News | November 24, 2017

Black Friday And Charity: Canadians Question Whether Retailers Are Really Helping Out Or Just Cashing In

VANCOUVER, November 24, 2017 — The first of a four-part independent study was released today by the Angus Reid Institute (ARI) and CHIMP (Charitable + Impact) to gain an unbiased understanding of the charitable-giving landscape in Canada. The study finds that, while most Canadians see it as their personal responsibility to make the world a better place, they are skeptical of corporate-sponsored charitable initiatives, which is particularly pertinent as we head into Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday — three days of the year that Canadians receive the most charitable requests.

CHIMP hopes the results of this survey will change the conversation about giving in Canada, and that Canadians will start to rethink their approach to and engagement with giving. The majority of Canadians (71%) reported feeling a personal sense of responsibility for effecting positive change in the world. However, this study finds that while Canadians’ desire to give is strong, they don’t entirely trust the avenues for charitable giving that are available to them. In particular, they are skeptical of corporate-sponsored charitable initiatives. In fact, over two-thirds of the population expressed that corporate entities who get involved in fundraising activities are only doing so to bolster their own image, while 65% of Canadians believe that corporations use consumer donations given to sponsored charitable initiatives to take credit for supporting causes without actually putting up any money themselves.

The study also found that, in addition to being skeptical of businesses who sponsor charitable initiatives, only 50% of Canadians agree with the statement that charities can be trusted with the money people donate to them.

Despite their wariness of the motivations of corporate-sponsored fundraising and charities alike, more Canadians have donated a couple dollars in response to a donation request at a retail checkout than other type of charitable request, with 68% of the population indicating they had engaged in the practice at least once in the past two years. 58% of Canadians also reported responding when a friend or family member made a donation request. Meanwhile, the study demonstrates that Canadians are not as responsive to asks such as telephone requests, TV advertisements, or door-to-door fundraising. These statistics show that when the donation method is easy to participate in and vouched for by a trusted source, Canadians are at least twice as likely to give.

“What we’re seeing is a disconnect between the act of cash-register giving, and Canadians’ belief in its efficacy. On one hand, when you’re shopping, the ‘feel-good’ factor involved in making a small donation at the point of sale is undeniable, given the number of people who do it,” said Shachi Kurl, Executive Director of the Angus Reid Institute. “On the other hand, strong majorities are of the view that retailers are driven more by improving their image and marketing, than a genuine desire to help.”

“We hope that this study will help to change the conversation in Canada around charitable giving,” said John Bromley, Founder & CEO of CHIMP. “We want to empower people to feel good and confident with their charitable giving so they become more engaged and thoughtful as donors over time.”

This study is the first of a four-part series from the Angus Reid Institute and CHIMP analyzing Canadians’ approach to charitable giving. The second instalment, to be released on Giving Tuesday (November 28, 2017), will analyze the “giving gap” between the amount Canadians give to charity and how much they would like to.

For more information or to secure an individual or joint interview with John Bromley and Shachi Kurl, please contact Kathleen Reid at [email protected] or 604-724-1242.

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About CHIMP:

CHIMP (Charitable + Impact) is an online giving platform for Canadians that makes it easy to support any charity in Canada, raise money with others, and track impact over time. CHIMP has helped over 90,000 Canadians donate close to $250 million to 1000s of charities nationwide.

About Angus Reid Institute:

The Angus Reid Institute (ARI) was founded in October 2014 by pollster and sociologist, Dr. Angus Reid. ARI is a national, not-for-profit, non-partisan public opinion research foundation established to advance education by commissioning, conducting and disseminating to the public accessible and impartial statistical data, research and policy analysis on economics, political science, philanthropy, public administration, domestic and international affairs and other socio-economic issues of importance to Canada and its world.

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