Charities can Still Depend on Canadians’ Generosity in Uncertain Times

Attitudes Toward Charitable Giving & Digital Fundraising in the Age of Covid”

At this week’s IAB Canada Community Uninterrupted webinar, we were thrilled to be joined by Jay Aber, Founder and President of The Aber Group who presented some fascinating insights from the Aber Group’s Wave 3 results of their joint study with Blakely “Attitudes Toward Charitable Giving & Digital Fundraising in the Age of Covid”. Aber provided a unique snapshot of both Canadian and US sentiments toward giving and how the pandemic has impacted these ever so important donors at a time when charitable organizations need help more than ever.

In Wave 1 and 2 of the study, which we presented earlier this year, it was evident that people were in the mood to give. When COVID-19 hit North America hard in March people were really interested in giving back locally and were giving more in the months between March and May. According to the study, at the onset of the pandemic, 47% of Canadians said they would try to donate more in 2020. Now that we are entering almost 8 months of living with at least some restrictions, did these predictions come true and are people still feeling as charitable?

Wave 3 reporting showed us that North Americans are saving for dark days ahead with 39% saying the worst is still yet to come. While the majority of Canadians (71%) are expecting another lockdown in the coming days, we still do not see a drop in giving. Of all of the Canadian respondents, 48% said they would still make a donation by the end of the year. Canadian women and those in the older demographic are more likely to give but not to be ignored, are the younger donors aged 35-44 who are the second highest givers and represent a huge opportunity for charities. Givers are looking to fill an urgent need, receive a tax receipt and are also exploring the idea of giving to a BIPOC related cause.

Some key takeaways from the comprehensive study:

  • Most people plan on giving by year end
  • Audience and message segmentation are key
  • Passion for cause is the top reason to give
    • transparency and trust in a charity sitting at number two
  • Some Canadians are interested in monthly giving
  • And although Q4 maybe a tougher fundraising periods than Q2 and Q3, stay optimistic as people will continue to give to Covid and non-Covid related causes

Aber capped off this truly inspiring session with a list of the three things charities should be focusing on in the digital space:

  1. Make sure the plumbing works on your website – get the basics like tagging right
  2. Maximize the use of first party data
  3. Leverage available grants and funding for charities and apply for aid!

Stay tuned for Wave 4 results and if you have any questions about the survey or would like more information please reach out to