Charity CHAMPs – get involved with microphilanthropy now!

Small number of Canadians doing all the giving? by sylvng

The lastest Canadian Survey of Giving, Volunteering, and Participating was released by Imagine Canada today. It has some great stats that I think Canadians can be proud of. We donated, in total, $10B in 2007, and volunteered 2.1B hours in the same year! Both statistics represent growth (albeit modest growth) from the last time the survey was conducted back in 2004.

While that’s great news, it seems that 21% of Canadians are accounting  for 82% of the total value of donations. Which is probably to be expected giving the golden 80/20 rule but Dr. Michael Hall (VP of Research at Imagine Canada) still appeals to Canadians to do more:

“On the whole, almost all Canadians give time and money, but the fact remains, we still rely on a small number of individuals to provide the majority of support. We’re encouraged that donations grew between 2004 and 2007 but we need Canadians to continue their support for charities and nonprofits during these challenging economic times.”

Fact of the matter is,  we can all do more, and online microphilanthropy makes it so easy to do! According to the survey, over 27% of all donations are being given online , and 23% of volunteers use the Internet to perform volunteer activities. But I have a feeling these numbers are underestimating the true Internet usage to do good because the survey is using a more traditional framework. I don’t imagine click-to-donate or micro-lending activities are categorized as classical donations, but in the end those things are done in the spirit of giving which I think is what the survey is really trying to capture. And yes, the average donation online is smaller than the offline donation ($119 vs. $216, probably because of microphilanthropy sites), but perhaps by considering microphilanthropy we’ll find that the spread of support is more like 70/30 vs. 80/20.

What do you think? Am I just being unrelentlessly optimistic about the impact of microphilanthropy and how it can make philanthropy more accessible?

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