According to the most recent edition of The Giving Report from CanadaHelps, more than 30 per cent of charities in Canada have reported a significant drop in revenue and over half say they have fewer volunteers than in previous years, challenging their ability to deliver essential services to an estimated two in ten Canadians in need.
The report, which is an annual look at Canada’s charitable sector and the state of giving there, identifies a wide range of issues and challenges. There has been an unprecedented growth in the demand for charitable services, as inflation and economic pressures have put pressure on households.
Some 40 per cent of charities report a higher level of demand now than before the pandemic, and 57 per cent say they are unable to meet the current demand for their services, with 22 per cent reporting that demand significantly exceeds capacity. At the same time, 22 per cent of Canadians say they will need charitable services to meet their essential needs in the next six months.
Financial support for charities is also no longer keeping up with demand. Funds raised are reported to be down for many charities, with a third reporting that funding is less than it was before the pandemic, even before considering inflation.
‘This year’s report makes it abundantly clear that many Canadian charities are beginning to buckle under the strain of increased demand for services and stalled revenues, and we are now at a point where the majority of charities cannot meet demand,’ said Duke Chang, President and CEO of CanadaHelps. ‘Canadians can support charities impacted by these challenges by going back to volunteering, recognizing the need for donations to fund capacity building, and being part of the change by advocating for their favourite causes to their elected representatives.’