What do you support?

Charitable giving-word-cloud

Did you know that there are over 170,000 charitable and non-profit organizations in Canada and 85,000 of these are registered charities? (source: Imagine Canada.) This means there are many organizations looking for support and many more ways to support them.

But why should we support charities? They are part of our social fabric providing programs and services that are not covered government. They give us the chance to give back to our communities, show compassion for those in need and support causes with which we have a personal connection.

So what speaks to you? Why do you give?

My charitable giving has changed over my lifetime and the ways in which I support charities. And it is always a reflection of my involvement in my community. From participating in fundraising in my youth; to attending events early in my career; to payroll giving; and coming full circle to fundraising once again.

There are organizations that encourage greater involvement in the charitable sector including ‘Giv3.’ This is a foundation that is encouraging Canadians to be more giving by volunteering, donating to charities, and inspire friends, family and community to get involved.

According to Giv3, our financial and volunteering support to charities is on the decline, however this is based on information from the CRA on the number of tax receipts submitted and may not reflect total giving. They also note “the average level of giving is 0.8% of income. Wealthier Canadians give even less (relative to their income) than average Canadians.” This is why they are encouraging everyone to give a little more and become more involved.

They are involved in The Great Canadian Giving Challenge alongside Canada Helps to encourage more giving during the month of June. Any charities that receive donations through this campaign have the chance to win $10,000. The winning charity will be announced on Canada Day. I’ll be watching to see if my charity, Humber River Hospital wins this prize! And next year I’ll see if it’s possible to include my son’s school in this campaign!

I also love Giv3’s Granny’s Club initiative. It is based on the experience of the founder, John Hallward. His grandmother gave him money for his birthday with the instructions to donate all of it to charity as he explains in this video:

I’ve seen different versions of this in action with younger children. I attended a child’s birthday party and was offered the opportunity to contribute money instead of a gift. Half the money went to a charity of the family’s choosing and the other half went to a gift for the child. I also encourage my children to donate a portion of their birthday money to charity so that they understand the importance of giving back to community and helping those less fortunate.

No matter what you support, it is the fact that you support your community that counts.

We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.

– Winston Churchill 

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