Despite the economic disruption caused by COVID-19, most Canadians plan to give to charity in 2020, according to Mackenzie Investments inaugural 2020 Canadian Charitable Giving Pulse Check, released Nov. 10.

According to the study, conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights, 83% of Canadians surveyed have either already donated or plan to donate to a charitable cause in 2020. The average estimated amount donated per person is $585.

Impact of COVID-19

The research showed, however, that COVID-19 has had an impact on people's ability to give, with 40 per cent stating that they have had to reduce the amount they planned to give this year as a result of the financial impact caused by the pandemic.

Most popular causes

The most popular causes people are supporting include: medical services and research (54 per cent); local and social services organizations – including sports and recreation, youth development, food banks, and shelter services (47 per cent); and humanitarian and relief organizations (35 per cent).

"It says a lot about the character of Canadians that they're continuing to support charities in such great numbers despite the challenges they've faced this year," said Carol Bezaire, Vice-President, Tax, Estate & Strategic Philanthropy, Mackenzie Investments. "The need is greater than ever, so we all have a role to play in helping others and in ensuring that we're maximizing the impact of our giving."

Seeking advice

The study also revealed that many Canadians are seeking additional insight and advice in key areas: 57 per cent would like to understand how to maximize the impact of their donation; 50 per cent would like to learn how to manage donations in a tax-efficient manner; and 52 per cent are interested in general best practices and strategies when donating to charities.

Bezaire says she believes this presents a significant opportunity for financial advisors to reinforce the value of advice and help provide clients with additional insight on charitable giving strategies.