Canadians Optimistic About Charitable Giving This Holiday Season

MasterCard Canada Charitable Giving Poll: Donations remain flat; One-fifth to increase non-monetary contributions

TORONTO, Nov. 24 /CNW/ - As Canadians anticipate a busy holiday season, MasterCard Canada today released the results of its Charitable Giving Poll. The research reveals good news for charities: more than half of Canadians (55%) report that over the last 12 months, the amount of money donated to charity has remained the same. These findings come on the heels of a recent report from Statistics Canada indicating that Canadians donated approximately five per cent less in 2008 than the year prior*. Despite continued economic turmoil, 2009 shows signs that Canadians remain committed to helping those in need. The Charitable Giving Poll also reveals that in fact, another 13 per cent report, contributions have increased in the last year. As holiday expenses build, one in five (18%) Canadians said they increased non-monetary donations in the past year, including volunteer and non-paid charitable work.

"Whether financial or non-monetary donations, Canadians have proven that charitable giving is a priority to them," said Julie Wilson, MasterCard Canada. "Despite tough economic times, the gift of giving continues to shape our Canadian culture. We remain committed to our community, charities and those that need a little assistance - especially as we head into the holiday season."

    
    Challenging times:

    Some continue to feel the impact of today's difficult economy, and
accordingly, one-fifth (20%) report that they will not be making financial
charitable donations this year.

    -   Those between the ages of 25-34 (28%) are least likely to give to
        charity, versus just 12 per cent of those over the age of 65.
    -   More than one-quarter of Quebecers (28%) reveal no plans to
        contribute to charity.

    Beyond the pocketbook:

    However, to compensate for a decline in financial contributions, 18 per
cent of Canadians report that in the past year, they increased their
non-monetary charitable donations.

    -   One-quarter (25%) of Atlantic Canadians said they increased non-
        financial contributions.
    -   Women (20%) were slightly more likely to increase non-monetary
        donations than men (14%).

    Every bit counts:

    According to the poll, the majority of donors (60%) are planning to
contribute up to $500 this holiday season. Only five per cent are expecting to
contribute over $1,000.

    -   More women (66%) than men (53%) will donate up to $500.
    -   Twice as many Albertans (10%) reveal plans to donate over $1,000,
        versus only two per cent of Quebecers.
    -   And one-fifth of Canadians (19%) report that they will not be making
        donations this holiday season.

    MasterCard Canada: Giving Back
    

To kick off the season of giving, MasterCard Canada has launched a national fundraising initiative to support Right to Play, the international humanitarian organization that improves the lives of children in countries suffering from poverty, war and disease. Through a partnership with Roots Canada, a portion of proceeds from the Canada Collection by Roots(R) will be donated to Right To Play.

The campaign is being supported by an integrated media mix including a new MasterCard Canada Priceless television ad. The ad was filmed in South Africa and along with a few paid actors, features dozens of children from local communities. In addition, the ad includes a South African song 'We Are Together', performed by a group of children from the Sky Youth Centre in Klipton, Soweto. In recognition of their support and to help the South African community, MasterCard made donations to several local organizations and orphanages.

In addition, a series of four radio ads by Roots and MasterCard Canada are supporting the Right to Play fundraiser, with help from Canadian music icon Robbie Robertson. Robertson, a longtime friend of Roots, donated his time and talent to the campaign in solidarity with Right To Play.

About the survey:

The survey was completed by Harris/Decima teleVox on behalf of MasterCard Canada. Interviews were conducted via CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing) and surveyed 1,000 Canadians 18 years of age and over between October 22 and October 26, 2009. Results to a survey of this size can be considered accurate to within plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

About MasterCard Worldwide

MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes over 21 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial institution customers and merchants. Through its family of brands, including MasterCard(R), Maestro(R) and Cirrus(R), MasterCard serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information go to www.mastercard.com.

    
    *According to the November 16 data released by Statistics Canada.
    

SOURCE MasterCard Canada

For further information: For further information: Environics Communications, Sheryl So: (416) 969-2725 or sso@environicspr.com; Sarah McConnell: (416) 969-2717 or smcconnel@environicspr.com

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