Canadian Statistics

General Fundraising

The information below is from the National Survey of Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations, which was a national survey of non-profit organizations in Canada conducted in 2003. The survey results cover 161,000 registered and non-registered Canadian nonprofit and voluntary organizations. This information is useful to include in your presentation to your boards or committees to give them the "Big Picture".

  1. Number of registered charities in Canada?
    There were approximately 81,000 registered charities in 2003, out of 161,000 nonprofit and voluntary organizations.
  2. What percentage of the Canadian economy does the charitable sector represent?
    In 2003, nonprofit organizations in Canada had total revenues of $112 billion dollars, or 9% of Canada's total GDP. One-third of these revenues can be attributed to a relatively few hospitals, colleges and universities, leaving the remaining organizations with reported revenues of $75 billion.
  3. How many Canadian are employed in the charitable sector?
    In 2003, just over 2 million people were employed by nonprofit and voluntary organizations. Again, hospitals, colleges and universities provided just over one-third of this employment. As well, these organizations drew on 2 billion volunteer hours a year.
  4. What percentage of the Canadian charitable sector receives government grants?
    Almost 100% of Canadian charities receive some government monies.
  5. What levels of government provides the grants i.e.; mostly federal, provincial, municipal?
    49% of all revenues reported by nonprofit and voluntary organizations came from government sources, with 40% from provincial sources, 7% from the federal government, and 2% from municipal governments.
  6. Sources of charitable revenue and percentage breakdown of each.
    • Government - 49%
    • Federal - 7%
    • Provincial - 40%
    • Municipal - 2%
    • Earned income from non-government sources - 35%
    • Fees from goods and services - 20%
    • Membership fees - 10%
    • Investment income - 4%
    • Charitable gaming - 1%
    • Gifts and Donations - 13%
    • Individuals - 8%
    • Corporate sponsorships, donations and grants - 3%
    • Foundations - 1%
    • Other Sources - 3%
  7. What are the main fundraising challenges for the charitable sector?
    • Reductions in government funding
    • Funders reluctant to fund administrative costs that cannot be directly tied to a project or a program. They have unrealistic expectations and fail to adequately understand how the ability to pay administrative and overhead costs (e.g. salaries, technical infrastructure, etc.) would ultimately lead to improved organizational operations.
    • Difficulty accessing long-term funding requires organizations to spend excessive amounts of time reapplying or searching for new funding to support programs and limits their ability to do long-term planning.
    • Follow-up reporting requirements from funders are growing, which has increased demands on organizations' administrative time and resources.
    • Funders increasingly requiring organizations to make joint submissions with project partners and to demonstrate that they have secured funding from other sources before extending their support

Planned Giving Fundraising

Planned Giving was not covered in any detail in the National Survey of Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations. The following results about planned giving come from a survey undertaken in 2006 by the Innovative Research Group on behalf of Canadian Fund Raiser. Results represent the input from 1,072 registered Canadian charities.

  1. What percentage of charitable revenue comes from planned giving fundraising?
    • 62% of charities surveyed reported that planned giving covered less than 10% of their revenues.
    • 80% of charities reported that it covered less than 20% of their revenues.
  2. Percentage of registered charities that have a planned giving program?
    • 71% of charities surveyed use planned giving
  3. Percentage of registered charities that have a dedicated planned giving staff person?
    • 39% of the charities surveyed have an employee spending most or all of their time on planned giving.
    • At the high end of the spectrum, 57% of respondents employed by hospital foundation have an employee dedicated to planned giving, while at the low end
    • Only 24% of respondents employed by smaller community charities have an employee dedicated to planned giving.
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