The Economy That Stole Christmas


MISSISSAUGA, ON, Nov. 14, 2011 /CNW/ - Charitable giving is losing its luster with Canadians.  The annual Harris/Decima CAN/AM survey for World Vision finds that with few exceptions charitable giving indicators are trending downward. As a result of the economic climate just 38% of Canadian adults polled are more likely to give charitable gifts as holiday presents significantly less (13%) than their American neighbours.

"This downward trending poll is disheartening news for the world's most needy" says Jane Bargout, Donor Relations Manager with World Vision. "Millions of children and families throughout the world count on the generosity of Canadians in order to ensure access to the very basics that we take for granted" Bargout says.  While Canadians still maintain they would prefer to receive a gift that would help someone else (74% in 2011 vs. 73% in 2010) the number who have actually received a charitable gift has declined by 5% (23% in 2011 vs. 28% in 2010).  Of equal concern is the fact that Canadian adults report a 3% decline (55% in 2011 vs. 58% in 2010) in having given a charitable gift to someone else. 

The economy is not the only culprit since Canadian adults also report feeling significantly more continuous pressure to make charitable donations than U.S. adults (66% Canada vs. 48% U.S.) and more than 1 in 3 strongly agree (35% Canada, vs. 23% U.S.) "Certainly, with an increase in natural disasters in 2011 Canadians must be feeling some fatigue," says Jane Bargout. "My hope is that Canadians will continue to find holiday joy in the act of helping those in the greatest need.  I have seen how the gift of a dairy cow can help feed a family and provide extra milk and offspring to ensure that family can afford to buy food and send children to school."

There is one reason to be hopeful since fully half of Canadian adults (50% Canada vs. 38% U.S) say that they are equally as likely to make a charitable donation to organizations such as World Vision.  Last year more than 82,000 Canadians made tangible holiday gift purchases through the World Vision gift catalogue.  They purchased 222,000 gifts, worth $17 million ranging from livestock to school and medical supplies. This year new gifts have been added, including the ability to purchase a share of a cow, though it is expected that combo favourites such as the goat, rooster and two hens for $150) and fruit trees (five for $30) will continue to be popular.

Complete study findings are available by contacting World Vision.

World Vision is a leading Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. Inspired by our Christian values, we are dedicated to working with the world's most vulnerable people. We serve all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information visit

SOURCE World Vision Canada

For further information:

Canada - Genevieve Barber 905-565-6200 ext. 2176, cell: 416-671-0086, 

U.S.A. - John Yeager 425-765-9845,

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