Canadians plan to be more generous in 2010

Investors Group poll shows increases planned for contributions of both time and money

WINNIPEG, Dec. 21 /CNW/ - The dawning of the New Year will bring larger donations and more volunteer hours to Canada's non-profit organizations according to Canadians who responded to a new poll released by Investors Group.

Volunteer efforts are expected to see the largest increase with three-in-ten (29 per cent) Canadians saying they plan to donate more time to worthwhile causes in 2010. But financial contributions are also expected to enjoy an upswing, with two-in-ten (19 per cent) saying they plan to increase the size of their donations next year.

On average, Canadians contributed 13 hours a month to volunteer work and donated $1,041 to non-profit organizations in 2009. While financial contributions to charity were constrained by economic conditions in the past year (63 per cent said they were not able to give as much as they wanted), the average estimated annual donation still compares well with Canadians' estimated spending on holiday gifts - $607 this year.

"In a year when demand has increased among non-profit organizations of all stripes, it's good to see Canadians are giving what they can, even if it's not as much as they would like," said Richard Irish, Vice-President of Community Affairs for Investors Group. "Regardless of how much you give, it's the cumulative power of donations that makes a significant difference to those in need."

Easier to give money, not time

While volunteering provided the most personal satisfaction, more Canadians chose to make a financial contribution than provide their personal time. Giving time was seen as most satisfying by seven-in-ten (69 per cent) survey respondents, but eight-in-ten (80 per cent) said they donated money this year compared to half (52 per cent) who said they volunteered.

Causes most compelling reasons to give

For most Canadians, a cause that matters to them was seen as stronger motivation to volunteer time or donate money than tax breaks or receiving personal recognition. Nine-in-ten (90 per cent) survey respondents said the cause was a key factor in their decision, while 34 per cent cited tax credits and just three percent indicated they were motivated by the chance to receive public recognition.

Local initiatives are the favourite choice among Canadians, with nine-in-ten (89 per cent) indicating they usually volunteer locally and eight-in-ten (82 per cent) saying they donate to local organizations and causes. And Canadians appear to be taking a planned approach to their "good works" rather than leaving it to the end of the year or the holiday season. Only seven per cent said they made most of their charitable donations in December and just three per cent said they volunteered mainly in the final month of the year.

"Building better communities takes both time and money," Irish said. "It is encouraging to see that Canadians are planning to increase their commitment in the coming year."

About the Survey Methodology: The Harris/Decima data was gathered between December 1st and December 14th 2009 through Harris/Decima's national online panel. All sample surveys are subject to multiple sources of error. With a pure random sample of this size, the margin of error would be 3.1% 19 times out of 20.

Investors Group is committed to making a contribution to the many communities across Canada in which we operate by supporting local and national activities, events and organizations. Investors Group is a founding member of Imagine Canada and is committed to donating at least one percent of our average annual pre-tax income to charitable and other non-profit organizations. For 12 years Investors Group has partnered with Volunteer Canada and is a founding member of the Corporate Council on Volunteering. Investors Group's commitment to community has been recognized over the years. In December 2009, the company received the Canadian Investment Awards Corporate Citizenship award for the 4th time.

Investors Group, founded in 1926, is a national leader in delivering personalized financial solutions to Canadians through a network of approximately 4,600 Consultants located throughout Canada. In addition to an exclusive family of mutual funds and other investment vehicles, Investors Group offers a wide range of insurance, securities, mortgage and other financial services. Investors Group is a member of the IGM Financial Inc. (TSX: IGM) group of companies. IGM Financial is one of Canada's premier financial services companies with over $118 billion in total assets under management.

SOURCE Investors Group Inc.

For further information: For further information: Ron Arnst, Investors Group, (204) 956-3364, ron.arnst@investorsgroup.com; Meredith Adolph or Lisa Mills, Environics Communications, (416) 969-2667, (416) 969-2831, madolph@environicspr.com, lmills@environicspr.com

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