Teens flocking to support poverty causes, new poll shows

    Contest opens to find Canada's Top Teen Philanthropist; a chance to win a
    $5,000 prize for winner's charity of choice, $1,000 for winner

TORONTO, Sept. 22 /CNW/ - Young people lead all other age groups in their desire to help the less fortunate among us, according to a new poll to support Canada's Top Teen Philanthropist Contest. And many of them are using social media to change the world: 81 per cent of 19 year olds use Facebook and 30 per cent use Twitter to promote their charitable work.

Sponsored by Mackenzie Investments, the survey of 13-19 year olds is part of a program to identify Canada's most charitable teens and acknowledge the winner with a $5,000 donation to their favourite charity, plus a $1,000 personal award to acknowledge their outstanding efforts. The contest will also recognize the five runners-up with $500 each to the charity of their choice.

Compared to a similar poll conducted last year, poverty led as the most important cause for teens overtaking health issues from 2008. In fact, interest in helping charities associated with poverty jumped 16 per cent over last year to 38 per cent. The second leading issue for teens is health (36 per cent; 30 per cent in 2008) followed by the environment (30 per cent; 20 per cent in 2008).

"While the economy has taken a downturn this past year, the giving spirit of Canadian teens is soaring," said Brad Offman, Vice President, Strategic Philanthropy, Mackenzie Investments. "We are pleased to recognize this enthusiastic group by honoring a teen who goes above and beyond."

The poll showed that as a group, teens are using the online world to spread the word about the charities they support: more than half (54 per cent) said they use Facebook for charity communications; 50 per cent said they use email and even 10 per cent are using Twitter. These numbers jump for older teens, with 66 per cent of females aged 16-19 saying they use Facebook and 63 per cent of males that age using the online social network site for charitable communicating.

In the past year, 58 per cent of teens said they gave time or money or both to charitable work. Perhaps a sign of the times, of those teens who gave money, 45 per cent said they donated between $5 - $10 this past year. Only 5 per cent said they gave between $100 and $300.

Wanting to help the community they live in continues to be the strongest motivator for teens to support a charity (37 per cent), followed closely by the desire to make the world a better place to live (36 per cent). Meeting school requirements was rated the third most important motivator.

"Once again our poll shows that Canada's teens are generous at heart, pitching in to help at all levels," says Offman. "We are encouraged to see our youth so engaged with worthy causes. It really speaks to the generous and caring nature of young people today."

Canada's Top Teen Philanthropist Contest

Submissions welcome from September 22 - November 2, 2009

Winners to be announced in December 2009

To recognize the already outstanding charitable contributions from this specific age group, Mackenzie Investments is sponsoring Canada's Top Teen Philanthropist Contest. Promoted by Community Foundations of Canada, the membership organization for Canada's network of 164 community foundations and supporter of its own Youth in Philanthropy Program - this contest is giving teens their time to shine if they have sacrificed sleep, their allowance and free time to help people in need.

Last year, Jane Wu of Calgary, Alberta was named Canada's Top Teen Philanthropist by Mackenzie Investments. A year later, the search begins again and Mackenzie is seeking a teen that not only embodies the philanthropic spirit, but is also a community leader who has made a difference in the lives around them.

    Calling all 13-19 year old Canadians!

    -   The winner will receive a prize of $5,000 to go to their charity of
    -   PLUS he or she will win $1,000 cash for themselves, ideally to invest
        in an RESP to help save for their future education.
    -   Five runners-up will receive $500 each for their charity of choice.

    How to enter and win:

    Full contest rules and criteria are available at
www.mackenziefinancial.com/teen. Through a simple and brief entry form,
Canadians aged 13-19 are encouraged to share their generous stories for the
chance to be rewarded for their tremendous efforts.

    For example, have you:

    1)  Demonstrated a continued effort and commitment to helping your
    2)  Raised a significant amount of money, for your age group, for a
        charitable cause?
    3)  Done something creative in the process? Were you recognized for doing
        something unique and unexpected for your charity of choice, or in
        your community?
    4)  Gone "above and beyond" - i.e., if you were volunteering for a school
        assignment, did you do more than was asked?

    Seasoned panel to decide winner:

    All prize winners will be selected by a panel of seasoned philanthropists,
    -   Craig Kielburger, Co-founder, Free the Children; Founder, Leaders
        Today; Member of the Order of Canada; award-winning author and
        popular speaker
    -   Jane Wu, Winner, Mackenzie's Top Teen Philanthropist in 2008;
        Founder, Beauty and Brains, an annual conference for CYFC; student at
        Queen's University in Kingston, ON
    -   Monica Patten, President and Chief Executive Officer, Community
        Foundations of Canada (served last year)
    -   Danielle Silverstein, Director, Jays Care Foundation (served last
    -   Carlos Bustamante, Host, YTV's The Zone (served last year)
    -   Brad Offman, Vice President, Strategic Philanthropy for Mackenzie
        Investments (served last year)

    Other findings from the survey:

    -   Overall, youth are twice as likely to donate their time (30 per cent)
        as opposed to money (12 per cent), while 16 per cent of respondents
        said they donate both
    -   The younger aged teens (13-15 years) are more likely to support
        poverty related issues (42 per cent)
    -   Celebrity charitable endorsement has taken a dive as a motivator for
        teens: only five per cent of respondents said that they support
        charities because they admire celebrities who do it, compared to
        11 per cent in 2008
    -   Teenage girls (62 per cent) are more likely to support charities than
        teenage boys (54 per cent)

    NOTE: Regional results available upon request.

About the survey:

The Mackenzie survey results are based on a Youthography national online survey conducted from July 22 to August 4, 2009. The final sample consisted of 533 respondents; total sample is accurate 19 times out of 20: +/- 4.25.

More information on charitable giving and the Mackenzie Charitable Giving Fund, which allows you to leave a legacy of giving, can be found at www.mackenziefinancial.com/giving.

One grand prize winner and five runners-up will win the prizes described above, subject to correctly answering a skill-testing question. The contest is open to all Canadian legal residents between the ages of 13-19, who have donated services, goods, money or time to support a registered charitable cause for at least one year. Chances of winning depend on the number of entries by November 2, 2009. Entrants under the age of majority must have parental/guardian consent to enter the contest. No purchase necessary. Please see mackenziefinancial.com/teen for complete contest details.

Mackenzie Investments: Mackenzie Investments was founded in 1967, and is a leading investment management firm providing investment advisory and related services. With $58.8 billion in assets under management, Mackenzie Investments distributes its services through a diversified network of third-party financial advisors. Mackenzie Investments 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 $112 billion in total assets under management.

SOURCE Mackenzie Investments

For further information: For further information: Trish Tervit or Olivia Yu, Environics Communications, (416) 969-2809, (416) 969-2718, ttervit@environicspr.com, oyu@environicspr.com

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