smaller group compared with the national average. The report noted more men (82%) and women (86%) donated to a charity in Canada.

Overall, the report confirmed that Canadians donated the most to areas that were most applicable to their stage in life. For example, while health and social services received the largest proportion of donations regardless of age, the donation rate was highest among baby-boomers approaching retirement when they would more likely need those services.

The largest proportion of donors giving to education and research and sports and recreation charities was highest among Canadians between 25 and 45, the age groups most likely to be raising a family. 

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