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January 08, 2022

Canadians to donate, volunteer more in 2010

A cruel by-product of tough financial times is the need to look out for number one.

It’s not ideal, but let’s call this one like it is: when money’s tight and job prospects are dim, human nature dictates we’re going to take care of our own affairs first.

Yet while any charitable efforts we may have likely hit the backburner, the most important thing is the rebound. When the economy repairs, will we resume helping others?

If you believe one poll, yes.

The Financial Post reports Canadians will donate and volunteer much more in 2010, presumably on the heels of a fixed economy and the eased stress of better finances.

According to the survey, run by the Investors Group, 29% of Canucks say they plan to donate more time to charities this year, while 19% will give more money.

By contrast, last year Canadians were only able to volunteer 13 hours each month and just over a thousand bucks ($1,041) for 2009 to non-profit organizations.

“Because of the poor economy, 63% said they were unable to give as much as they would have preferred,” writes the Financial Post.

While things do look primed to recover, the recession’s impact on charity remains one of the more underreported storylines during the downturn.

A prime example is with Bernie Madoff and his multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme. Everyone heard about the greedy financier and his investor victims, but what wasn’t as widely known is the hit non-profits took when Madoff’s pyramid crumbled.

At least three foundations Madoff supported – which included hospitals, theatres and Jewish organizations – were forced to shut or are dealing with plans to close up shop.

“We’ve seen financial supporters who were personally invested in (Madoff) no longer having the capacity to give charitable donations because of what happened,” said one source.

Of course, while we’re not quite out of the clear yet, experts maintain – in Madoff’s camp or otherwise – that even the smallest donation is welcome.

“Regardless of how much you give,” said Richard Irish, VP of community affairs for Investors Group, “it’s the cumulative power of donations that makes a significant difference to those in need.”

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money   



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...