The 2015 BMO Charitable Giving Poll: Canadians Planning to Donate an Average of Almost $700 in the Next Year


– The average holiday donation expected to be $167

– We’re here to help: BMO’s partnership with ChangeIt provides a secure and easy way to make charitable donations

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired) – The 2015 BMO Charitable Giving Survey, released (this week) to mark National Philanthropy Day (November 12th), found that 80 per cent of Canadians plan to make a charitable donation in the next 12 months, averaging an annual total of $694.

The report, conducted by Pollara, also found that while the percentage of people planning to donate is down ten percentage points from last year, it is in line with the four year average of 81 per cent dating back to 2012.

Annual Donations – Regional Breakdown:

Overall Atlantic Quebec Ontario Prairies Alberta BC
2015 $694.11 $640.48 $275.49 $622.60 $948.44 $981.93 $1,235.61
2014 $719.79 $836.50 $239.47 $861.91 $1108.77 $1087.79 $593.11

Marvi Ricker, Philanthropic Services, BMO Wealth Management, noted that while the average annual donation total is down from last year, Canadians are still continuing to follow a trend of generosity.

“Canadians continue to demonstrate their generosity in supporting worthy causes. Charitable giving can provide a real sense of personal satisfaction, engagement and the ability to make a difference,” said Ms. Ricker.

Last year, BMO Bank of Montreal partnered with ChangeIt, an innovative platform that offers Canadians the ability to donate to their favourite charities in a convenient and secure way by rounding up their BMO MasterCard purchases. The technology allows BMO customers to:

  • Track donations online and control rounding up preferences
  • Set monthly maximums and receive donation summaries
  • Receive receipts for Income Tax purposes for every penny donated

“The ChangeIt partnership has helped us offer a more convenient and secure way for our customers to give back, which is especially helpful during the holiday season when giving is on the minds of many Canadians,” said Nick Mastromarco, Managing Director, North American Retail Payments, BMO Bank of Montreal.

ChangeIt is also the giving engine behind the AIR MILES® Reward Program, which recently unveiled a new way for Collectors to make a difference in communities across Canada with a new option to turn Miles into charitable donations. Collectors can use their Cash Miles to donate to causes that matter to them. Donations can be made in increments of $10 and Collectors have the flexibility of spreading their donation across multiple charities.

Are Canadians in a Giving Mood This Holiday Season?

The report also revealed that 69 per cent of Canadians plan to donate during the holiday season this year, compared to 75 per cent last year. The average holiday contribution is expected to be $167.

Holiday Donations – Regional Breakdown:

Overall Atlantic Quebec Ontario Prairies Alberta BC
2015 $167.06 $138.33 $87.60 $149.94 $188.22 $300.52 $245.81
2014 $236.30 $131.68 $65.78 $363.20 $258.55 $200.16 $220.49

Despite the overall decrease, more than half (54 per cent) said they plan to donate about the same amount to charities this holiday season as last year, and one-in-ten (13 per cent) plan to donate more.

Mr. Mastromarco added that another way for Canadians to give is by leveraging reward points, which can offset their out-of-pocket costs.

“While Canadians have different options available to them, such as the ChangeIt round-up technology, those who are prioritizing paying down debt or increasing their savings can consider leveraging reward programs for their annual giving.”

For instance, Mr. Mastromarco noted that as of December, BMO World Elite MasterCard customers will be able to redeem their BMO Rewards points to use for donations to more than 86,000 charities, powered through ChangeIt.

To learn more about how to sign up for ChangeIt using your BMO MasterCard, click here.

To find out more about the BMO Rewards program, click here.

To learn more about the AIR MILES® Reward Program and how to use Cash Miles to donate to charity, click here.

The survey results cited from the 2015 BMO Charitable Giving Report conducted by Pollara were compiled from a random sample of 1,000 Canadians 18 years of age and over between October 21 and October 22, 2015. A probability sample of this size would yield results accurate to ± 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services provider based in North America. With total assets of approximately $672 billion as of July 31, 2015, and more than 47,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.