Survey shows Canadian businesses engaged in meeting community need



    Still, many struggle to meet overwhelming demand for support

    CALGARY, Feb. 7 /CNW/ - Imagine Canada today released the first-ever
study of the full spectrum of how businesses support Canadian communities. The
survey of nearly 2,200 companies reveals that 91% provide some form of support
to Canada's charities and nonprofit organizations, and that they give in a
variety of ways. Fully 76% of businesses surveyed provide cash donations;
51% give goods and products; 43% provide services; 43% support or encourage
their employees to volunteer; and 22% of businesses fundraise from their
customers and suppliers.
    The Business Contributions to Canadian Communities research also shows
that businesses give financial or in-kind support at almost the same level as
individual Canadians (94% of Canadians and 89% of businesses).
    Businesses generally see the value in supporting charities and nonprofit
organizations. Over 8 in ten (83%) reported that an important reason for their
contributions was "because it is a good thing to do, irrespective of financial
returns." Almost 9 in 10 (87%) indicated that an important reason for their
contributions was because they help build strong and healthy communities,
which is good for business.
    This groundbreaking work is part of a multi-year study made possible with
the support of EnCana Corporation.
    "Many Canadian charities and nonprofits rely on support from Canadian
businesses. The information revealed through this extensive survey provides
valuable insight and guidance to help raise the bar on community investment,"
says Florence Murphy, EnCana's Vice President, Public and Community Relations.
    "While earlier studies have looked solely at financial donations, ours is
the first to map the full spectrum of business support," says Dr. Michael
Hall, Vice President of Research at Imagine Canada, and lead author of the
report. "We see that both large and small companies across Canada are drawing
on a broad range of their assets to support community organizations. However,
we believe there is still potential for businesses to increase the impact of
the contributions by devoting more attention to organizing and formalizing
their giving strategies. Currently, only 22% of companies have ongoing
programs to organize their giving, and 8% have written policies," says Hall.
"This may be one reason why so many businesses indicate that one of the
biggest challenges to their contribution efforts is the difficulty they face
responding to increasing requests for support."
    Some types of charities seem to be more attractive to Canada's corporate
donor. Causes related to children and youth command the bulk of business
support (68% and 55% respectively).

    Imagine Canada is a national charity with offices in Toronto, Ottawa and
Calgary. We look into and out for Canada's charities and nonprofits. Our
research and public policy facilitate increased philanthropy and public
engagement; our tools and resources strengthen the nonprofit community.
Imagine Canada's Caring Company program, Canada's leading corporate
citizenship initiative, set the benchmark for business giving in Canada. The
study, Canada Survey of Business Contributions to Community is available for
purchase at www.imaginecanada.ca.





For further information:

For further information: Lisa Hartford, ABC, Manager, Media Relations &
Communications, Imagine Canada, Cellular: (416) 509-3963, 1-800-263-1178 x 225
or in Toronto (416) 597-2293 x 225

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Imagine Canada

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