For Christmas, Canadians (84%) Would Prefer To Receive Gifts That Help Others

Eight In Ten (77%) Canadians Say They Don't Need Anything For Christmas This Year

Toronto, ON - Choosing an appropriate gift for a family member, friend or colleague is often a tricky task, especially when they are a difficult person to buy for. A new Ipsos Reid poll finds that most Canadians (84%) either `strongly' (37%) or `somewhat agree' (47%) that they would prefer to receive a meaningful gift that would help someone else, rather than a traditional gift like a pair of socks or a sweater. While four in ten (36%) Canadians say that they want something in particular for Christmas this year, eight in ten (77%) Canadians say that they themselves do not need anything for Christmas this year.

Noting that healthcare (98%), food (97%), education (96%) and shelter (92%) are among the greatest human needs in the world today, perhaps some Canadians are recognizing that there are others in the world less fortunate than many of the people in Canada, and as such are willing to dispense with traditional Christmas gifts in favour of charitable gifts. In fact, four in ten (37%) Canadians say that they have given a charitable gift in someone else's name, while 15% indicate that they have been on the receiving end of such a gift.

Additionally, from among individuals who typically receive gifts from suppliers and vendors at work, seven in ten (68%) say that they would prefer to receive a charitable gift in the name of their company as oppose to typical holiday office gifts like greeting cards, pens, or calendars.

These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of World Vision Canada from June 21 to June 25, 2007. For the survey, a representative randomly selected sample of 1429 adults was interviewed via Ipsos Reid's I-Say online panel. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within 1772.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure that the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Census data.

What Canadians Need For Christmas...Nothing?

Remarkably, just four in ten (36%) Canadians indicate that there are items that they want for Christmas this year. However, less than one quarter (22%) of Canadians indicate that there is something that they themselves need for Christmas this year. But from among those individuals who indicate that they need something for Christmas, many of their needs are not exceedingly material. While some indicate that they need money (20%), clothes (14%), and furniture (6%), many Canadians say that they need more time with their family and friends (8%), an improvement to their health (5%), world peace (5%), food (4%), love (3%), and a place to live (3%).

Perhaps recognizing that they have everything that they need, nearly eight in ten (77%) say that they do not need anything for Christmas.

  • Older Canadians, aged 55 and up, are most likely to say that they don't need anything, with 86% indicating so, compared to three quarters of individuals aged 35 to 54 (74%) and aged 18 to 34 (72%).
  • Residents of Alberta (84%) have the highest propensity to say that they don't need anything for Christmas, while those in Quebec are the least likely to indicate that they don't need anything (71%).
  • 84% of Canadians whose families earn in excess of $60,000 a year indicate that they do not need anything, while just two thirds (67%) of Canadians whose families earn less than $30,000 a year indicate that they don't need anything.

Canadians (84%) Would Prefer To Receive A Gift That Helps Someone Else...

Demonstrating their generosity and compassion, 84% of Canadians `strongly' (37%) or `somewhat agree' (47%) that they would prefer to receive a meaningful gift that would help someone else, rather than another traditional gift like a pair of socks or a sweater. Just 16% disagree that they would prefer to receive a gift of this nature.

  • Women (88%) are more likely than men (80%) to agree that they would prefer to receive a gift that would help someone else.
  • Older Canadians, aged 55 and older, are more likely (91%) than younger Canadians (79%), aged 18 to 34, to indicate that they would prefer to receive a meaningful gift that would help someone else as opposed to a traditional gift.
  • Quebecers and residents of Manitoba and Saskatchewan (each at 86%) are more likely than residents of British Columbia (81%) to agree that they would prefer to receive a gift that would help someone else as opposed to a traditional gift.

Canadians Give Charitable Gifts More Than They Receive...

Despite large proportions of Canadians indicating that they would prefer to receive gifts that would help someone else, just 15% of Canadians report that they have received a charitable gift. However, four in ten (37%) Canadians report that they have in fact given a charitable gift in someone else's name.

  • Nearly half (48%) of Canadians in Ontario report that they have given a charitable gift at one point or another, while just one in ten (11%) Quebecers indicate that they have done the same.
  • Women (44%) are more likely than men (31%) to indicate that they have given a charitable gift in someone else's name.
  • Older Canadians, aged 55 and up, are more likely (51%) than younger Canadians (21%), aged 18 to 34, to indicate that they have given a charitable gift in someone else's name.
  • Women (19%) are more likely than men (12%) to have received a charitable gift.
  • One quarter (21%) of Canadian parents agree that they would prefer if their child received a charitable gift in their name from their friends and relatives, such as a goat or school supplies for a child in a developing country. One third (31%) of parents who hold a university degree would prefer that their child receives this type of gift.

Seven In Ten (68%) Would Like To Receive Charitable Gifts At Work...

Typically, the Christmas season at the workplace means another exchange of coffee mugs, pens, and calendars. However, seven in ten (68%) Canadians say that they would appreciate it more if a supplier or vendor gave them or their company a charitable gift as opposed to typical holiday gifts like greeting cards, pens, or calendars.

  • Women (81%) are more likely than men (57%) to indicate that, in their role at work, they would prefer to receive a charitable gift from a supplier or vendor than a typical holiday gift like greeting cards, pens, or calendars.
  • Residents of Quebec are the most likely (74%) to indicate that, in their role at work, they would prefer to receive a charitable gift form a supplier or a vendor. Only a slim majority (54%) of British Columbians agree that they would appreciate this type of gift more than a typical holiday gift.

For more information on this news release, please contact:
Sean Simpson
Research Manager
Ipsos Reid
Public Affairs
(416) 572-4474
Sean.Simpson@Ipsos-Reid.com

About Ipsos Reid
Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

To learn more, please visit www.ipsos.ca.

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