Tis' the season to give, right?
Manitobans certainly think so, and they're putting it to practice. For the fourteenth consecutive year, Manitoba ranks number one in generosity, according to the Generosity Index released annually by the Fraser Institute. Using the most recent data from 2010, the study showed more Manitobans gave donations to charity, with Prince Edward Island tying for second place alongside Saskatchewan.
But don't pat yourselves on the back just yet, Canada — there's room for improvement. You may be surprised to find out that your neighbours south of the border are even more generous. Despite being number one in Canada, Manitoba doesn't come close to almost anywhere in the U.S., ranking 39th among all 10 provinces, three territories, each of the 50 states, and Washington, DC. The report also indicated that the extent of charitable giving by the provinces hasn't improved, as donations have plummeted since 2010, especially in Ontario.
Utah, which ranked first in generosity, made charitable donations totalling almost three-and-a-half times more than what Manitobans gave. Maryland came in second, followed by Connecticut. The Index measures generosity by collecting data on the number of tax filers who donated to charity in each region, as well as the amount of aggregate personal income donated. Average donations per person were not factored into the index.
So what does this mean for Canadian charities?
"While there are differences in charitable giving between Canadian provinces, Americans on the whole continue to donate to registered charities at a higher rate than we do here in Canada. This generosity gap certainly limits the ability of Canadian charities to serve their communities and provide critical services to those in need," Charles Lammam, associate director of the Fraser Institute, said in a press release. "Had Canadians donated to registered charities at the same rate as Americans, Canada's charities would have received an additional $9.2 billion in private support in 2010.”
A Statistics Canada report released in 2012 that measured charitable giving among Canadians found the most commonly cited reason for not giving was, "They could not afford to give more." It also indicated that men are a little less likely to donate than women. The full 2012 Generosity Index report can be accessed here, via the Fraser Institute.
So which Canadian province came in last? Check out the slideshow below to find out how all the other provinces ranked: