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Mackenzie Philanthropy Day Study: Eighty Per cent of Canadians Plan to Make a Charitable Donation in 2020

    •   Health, community welfare and humanitarian efforts are the most popular causes Canadians support
    •   More than half are seeking advice on how to maximize impact and give in a tax efficient manner
    •   Mackenzie Charitable Giving Program helps integrate giving into an overall financial plan 

TORONTO, ON ­– November 10, 2020 – In advance of National Philanthropy Day (November 15), Mackenzie Investments today released its inaugural 2020 Canadian Charitable Giving Pulse Check, which shows that, despite the economic disruption caused by COVID-19, Canadians continue to show themselves to be a generous group.

Eighty-three per cent of Canadians surveyed have either already donated or plan to donate to a charitable cause in 2020. Further, the average estimated amount donated per person is $585. However, COVID-19 has had an impact on people’s ability to give, with 40 per cent stating that they have had to reduce the amount they planned to give this year as a result of the financial impact caused by the pandemic.

The study, conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights, also identified the most popular causes people are supporting. These include:

    •   medical services and research (54 per cent);
    •   local and social services organizations – including sports and recreation, youth development, food banks, and shelter services (47 per cent); and
    •   humanitarian and relief organizations (35 per cent).

“It says a lot about the character of Canadians that they’re continuing to support charities in such great numbers despite the challenges they’ve faced this year,” said Carol Bezaire, Vice-President, Tax, Estate & Strategic Philanthropy, Mackenzie Investments. “The need is greater than ever, so we all have a role to play in helping others and in ensuring that we’re maximizing the impact of our giving.”

While respondents reported being relatively well informed about how to manage their donations, a significant number are seeking additional insight and advice in key areas:

    •   57 per cent would like to understand how to maximize the impact of their donation;
    •   50 per cent would like to learn how to manage donations in a tax-efficient manner; and 
    •   52 per cent are interested in general best practices and strategies when donating to charities.

Ms. Bezaire believes that this presents a significant opportunity for Canada’s financial advisors to reinforce the value of advice and help provide clients with additional insight on charitable giving strategies. She noted that a donor advised fund, such as the Mackenzie Charitable Giving Program, is one option available to investors who are looking to make regular giving part of their overall financial plan. It is similar to creating a private foundation, but with easier setup and lower costs. Mackenzie’s study found that awareness for such a program amongst Canadians is low (18 per cent) but, once explained, 39 per cent said they are likely to consider participating.

“The Mackenzie Charitable Giving Program was built for a moment like this. It’s convenient, it offers immediate tax benefits, and it allows Canadians to build a lasting legacy to support causes that are meaningful to them,” said Ms. Bezaire. “For many investors, success goes beyond meeting their own financial goals – it’s having the ability to make a difference.” 

About Mackenzie Investments

Mackenzie Investments (“Mackenzie”) is a leading investment management firm with $144.5 billion in assets under management as of October 31, 2020. Mackenzie provides investment solutions and related services to more than one million retail and institutional clients through multiple distribution channels. Founded in 1967, Mackenzie is a global asset manager with offices across Canada as well as in Boston, Dublin, London, Hong Kong and Beijing. Mackenzie is a member of IGM Financial Inc. (TSX: IGM), one of Canada's premier financial services companies with approximately $193 billion in total assets under management as of October 31, 2020. For more information, visit

About the Pollara Survey

This study was conducted with an online sample of 1,276 Canadians 18 years and older. The survey was conducted between September 14 and September 21, 2020. Results from a probability sample of this size could be considered accurate to within ±2.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Results have been weighted based on age, gender, and region to be representative of the Canadian population.  

For further information, please contact:

Rebecca Ellison
Mackenzie Investments