Canadians are still most likely to have donated money in response to a traditional request by a charity: half (51%) have done so in the past year, making either a one-time or a monthly donation. At the same time, many are giving to causes to which they feel a personal connection. One in four (24%), for instance, has made a peer-to-peer donation to sponsor or pledge someone who is fundraising for a charity, while two in ten (20%) have donated in memory of a specific individual or family member.
Crowdfunding is also an established means of giving to charity, with nearly two in ten Canadians (16%) having donated to a crowdfunding cause like a GoFundMe page in the past twelve months. A further one in four (26%) have donated money through some other means over the past year.
When it comes to how they like to be approached for donations, Canadians show even more willingness to move away from the traditional model. While four in ten (44%) express a preference for traditional fundraising requests by charities looking for a one-time or monthly donation, one in four (25%) say they prefer a more personal, direct approach like peer-to-peer sponsorship (15%) or crowdfunding (10%), and a further three in ten (31%) say they’re open to anything, having no specific preference.
Fundraising preferences vary significantly by age. Baby Boomers (54%) are the most likely to prefer being solicited through traditional requests, compared to Gen X’ers (43%) or Millennials (33%). By contrast, Millennials (17%) lead the way on crowdfunding, preferring this option to a greater extent than their Gen X (11%) or Boomer (5%) counterparts.
Looking to the future, the pattern is about the same: half of Canadians (51%) see themselves donating more money in response to traditional requests by charities, leaving one in four (27%) who think they’ll donate more through peer-to-peer (15%) or crowdfunding (12%), and two in ten (22%) who say they’ll donate about evenly across the three types.
The same age distinctions are visible in future intentions to donate, with Boomers (61%) being most likely to say they’ll donate more in response to traditional requests (vs. 50% of Gen X’ers and 39% of Millennials), and Millennials (20%) being the most likely to say they’ll donate more through crowdfunding (vs. 13% of Gen X’ers and 5% of Boomers).
About the Study
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between October 10 and October 17, 2017, on behalf of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. For this survey, a sample of 1,500 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.